Because it's contest time again!
I had taken a break from entering recipe contests for a while, for a variety of reasons. For one, the contest themes either didn't apply to me or didn't appeal to me (I don't own a grill, so Grilling Recipes is right out. I'm not even going to pretend like I want to create a Chicken Recipe. I don't have a single Slow-Cooker Recipe in my repertoire. In fact, I'm not sure where my slow cooker is...) Also, I haven't really felt very inspired lately. To be honest, I've been eating an awful lot of veggie wraps and canned soup these past couple of weeks. However, I could use a little boost in my income, and I have more free time for cooking these days, since homework isn't monopolizing my evening hours anymore. Thus, I decided to get myself back in the kitchen and back to recipe testing. This month's contest theme is Mexican. Oh yeah, I got this.
I actually cheated with this recipe: I used components from other recipes I've made in the past (garlic-lime black beans from just a few weeks ago, and a fire-roasted tomato and chipotle sauce that was never actually posted to the blog but comes from an old contest submission), adding the eggplant just to change it up a bit. The end result was savory, smokey, spicy, and- hopefully- good enough to win. We shall see. In the meantime, I have some recipe "fixing" to do. I had also experimented with a butternut squash soup, but accidentally made it melt-your-face-off hot. So I'm gonna try to tweak that this week. Stay tuned.
1 medium-sized eggplant
Salt and pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
3 stalks green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced, 2 Tbsp reserved for garnish
15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chile powder
14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
4 corn tostadas
Sour cream, optional
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Trim the stem end and bottom of the eggplant and then cut in half lengthwise. Using a sharp knife, score the eggplant with diagonal lines, about an inch apart, to create a diamond pattern. Drizzle each half with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet cut-side down. Bake for 35 min, or until skin is wrinkled and flesh is soft. Allow to cool just enough to handle. Cut each half into one inch slices.
In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and
green onion (reserving 2 Tbsp) and saute about 3-5 min until garlic is
starting to brown but not burn. Add the black beans and stir to cover
with oil, lightly mashing the beans with the back of a spoon or
spatula. Add the lime juice, cumin, and chile powder and stir to mix
well. Continue to cook over medium heat 5 min or so, until beans are
heated through. be careful not to over cook, or the beans will dry
out. In that case, add a little more lime juice as needed.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, simmer fire roasted tomatoes and chipotle chilies over low heat for about 5 minutes, or until heated through.
To assemble: Spread black bean mixture over each tostada. Top with eggplant slices and spoon tomato sauce over top. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and reserved green onions, if desired.