If you have any smoky chipotle black beans leftover, you might want to consider making this tostada — a dish that represents the marriage of two of my all-time favorite recipes.
Lucky enough to live only a short drive from the Napa Valley, I’ve had the opportunity to dine at Cindy Pawlcyn’s restaurants since I was a boy. Having eaten amazing meals at Go Fish and Mustards Grill, the most memorable dish came on a visit to Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen for lunch when I first tasted her famous Rabbit Tostada. Imagine tender, juicy chile-braised rabbit nestled on top of warm, earthy black beans and a crispy fried tortilla. Finished with a refreshing salad of herbs, thinly sliced cabbage and tart feta cheese, quite simply, this is as good as a tostada can get.
The other half of this recipe comes from pioneering chef, Robert Del Grande and his restaurant, Cafe Annie. While I still haven’t had the opportunity to visit the iconic Houston restaurant, I have made his signature bar staple, Black Bean Nachos with Red Chile Beef. With each tortilla chip covered in the perfect amount of over five different flavor components, it goes without saying that these were the most delicious and extravagant nachos I’d ever eaten. However, at a prep time of close to three hours, I haven’t gotten around to making them as often as I would like.
Hence, the Red Chile Beef Tostada was born. Taking key elements from each dish, I’ve put together a recipe that pays homage to the very best of each chef. Rich, meaty red chile beef fills in for the guajillo-braised rabbit in Cindy’s dish, whereas a black bean topped tostada and refreshing cabbage slaw takes the place of the bite-size nacho in Robert’s. The result is too delicious to describe. You’re just going to have to try it.