Valentine's Day can be a bit of a buzz kill for single women like myself. I actually forgot it was Valentine's Day yesterday, and remembered only when I saw flowers, balloons, and conversation hearts on desks at work! I have no problem with the concept of Valentine's Day and I'm certainly not a Valentine's Day hater. But I was happy that I didn't have to worry about buying anything special or doing anything outlandishly romantic yesterday! Instead, I thought to myself, how would I most like to celebrate a day of love? Umm, by eating delicious food. Obviously. So I put together a meal with some of my favorites: fried tortillas, fresh salsa, and Chipotle-inspired rice. I'll refrain from telling you just how many tostadas I ate (that's my Valentine's Day secret), but a crunchy tortilla topped with heirloom tomato salsa and cilantro-lime rice was hard to resist. In fact, it was love at first sight.
Tostadas with Cilantro Lime Rice & Fresh Salsa
serves 2-3, with 1 cup of extra salsa for later!
for cilantro lime rice
3/4 cup long-grain white rice
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 tbls butter
1 cup cilantro leaves, washed and chopped
Juice from 1/2 of a lime
for fresh salsa
2 large tomatoes, heirloom if available, chopped
1/2 large red onion, diced
1 Serrano chili, seeded and finely diced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 - 1 cup freshly chopped cilantro
Juice from 1 lime
1 package corn tortillas
1 15-ounce can black beans
1-2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
Cook the rice in the vegetable stock according to the package directions. Once the rice has cooked, stir in the butter, lime juice, and cilantro.
While the rice is cooking, mix together all of the ingredients for the salsa in a large bowl. Taste and adjust for seasonings. Keep in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the tostadas.
Empty the entire can of beans into a small saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring as needed until the beans are warmed through. Either keep on low heat or turn the heat off, depending on how far along your rice is in the cooking process.
When the rice has finished cooking and the beans are heated through, heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet until hot. Place one tortilla in the skillet and fry for about 30 seconds. Then flip, and fry that side for another 30 seconds, or until the tortilla is crisp. Place the tortilla on a dinner plate lined with paper towels. Continue frying tortillas until you have enough for dinner (think about 2-3 tostadas per person).
Take one of the crisp tortillas and top it with a spoonful of the cilantro rice. Top the rice with a spoonful of black beans (drained!) and top all of that off with the fresh salsa. Serve and enjoy!