The Leaning Tower of Tostadas


My husband cracks me up. I’m not entirely sure where he comes up with names for my dishes within a few seconds, but they always make me laugh. The first time I made an enchilada casserole/Mexican lasagna, Tom dubbed it “enchilada brick.” The name didn’t sound too appetizing so I asked if he didn’t like it, or if it was too heavy, etc. He said, “nope, it just needs a name.” 

Tonight, he first decided to call this meal “tostada pancakes” and I asked him how this was like a pancake–he replied because they are stacked. Fair enough. Then he changed his mind and settled on “Leaning Tower of Tostadas.” As we were eating this, I said I was glad I didn’t make any corn on the side because I was so stuffed from the tostada tower. He said I could have put corn all the way around the tostadas and then the dish would have been called “Tostada Palace with Corn Moat.” He is a dork, but I love him. I thanked him for giving me plenty of material for my blog tonight.

At any rate, this meal came to be because I was searching for a way to use up some cream cheese. Short of spreading it on bagels, I don’t find myself using cream cheese often. It’s pretty rare that I have it in the fridge, but since I made the pumpkin gingerbread bars last week, I had 5 oz. leftover. I had no idea what to do with it, so I asked my friend Cara for some ideas and she directed me to this black bean tortilla casserole on her blog. It looked really great, but, alas, I decided to be an oinker instead and use the leftover cream cheese to make a half batch of black bottom cupcakes.

Last night, though, I remembered the tortilla casserole and decided to make something similar with chicken and black beans, sans cream cheese. Delicious! I just made mine on a cookie sheet and without foil, to make them crispy. I also made the mixture a little thicker/with less liquid so it wouldn’t ooze out on the cookie sheet. 

Leaning Tower of Tostada Pancakes Sans Corn Moat
Serves 2…but it probably should be 3…

4-6 corn tortillas (just depends how many you want)
a little oil
1 onion, diced
1 jalapeno, diced (seeds/ribs removed or not according to your preference)
1/2 cup diced peppers (I used tricolor ones)
1 clove garlic minced
5-6 oz. cooked chicken breast, shredded
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (honestly, this is probably too much but I was too lazy to store extra black beans so I threw them in)
1 cup salsa
cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup shredded or crumbled queso chihuahua
your favorite toppings

Preheat the oven to 400 and spray a cookie sheet with some spray oil.

Heat a little oil in a skillet and saute the onions, peppers and jalapeno until tender. Stir in the garlic and chicken and cook until the garlic is fragrant. Add the beans, and mash them a bit with a potato masher (not necessary but helps with texture, staying put on the tortilla, etc.) before adding the salsa and seasonings. Simmer for a few minutes to meld the flavors.

Layer the mixture with the corn tortillas and cheese on a cookie sheet. Bake about 15 minutes until tortillas are crispy and cheese is melted. (I don’t put cheese on the top until about 5 minutes before they are done so it’s still melty and not just stuck to the tortilla)

The Leaning Tower of Tostadas

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