Cooking with Lager: Chicken Tostadas with Mashed Black Beans

¡Viva la cerveza checa! A splash of Czech-style dark lager adds malty Maillard depth to the mashed black beans in this flavorful tostada preparation.

Christopher Cina Aug 21, 2022 - 3 min read

Cooking with Lager: Chicken Tostadas with Mashed Black Beans Primary Image

Photo: Christopher Cina

Chicken Tostadas with Mashed Black Beans

Makes: 6 tostadas

  • 1 can black beans, 15 oz (425 g)
  • ½ cup (118 ml) salsa, store-bought or homemade
  • 1 Tbs chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 2 fl oz (59 ml) Czech-style dark lager (tmavé)
  • ¼ tsp cumin, ground
  • ¼ tsp coriander, ground
  • ½ cup (118 ml) vegetable oil
  • 6 corn tortillas, 6" (15 cm)
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1 lb (454 g) roast-chicken meat, pulled and shredded
  • ½ cup (118 ml) Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • ½ cup (118 ml) red onion, sliced thin
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced thin
  • ¼ cup (59 ml) Cotija cheese, shredded fine
  • 1 lime cut into 6 wedges

Rinse the black beans in a colander under cold water and drain. In a small saucepan, combine the beans, salsa, chipotle, beer, cumin, and coriander and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes or until almost dry, then remove from the heat. Mash the beans with a spoon and set aside.

Heat the vegetable oil in a sauté pan over medium-low heat. Slowly fry the tortillas until crispy, about 1 minute on each side. Drain on paper towels and allow to cool. Season with kosher salt. Divide the mashed black beans evenly over the 6 tortillas, about ¼ cup (59 ml) each.

Top the black beans with the pulled chicken, diced tomatoes, sliced red onion, jalapeño slices, and cotija cheese. Serve each tostada with a wedge of lime.

Beer Tasting Notes: Many different types of beer could work well in this dish, as the modest splash of it cooks into the more flavorful, earthy-spicy mashed beans, adding only subtle flavors. However, we like the smooth malt depth of a great tmavé here, bringing a touch of caramel sweetness and mole-like chocolate richness to contribute a different dimension to those brighter flavors.

Beer Suggestions: Alma Mader Contextual (Kansas City, Missouri); Kozel Černý (Velké Popovice, Czech Republic); Notch Černé Pivo (Salem, Massachusetts); pFriem Czech Dark Lager (Hood River, Oregon).