Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Grilled Chicken Tostadas with Black Bean Salsa and Avocado Cream

Recipe updated August 2015

Tostadas make casual, inviting meals that your guests can build themselves. Each ingredient brings its own flavor and texture to the dish—in this case, crispy corn tortillas, spicy black bean and chile salsa, smoky grilled chicken breast, and a cool, creamy avocado spread to top it all off.

The tortillas are baked, not deep-fried, and the spread is made with plain Greek yogurt, not sour cream, making tostada night a healthful affair—as well as delicious.

Makes 8 tostadas

  • 8 6-inch corn tortillas (white or yellow corn)
  • olive oil, for brushing and oiling grill grate
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 15-oz can unsalted organic black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • sea salt
  • 1 large ripe avocado, halved lengthwise, pit removed
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1-1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets, about 1/2-inch thick
  • lime wedges, for serving
Rinse and Drain the Beans
Other Salsa Ingredients
Avocado Cream Ingredients 
Chicken Cutlets
  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Light a grill for direct-heat cooking with indirect-heat space.
  2. Lay the tortillas on the baking sheet and brush both sides lightly with olive oil. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Bake until crisp and golden, turning once after 5 minutes, 9-10 minutes total. Remove and let cool.
Tortillas Ready to Bake 
Baked Tortillas
  1. Combine the black beans and next 6 ingredients (through vinegar) in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature at least 30 minutes.
  2. Scoop the flesh of the avocado into a bowl and add the yogurt and lime juice. Mash together to a creamy consistency. Stir in the cilantro and season with salt and pepper.
Spicy Black Bean Salsa 
Mashed Ingredients
Avocado Cream
  1. Oil the grill grate and season the chicken with salt and pepper. Grill until lightly charred on both sides and just cooked through, moving to indirect heat as needed to prevent burning, 10-12 minutes total.
  2. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes. Cut into thin slices.
Chicken Beginning to Grill
Chicken after 5 Minutes
Grilled Chicken 
Thinly Slice the Chicken
To serve, top the tortillas with a layer of black bean salsa. Divide slices of chicken on top and dollop avocado cream on each. Serve with lime wedges alongside. (Alternatively, serve the ingredients separately and let your guests build their own tostadas.)

Grilled Chicken Tostadas with Black Bean Salsa and Avocado Cream

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