— a culinary journal —

Fresh Corn Tortillas with Spicy Blackbeans


From hole in the wall places to upscale restaurants, the Mexican cuisine in Texas (“Tex-Mex”) can’t be beat.

We lived there for many years and really enjoyed this amazing cuisine.


My favorite restaurants in Dallas for Tex-Mex if you are ever there- Via Real and Blue Mesa.

Here is my attempt to create a healthy batch of corn tortillas with a spicy blackbean side.


This dish as presented is vegan, gluten free and also full of lots of healthy ingredients.

Make the filling first as corn tortillas are at their best right when freshly made.


Spicy Blackbeans


2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion, diced

1 tomato, diced

1/4 of a red bell pepper, diced

3 garlic cloves, finely diced

a handful of fresh cilantro, chopped finely

2 cups of cooked blackbeans

1.5 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon paprika

optional- 1 finely dice green chile

1 cup water

salt to taste


Add the olive oil to a skillet. When the oil is heated, add the garlic and onions.


As the garlic and onions brown, add in the red pepper.


Next add tomatoes. Stir well.


Add the blackbeans and all the spices (cumin,oregano, paprika and optional green chile).


Stir well and add one cup of water.


Cook until the water mostly evaporates. Take half the filling and mash well or puree in your food processor.

Add back to the pan. Add cilantro and salt to taste.


Set aside while you prepare the corn tortillas.

Fresh Corn Tortillas

Mix 2 cups of masa harina, 1 teaspoon salt and about 1 cup of very warm water.  Form a dough that is not dry or sticky. I used my food processor, but you can do it by hand.


Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest for about 30 mins-1 hour before proceeding.

Form a small ball with a piece of the dough.

Put it between a piece of wax paper to press. Corn tortillas need to be pressed, not rolled unlike other flatbreads.



Use a tortilla maker to flatten the dough- or just use brute force– with the bottom of a skillet. Just press down until a nice flat tortilla forms.


Heat a tiny bit of olive oil (1/8 teaspoon at most) in a skillet.  Add in the uncooked tortilla.


Cook for about a minute on one side, then flip to the other side and cook.


When complete, there are many ways to serve with the blackbean side.

1- Just open faced with a side of avocados.


2- Closed, like a quesadilla.


3- Taco style.


They are all amazing. If you are not a vegan, feel free to top with sour cream and cheese.

This dish goes well with my tomato rice from an earlier post.


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