Yesterday was our big family party at my Mum’s and we all chip in to help make everything ready- and to put out a spread for everyone who comes.  This means that once again I had to come up with some sort of finger food thing to contribute, and once again I made my black bean tortilla thingies.  They’re perfect for parties and are delicious, inexpensive, good hot and at room temperature and you can make a bunch fast, which makes them fit the bill exactly, if you ask me.  I know there can be a lot of pressure this time of year to come up with just this sort of thing, and everybody always asks me for the recipe, so here you go.

Black Bean Tortilla Things

(I try to be super creative with the names)

1 pkg large flour tortillas
375 ml / 1.5 cups grated cheddar 
1 small red pepper
1 small orange pepper   
1 avocado
1 bunch of spring/green onions
3 plum tomatoes
1 can black beans – rinsed and drained
250 ml/1 cup frozen corn, thawed
2.5ml / 1/2 tsp cumin
2.5 ml / 1/2 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper to taste

Turn the oven on to gas mark 4/ 180 C/ 350 F.  Chop up all the veggies pretty small (small like the corn and black beans) and mix everything (except for the tortillas) together.

Get a pint glass and use it upside down like a cookie cutter to cut the tortillas into as many rounds as you can squeeze out of them.

Tuck the tortilla rounds down into muffin cups.

Fill each cup with a spoonful or two of the black bean stuff –

Then bake for about 12-15 minutes.  You want the tortilla cups to start to  brown and be quite crisp, and for the cheese to be melted.

Take them out of the pans right away and either serve right then while they’re warm, or let them cool to room temperature on a rack (so they stay crisp) and serve later. 

Makes several dozen.  I’ve experimented over the years, and I can tell you this. I like them with cilantro in them, but some people don’t – I also like them with extra spring onion and a handful of chopped fresh parsley, and remember to cut things up pretty small.  You can put just about anything in them, just don’t make the mix of stuff too wet.  I used a whack of salsa one year and things were a little gloopy and the tortilla tart part was damp instead of crispy.  You don’t want that.  Damp tarts are not good – and yes. There’s a terrible, terrible joke right there,  I’m letting it go by. If you’re feeding a slightly more refined (or less diverse) crowd, you can get fancy and mince a hot pepper into them, and I’ve made a really good batch by subbing  some blue cheese and broccoli and taking out the avocado and cheddar.  It’s hard to go wrong really, and they’ll disappear off the table. 
Good luck.