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Grilled Shrimp Tostadas with Mashed Black Beans and Avocado Salsa Fresca Recipe {The Ultimate Panini Press Cookbook Giveaway}

Notes from the cookbook: You can grill half a pound of shrimp on the panini press in about 2 minutes. That is reason enough to have panini-grilled shrimp in your regular weeknight dinner rotation, don’t you think? For these tostadas I first let the shrimp bathe in a chili-lime marinade before they hit the grill. Also grilled on the panini press: the tostada shells. You just brush a little oil on regular tortillas and after a minute or so on the grill they’re toasty, crisp, and ready for toppings. Black beans mashed with garlic (a terrific technique I learned from a Rick Bayless recipe) and sprinkled with queso fresco make a flavorful base to hold the shrimp on the tostada, and an avocado salsa fresca brings a punch of bright, Southwestern flavor to the dish.
Servings 4



  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 ⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 ⁄4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 pound raw large shrimp peeled and deveined

Mashed Black Beans

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons water
  • Coarse salt

Avocado Salsa Fresca

  • 1 medium-size ripe avocado pitted, peeled, and diced
  • 2 medium-size ripe tomatoes diced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 1 ⁄2 jalapeño pepper seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 ⁄4 teaspoon coarse salt


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • Coarse salt
  • 4 ounces about 1 cup crumbled queso fresco or shredded Monterey Jack
  • 1 cup Avocado Salsa Fresca see below



  1. In a medium-size bowl, stir together the vegetable oil, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Add the shrimp and toss to coat them in the marinade. Cover the bowl and let the shrimp marinate in the refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the dish. (Note: The citric acid in the lime juice can start to “cook” the shrimp after a while, so I don’t recommend marinating the shrimp for longer than 30 minutes.)

Mashed Black Beans

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir it in the oil until it’s fragrant and just beginning to brown, about 1 minute. Add the black beans. Give the beans a rough mash with a potato masher (they should still be a bit chunky) and cook them for another minute or two until they’re heated through. Take the pan off the heat and stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of water, until the beans are spreadable. Season the beans with coarse salt to taste and partially cover the pan to keep them warm.

Avocado Salsa Fresca

  1. Toss all of the ingredients together in a medium-size bowl. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to combine. The salsa is best the day it’s made, but it will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.


  1. Heat the panini press to medium-high heat.
  2. Lightly brush a tortilla with vegetable oil and transfer it to the grill. Sprinkle the tortilla with a little salt and close the lid. Grill the tortilla until it’s crisped and golden grill marks appear, 1 to 2 minutes. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas. Keep the grill heated.
  3. Remove the shrimp from the marinade (discard the remaining marinade) and put half of them on the grill. Close the lid and grill the shrimp until they’re cooked through and opaque, about 2 minutes. Repeat with the remaining shrimp.
  4. Spread some mashed black beans over each grilled tortilla (if the beans have cooled off too much to be spreadable, put them back on the stove over low heat for a few minutes and stir in water, 1 teaspoon at a time). Top them with queso fresco, grilled shrimp, and avocado salsa fresca and serve.

Recipe Notes

I substituted corn tortillas for flour tortillas for a gluten-free alternative. From The Ultimate Panini Press Cookbook
Recipe © 2013 by Kathy Strahs and used by permission of The Harvard Common Press