A staple dish in the Mexican states of Guerrero, Oaxaca, and Puebla, chalupas have in recent years become very popular throughout the United States. They are named for the small boat they resemble, a rowed water taxi commonly used in the canals of southeastern Mexico City. Chalupas are shallow cups made of molded deep-fried corn dough filled with a variety of regionally based meats, vegetables, and salsas. Several Americanized versions of the chalupa are served in restaurants, which range from upscale dining establishments to fast food franchises. The American version often features a flat tortilla rather than the traditional boat shape.
Recipe Servings: 6
- Pour oil to a depth of ½-inch in a small skillet set over medium heat.
- Test that the temperature is hot enough by adding a small piece of tortilla to the oil. If the oil bubbles and the bread crisps up right away, then the oil is at the right temperature.
- Fry the tortilla in the oil, until it is very crisp, flipping it so that it cooks on both sides. Drain and lightly blot the tortilla with paper towel.
- Spread a thick layer of refried beans on each fried tortilla. Top with a generous amount of grated queso fresco cheese and about 1–2 tablespoons of chopped onion.
- Place the assembled chalupas on a baking sheet and set under the broiler of an oven until the cheese melts and begins to bubble a crispy brown.
- Remove from broiler, top with shredded lettuce and tomato, and serve immediately.
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