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Monday, January 04, 2010

Cooking with Meghann 101: Chalupas

I grew up eating these, they were a staple in my mother's family, who were from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. These are easy, fairly cheap, and kind of addictive.

I totally didn't take a picture of the needed ingredients, but what you'll need is:

-white corn tortillas (thicker is better than thinner, I like Mission brand. I'll show you why later.)

-refried beans (any kind you love)

-grated cheese (again, almost anything you like with mexican food will work. Cheddar, colby jack, "mexican blend", etc. All work.)

-oil (you don't want something too flavorful like olive or peanut. Good old vegetable is fine.)

Ok, let's get cracking! Heat a couple of inches of oil in a skillet on about medium heat. When it's hot, drop in a tortilla.

Let it float, and flip it from time to time.

Sometimes when I am feeling impatient, I'll hold it under the oil with tongs. I get hungry, yo.

What you want to do, is cook it until it's crispy, but not really brown. Adjust the oil temperature if they are cooking too fast. You want them to look like this.

You drain them, and lay them on a cookie sheet like in the above picture.

As promised, here is where I will talk about tortilla thickness. I like Mission brand tortillas, they are thicker than some others. I only had enough to do half of mine with Mission, and then used a different brand for the rest. The other brand was thin, and that creates a problem. They tend to bubble, and be downright onery. It is hard to find the right oil temperature where they will get all the way crisp without browning. You can see here how the new brand (on the right) does not look as pretty as the other brand (on the left).

When you have a panful, it's time for the beans. Spread beans on each tortilla. On average, I can cover about 6 tortillas with one can of beans. In this instance, I was using refried black beans. Mmm mmm.

Then add a handful of cheese to each one. Don't skimp!

Now it's time to cook these babies. Throw them in the oven, on the middle rack, and set your oven to broil. Broil them until the cheese is nice and gooey, and even a little brown. Watch them like a hawk though, they only take a few minutes, and are notorious for going from "not melted" to "charcoal" very quickly.

Oh baby.

Serve them hot, with whatever toppings that you can come up with. I'm quite fond of black olives, lettuce, and taco sauce. They are phenomenal "as is" though, if you're not feeling fancy.

(Even though I said "Serve hot", they are still good a while later, after dinner is over and you notice a cold one sitting in the kitchen no one claimed. Not that I would know from experience or anything. Ahem.)


Jim said...

We had them last night, except I call them tostadas (and sorry, but I just use the pre-bought shells - Mexican night is already too much of a production at our house to add frying tortillas to it).

Meghann said...

I've been hearing a lot from people that they call them tostadas. And they are, but a very specific type. http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Cookbook:Chalupa

Jim said...

Yeah, the "cup" part is what I have had in restaurants that have served chalupas. The premade shells are always called "tostada shells."

Morgann said...


Lacey said...

Yum! And I agree, Mission is best...wonder if they have them in Vegas (they didn't in the UK...boo).

Meghann said...

Morgann-I think about you ever time I make them.

Lacey-I need to figure out a way to come see you before you go!