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Cookbook | Ingredients | Recipes | Mexican cuisine | Tex-Mex cuisine

A chalupa is a kind of tostada platter in Mexican cuisine. It is a specialty of South-central regions of Mexico, such as the states of Guerrero and Oaxaca. It is made by pressing a thin layer of masa dough around the outside of a small mold and then deep frying it to produce a crisp shallow corn cup. It is typically filled with shredded pork meat, a slice of onion, and a piece of chipotle pepper. In the Americanized form, described below, the tortilla is typically left flat.


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  1. In a small skillet, heat about ½ inch of vegetable oil. Test the oil for the correct temperature by putting in a small piece of tortilla. If the oil immediately bubbles frantically and the bread quickly becomes crisp then the oil is at the right temperature. This is important because a low temperature will produce an unpleasantly oily and soggy chalupa shell.
  2. Fry the tortilla completely flat in the oil, on both sides, until very crisp. Drain and keep the fried tortilla warm on a newspaper or paper towel-covered cookie sheet in a warm oven. Spread a layer of refried beans on each fried tortilla, about ¼ inch thick. Top with a generous amount of grated cheddar cheese and about 1 tablespoon of chopped onion.
  3. Place the assembled chalupas on a cookie sheet and brown under broiler until the cheese melts and begins to bubble. Watch them carefully at this stage, as they can burn quite quickly.
  4. Top with shredded lettuce and tomato, and serve immediately.
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