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.
Typical Recipe for Americanized chalupa
- Vegetable oil
- 12 corn tortillas
- 6 cups of refried beans (pinto beans or black beans may be substituted)
- Half a pound of grated queso fresco cheese
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 3 cups of lettuce, shredded
In a small skillet, heat about half an 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 result in the tortilla boiling, rather than frying, and will produce an unpleasantly oily and soggy chalupa shell.
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 a quarter of an inch thick. Top with a generous amount of grated cheddar cheese and about table spoon of chopped onion.
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. Top with shredded lettuce and tomato, and serve immediately.