The word Chalupa is the name of the boats Aztecs used to get around the canals of Tenochititlan, their capital. Cortez conquered and then razed the city in the early 1500s, using it's site as the center of Ciudad de Mexico. You'll find now, Chalupas are the specialty of the southern regions of Mexico, Puebla, Guerrero and Oaxaca. Oh, and Taco Bell. Chalupas are made with a deep fried flat bread, or corn tortilla molded into the shape of a small boat and stuffed with cheese, tomatoes, onions, sour cream, refried beans, beef or chicken and drizzled with salsa. The Americanized version is made generally the same way they make tacos but some use a deep fried wheat flatbread in place of the tortilla. I guess you can say we like ours the old fashioned way with deep fried corn tortilla. But I gotta say, this boat won't float, it's loaded. Generally, I think the thought was to be able to pick them up and eat them. Ours require a plate, fork and a bunch of napkins should you dare to try to pick it up. Cortez.......eat your heart out!
Chalupas8 fresh corn tortillas
1-1/2 C shortening
Grandmas old cast iron skillet (small)
2 C Spicy refried beans
3 T. half & half, cream, or milk
1-1/2 C. shredded cheddar cheese
diced iceberg lettuce, about 1/2 of a head
2-3 small ripe tomatoes, diced
1/2 purple/red onion diced
salt & pepper
Heat shortening to 350 degrees. Run tortillas, one at a time, through the hot shortening until they are crisp. Alternately, you can purchase the shells from your grocer already prepared. Heat refried beans, add milk and a little cheese to flavor and loosen the consistency. Spread beans on chalupa, top with lettuce, tomato, onion, shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa and salt & pepper.
These are easy to set up for a casual party and let everyone fix their own!
Let your taste buds follow your imagination. You can add diced black olives, fresh jalapenos, avocado or guacamole, tobasco, sauteed ground beef, grilled chicken, fajita meat/chicken, grilled onions etc. "Whatever floats your boat" Enjoy!