How to Make Authentic Mexican Chalupas or Tostadas
Tostadas and Chalupas
The terms "tostadas" and "chalupas" are both used to identify this tasty meal. The terms may vary by region, but both names are widely acceptable.
Aside from a round tostada as the base, the first topping is usually refried pinto beans, black beans, mashed potatoes, or guacamole. Additional toppings can vary and can accommodate a variety of tastes and dietary needs. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, or a beef lover, you can create your own personal tostada.
- 6 round tostadas, available in white, yellow or red
- 1, 16 ounce can pinto beans or black beans, you can also purchase refried, however, they will contain more fat and sodium
- 1 pound fajita, round steak, or ground beef, grilled or broiled, thinly sliced or crumbled
- 4 cups shredded lettuce
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 2 large avocados, cut in slices or chunks
- 2 cups queso fresco, crumbled
The beauty of tostadas and chalupas is you can create a variety of toppings. We usually create a buffet line of toppings.
- beef, chicken or vegetarian toppings
- chopped onion
- chopped jalapenos
- chopped cilantro
- shredded cheese: colby, monterrey jack, mozzarella or cheddar
- shredded carrots
- sour cream
- crema (a pourable and softened cheese that is similar, but not quite sour cream: suggested brand, Crema La Vaquita)
- chunky french fries
- salsa: red, green or pico de gallo
- bean and corn salad: 1 part black beans (canned or boiled), 1 part kernel corn (canned or boiled), 1 part chopped red and/or green pepper. Mix and chill with 1/4 cup vinaigrette dressing.
- mashed potatoes
- Beans: I prefer the healthy version of refried beans. Instead of mashing and cooking in lard, you can do the following quick and more economical tip. Rinse one 16 ounce can of pinto or black beans. Add to a blender with 1/4 cup water. Blend until smooth and then simmer in a saucepan until warm.
- Steak: Add 1/2 a tablespoon of canola oil to a medium to large skillet. Heat to medium heat. Brown the round steak. Optional seasonings: salt, pepper and/or garlic powder. Ground beef option: Brown, crumble and drain. Fajitas: Grilling is the best method to prepare fajitas. Cook to medium-well and slice into thin bite size pieces.
- Lettuce: Shred lettuce and cut into about 1 - 2 inch strips. Tip: add shredded lettuce to a bowl and cover the surface with water and chill. This will keep the lettuce crisp until ready to serve.
- Tomatoes: Chop tomatoes into small 1/2 inch chunks
- Queso Fresco: Take a palm sized piece of queso fresco. Work through your hands and crumble into small chunks.
- Avocado: Cut the avocado in half and remove the seed. Carefully cradle the avocado half in your hand and make thin cuts at horizontally and vertically. Take great care to not pierce the skin of the avocado. Take a large soup spoon and with a single swoop, scoop out the cut avocado and place in a bowl. You can sprinkle with lime juice to keep from browning.
- Create a serving assembly line of your ingredients. I used the following order in creating the chalupa with the ingredients above: Refried Beans, beef, lettuce, tomato, queso fresco and avocado. Each chalupa takes approximately two tablespoons of each ingredient. Enjoy!
- Yields six chalupas
How to layer a traditional chalupaClick thumbnail to view full-size
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© 2012 Marisa Hammond Olivares