Serves 5 as an appetizer, 2 as a meal
by Kate Heyhoe
By themselves, these bean, cheese, and jalapeño-topped fried tortillas resemble giant Tex-Mex nachos, and when cooked with an infusion of smoky flavor, they're just about as satisfying as any finger-food can be. Add fresh toppings like lettuce and tomato, and they're more like the Mexican snack known as a chalupa (Spanish for "boat"). For the smokiness, cook them on a closed grill with wood chips, or add a few drops of liquid smoke and heat them in a covered grill or in the oven. (Supermarkets often carry pre-cooked crisp corn tortillas, known as tostadas, but you can easily make your own by frying whole corn tortillas in hot oil, one at a time, until golden and crisp.)
Optional Fresh Toppings: Shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, avocado, fresh chiles, bell peppers, onions, cilantro—any or all of these and a little of your favorite salsa, or Pico de Gallo, turn a simple chalupa into a meal.
1. Fire up a grill for cooking on indirect heat, with the grill lid closed. If using wood chips, soak them for 10 minutes, drain, and get them started smoking. Bring the inside grill temperature to medium high heat.
2. Mash together the beans, Stubb's Rub, and cumin. Arrange the tortillas on an aluminum tray (a pizza pan works great). Smear the bean mixture on each tortilla. Top with cheese, dot with jalapeño slices, and sprinkle a bit more Stubb's Rub on top. If using liquid smoke, sprinkle 2 or 3 drops on each chalupa.
3. Set the tray of chalupas over indirect heat, close the lid, and cook until the cheese melts, about 15 minutes. (Or bake in a preheated 425 degree oven until the cheese melts.) Serve the chalupas hot, just as they are, or with fresh toppings like lettuce, tomato, onion, and salsa.
Copyright © 2008, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.
This page created May 2008
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