If you ever in need of a debate topic, one which will bring even the most tempered people off their seats causing hearts rate to rise and blood pressure to sky rocket, debate chalupas vs tostadas. Want to take it one step further, chalupas vs tostadas vs tacos. Just writing this I can hear your teeth grinding. Yes, I know a few posts ago I went off a a tirade about a rose by any other name in reference to enchiladas vs burritos. And yes, I could take this same tirade against chalupas, tostadas, and crispy tacos but I won't. I will spare you. There are already plenty of posts out there devoted to this such as here, here, and here.
For this table and its counterparts chalupas/tostadas are one in the same . They are both made with corn tortillas, topped with too many toppings, and as I can never get my fresh fried corn tortillas to bend just at the edges not to stay completely flat they are served in various states of uniformity. Luckily, looks are not important when it comes to chalupas/tostadas because they are always fabulous. Chalupas, either homemade or store bought shells, are from the T&T list. At this rate, I am gonna run out of T&T meals. Better get back on the new recipe train.
The list is endless. Tonight it was simple: fried corn tortillas topped with refried beans, rice, cheese, lettuce, salsa.
In a shallow pan, fry one corn tortilla at a time until crispy in the center. Drain on paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Repeat.
Spread in a thin layer hot beans, steaming rice, cold cheese, crisp lettuce, refreshing salsa. Keep layers thin otherwise the chalupa will crack in half resulting in nachos.
Scaled for Likability: Great
Store bought chalupa or taco shells can be purchased at most grocery stores. They will work in a pinch but are never fresh and will never crunch like a fresh shell. Learning to fry a chalupa shell does take practice and learning to fry taco shells takes lots and lots of practice. Practice results are worth the effort. One of the only reason why fresh chalupas are not made more often is the clean up. Having to wait for the grease to cool down, stored for later, and the area cleaned up from the fry mess is sometimes more work than a weeknight's energy level allows. Especially if the meat has to be cooked, the rice prepared, the salsa made. It can be just too much. Even if they are absolutely fabulous.