There’s nothing hard about making this Tex-Mex-style dish. Just picking the right shrimp, getting the tortilla shell just crisp enough and not putting so much stuff on it that it loses the simplicity we always enjoy in a good chalupa.
3 tablespoons cooking oil, divided use
1 teaspoon lime juice
Seasoning blend (Your favorite or one of ours: a salt-free garlic and herb blend with a little cayenne or ancho chile powder, sea salt, paprika or pimentón and a very little small pinch of cumin)
2 corn tortillas or tortillas that are a corn-wheat flour blend (see note)
2-3 tablespoons refried pinto or black beans, heated
6 tablespoons shredded cheese (Monterey Jack, Longhorn cheddar or a blend of Mexican cheese that melt)
½ avocado, mashed and seasoned with a little lime and salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Garnish: Your favorite salsa
In a large, nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Toss the shrimp in the lime juice, then season generously.
Put in the heated pan and cook the shrimp. If they were partially cooked (such as shrimp sold as cooked in the fresh seafood section) don’t cook quite as long as the fresh shrimp. When they are hot, spoon them out and set aside on a plate.
Wipe the pan out with paper towel. Add the other two tablespoons of oil and let it heat. Lightly fry the both tortillas on one side until it is just crisp. Take them out of the pan and put the fried side up on a paper towel. With another paper towel you can blot off some of the oil. Then, spread a beans on the top of the crisped side of the tortillas and divide the cheese between them. (Or, fry both sides in the usual way and assemble. We like to do it this way because the cheese will melt better.)
Put 5 shrimps on top of the cheese and sprinkle with fresh-chopped cilantro. Put the tortillas in the pan and let the other side crisp and melt the cheese. Take them out of the pan and put on paper towel for a minute or so to drain some of the oil.
Put a scoop of mashed and seasoned avocado and top and serve with your favorite salsa.
Makes 2 chalupas.
From Bonnie Walker