Chalupas Poblanas (Thick Tortillas Fried with Salsa)
These thick tortillas, bathed in two types of salsa and garnished with shredded chicken, are a popular street snack in Mexico.
Yield: serves 12
- 1 cup masa harina
- 1 tsp. canola oil
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1⁄2 cup salsa roja
- 1⁄2 cup salsa verde
- 1 large white onion, finely chopped
- Finely shredded cooked chicken (optional), for serving
- 1⁄2 cup lard or canola oil
- 1⁄2 cup crumbled queso fresco (available at mexgrocer.com)
- Make the tortillas: Combine masa harina, oil, salt, and 2⁄3 cup plus 1 tbsp. warm water in a bowl, and stir until dough forms. Knead dough in bowl until very smooth but not sticky, about 3 minutes. Using your hands, pinch off pieces of dough and shape into about twelve 1 1⁄2″ balls, each weighing about 1 oz. Heat a 12″ cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, flatten each ball in a tortilla press (see page 78), and add to skillet; cook, turning once, until blackened in spots on both sides and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Transfer and divide tortillas between two baking sheets in a single layer and set aside.
- Place salsa roja and 2 tbsp. water in a blender, and purée until very smooth, at least 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, clean out blender, and repeat with salsa verde and another 1⁄2 cup water; transfer salsa verde to a separate bowl. Using a spoon, place about 1 tbsp. salsa roja on top of half the tortillas, spreading it to the edges; repeat with salsa verde and remaining tortillas. Divide onion among all tortillas, and top with shredded chicken, if you like.
- Return skillet to stove, add lard, and heat over high heat until it begins to smoke. Working in batches, add tortillas, salsa sides up, and cook, basting tops with some of the hot lard, until crisp at the edges, about 1 minute. Using a metal spatula, transfer tortillas to a serving platter, and sprinkle with queso fresco; serve immediately.