Over the course of writing this blog, I’ve made it pretty evident that I like to experiment in the kitchen. From my forays into vegan baking to my quest to cook around the world, I’m not afraid to try new things and push myself out of my comfort zone. So when Cinco de Mayo came up, I knew I needed to up my game from beef tacos or an enchilada casserole.
After doing some research, I discovered Cinco de Mayo isn’t actually Mexican Independence Day as I had long believed. Nope, instead it celebrates a particular battle, and is really only a thing in the Puebla region of Mexico. Thus, I found myself looking for some Puebla foods. Before too long, I discovered chalupas. Essentially, these are corn tortillas topped with salsa, shredded meat, and cheese. Um, yes please! Because I am lazy and May 5 fell on a Tuesday, I didn’t go quite all out: I bought corn tortillas instead of making them myself. But, hey, sue me. They still turned out absolutely delicious. The salsa had significant kick (three serrano chilies will do that), but Brendan and I absolutely loved it.
Of course, I wanted some sort of side dish to go with this. Instead of making black beans like I have numerous times before, I decided to try out pinto beans. While the dried beans were a little bit more difficult to find in the grocery store, it was so worth it. I cooked the beans with some chorizo sausage and they were absolutely amazing. Without a doubt, we’ll be making these again. In the spirit of full disclosure, I’ll admit that I have no idea how authentic these beans are as a side dish. But pinto beans are Mexican…Chorizo is Mexican…so let’s just go with it, okay? I promise you won’t be disappointed!
And now, without further ado, onto the first recipes in quite some time! Bon appetit (or whatever the Spanish equivalent is)!
Chicken Chalupas with Chorizo Beans
- ½ – ¾ lb tomatillos, rinsed, husked, and quartered
- ½ medium onion, roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 serrano chiles, stems removed, chopped with seeds
- ½ cup water
- 1 tbsp dried cilantro
- 1 tbsp oil
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1 lb chicken, poached and shredded
- 12 corn tortillas
- Queso Fresco Cheese, crumbled
- Toppings such as avocado, tomatoes, onions, sour cream, lime, fresh cilantro
- In a food processor, puree tomatillos, onion, garlic, chiles, and water. (This step can be done in advance and kept in an airtight container, refrigerated).
- Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Stir in salsa, cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste. Continue to heat and stir until simmering.
- Meanwhile, heat/soften the tortillas. This can be done either by shallow frying in oil or by wrapping in a moist paper towel and heating in the microwave for a minute.
- To assemble chalupas, spoon salsa on top of a tortilla. Top with shredded chicken, queso fresco, and any other toppings of choice.
Adapted from http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/mexican-pinto-beans
- 4 – 6 oz Mexican chorizo, casings removed
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 jalapeno, diced
- 1 small bell pepper, diced
- Oil, if necessary
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 cup dried pinto beans, soaked overnight
- 3 cups chicken/veggie stock
- In a pan over medium heat, sauté chorizo in crumbles. In the fat released from the sausage (or, if not enough, add some oil), sauté together the onion, jalapeno, and pepper for about two minutes. Add spices, and sauté until fragrant.
- Stir in soaked and drained beans and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook over medium-low heat, partially covered for an hour to an hour and a half, until the beans are soft.