It’s Cinco de Mayo!
Did you know that? Do you celebrate it?
If you’re like me last year (and every year prior to last year), Cinco de Mayo was just another day that I may or may not take the time to note. It certainly had nothing to do with me.
Rebecca is in a Dual Immersion Spanish program at school. What this means is that she learns half the day in English, and spends the other half in an environment where no English is spoken. She doesn’t even know her teacher speaks English. This is her second year in the program, and she is no longer allowed to speak English in her class. In first grade, there were a lot of charades in the class. But slowly the students gain confidence and understanding as they build their bilingual skills. We love this program. Not only is she learning a second language, but she is learning about an entirely different culture and its customs.
So this year, we had a Cinco de Mayo night! (No one seemed particularly upset that we did it on Quatro de Mayo.) I made chalupas, and they were so awesome! This recipe has a surprising source: the Parade magazine. And oh yeah, it’s Eva Longoria’s recipe from her new cookbook, Eva’s Kitchen: Cooking with Love for Friends and Family.
‘Fess up: Am I the only one totally surprised (and a little doubtful) about Eva’s ability to eat, let alone cook? Be that as it may, this was delicious. Even my Super Picky Three Year Old ate it and professed love! This is huge.
I’m going to give you the recipe as written but I’ll tell you: use what you have on hand, use what your family will eat, and adjust quantitites based on what they’ll eat. For instance, I was out of tomatoes (but it would have looked prettier with them.) After I took pictures, I ended up topping mine with a little salsa and loved the kick. I only used 1 avocado. I grilled some chicken breasts up after rubbing them lightly with taco seasoning, but you could use whatever you’ve got. Canned chicken, leftover chicken, or rotisserie chicken would all work great in this recipe.
This recipe is super easy and quick, but I did have a little problem with the oil. My first few attempts I used too much oil and didn’t get it hot enough. You want the oil pretty hot so it cooks the tortilla quickly rather than soaking into the tortilla.
1/2 c. vegetable oil, or as needed
8 corn tortillas (we used 10-12)
4 c. shredded lettuce
1 1/2 c. grated queso fresco or cheddar cheese
3/4 c. sour cream
1 large tomato, diced
2 avocado, pitted, peeled, and diced
2 c. refried beans, warmed
2 c. cooked, shredded chicken, warmed
Line a baking sheet with paper towels. In a large skillet, heat oil until shimmery and hot. Fry tortillas one at a time until firm, 1 minute per side. Transfer to baking sheet; cool 5 minutes.
Place lettuce, cheese, sour cream, tomato, and avocado in separate serving bowls.
Spread beans on each tortilla. Sprinkle chicken on top. Arrange chalupas on a platter; serve with toppings on the side.
For a dairy free version, omit/substitute sour cream and cheese.