This is far from a traditional chalupa, but by golly we are gonna make it better.
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
2 1/2 cups (375g) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (7g) fine sea salt
1 tablespoon (15g) granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons (11g) baking powder
1 cup (240ml) whole milk
2 tablespoons (30g) vegetable oil
2 quarts (2000 ml) frying oil
1 ¼ pounds (560g) fatty ground beef, 70-75% lean
To grind your own blend use: 1 pound (450g) chuck roast and ¼ pound (112g) bacon
2 tablespoons (35g) tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons (2g) cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon (1g) onion powder
1 teaspoon (1g) mushroom soup base powder
2 teaspoons (3g) smoked paprika
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup (240ml) water
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter
1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
1 poblano, seeded and finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon (9g) all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (360ml) whole milk
½ pound (225g) cheddar cheese, grated
⅓ pound (150g) yellow American cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, very thinly sliced
1/2 jicama, peeled and very finely julienned
3 tablespoons (11g) finely chopped cilantro
1 cup (200g) freshly grated cheddar cheese
1 cup (200g) freshly grated Monterey jack cheese
1 roma tomato, diced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Full fat sour cream
For the Chalupa Shell
In a medium-sized bowl, add the flour, sea salt, granulated sugar, baking powder, and whisk all that together.
Make a well in the center of the flour and add the milk and vegetable oil. Mix by hand until you form a rough dough. Knead for 2-4 minutes until smooth. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Add fry oil to a 5-quart pot and heat to 350℉ / 177℃.
Divide dough into 8 even pieces (67g each). Roll each piece between your palms into a small ball. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough balls into disks about 6-inches wide. Using a fork, lightly poke holes all over the rolled dough.
Place a disk of dough in the hot oil and fry for 15 seconds, until slightly puffed but still pale in color. Remove to a sheet pan lined with a wire rack and use a pair of tongs with metal tips to form into a taco shape. Place back into the frying oil, using the tongs to hold the taco shape. Fry for another 30 seconds, or until the dough maintains its shape without the tongs. Remove tongs and continue to fry for another 1-2 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Remove and drain on a wire rack and season to taste with salt.
Repeat with remaining dough and hold the shells on the wire rack until ready to use.
For The Seasoned Beef
If making your own ground beef mixture, use a meat grinder with the fine grind attachment to grind the beef chuck and bacon. Gently mix the two together until evenly combined and refrigerate until ready to use.
Heat a medium sized saucepot over medium high, and add the ground beef. Firmly press the beef down into the bottom of the pan and sear for 3 minutes.
Begin stirring the ground beef often to break it up into fine pieces and cook until the beef begins to crisp. You can also use a masher to get the beef extra fine.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the tomato paste. Sauté for 1 minute or until a fond develops on the bottom of the pan.
Add the cumin powder, onion powder, mushroom soup base powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper to taste. Continue cooking for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
Add water and bring to a boil over medium high. Scrape the bottom of the pan to release the fond that developed. Reduce the heat to medium low, and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until almost all the liquid has evaporated, also called au sec.
Cut the heat, and add the garlic. Mix until incorporated.
Cover and keep warm until ready to use.
For The Queso Sauce
In a medium saucepot, heat the butter until melted over medium high. Add in the yellow onion, poblano, garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until the onion and pepper begin to soften.
Stir in the flour and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes.
Add milk, stirring constantly, and continue to heat until the milk begins to thicken.
Cut off the heat and add in the cheddar and American cheese. Gently stir until everything is melted. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
Keep the sauce warm and covered until ready to use.
For The Toppings
In a medium sized bowl, add the iceberg lettuce, jicama, and cilantro. Toss together until incorporated.
In another medium sized bowl, mix together the cheddar and Monterey jack cheeses.
In a small bowl toss together the tomato, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
Have the sour cream ready for assembly.
Ensure your queso sauce is warm and in a liquid state and your seasoned beef is warm as well.
Gently open up a Chalupa shell and add in some seasoned ground beef, pressing down on the beef to create a base. Top the beef with queso sauce, sour cream, lettuce, cheese, and diced tomato. Assemble the remaining and serve immediately.