Mexican chalupas with ground beef

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Change up taco night by swapping the tortilla base for a chalupa. This Mexican dish shares its name with a boat, thanks to the shape of the chalupa shell: a shallow cup perfect for filling with delicious ingredients. In the recipe below, the chalupas are filled with a combination of seasoned beef, refried beans, vegetables and cheese.
You can find chalupa shells in many supermarkets, but if you ever have a hard time, you can also substitute tostada shells or even plain, griddled tortillas. Simply grease them on both sides with a touch of oil or lard, and cook in a nonstick pan until slightly browned on both sides. They'll be slightly crispier than a true chalupa, but just as delicious.
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Beef chalupas
8
10 minutes
20 minutes
30 minutes
1 tablespoon lard
1 pound lean ground beef
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1-2 teaspoons adobo sauce, from a can of chipotle chiles (or to taste)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
8 chalupa shells
One 16-ounce can refried beans
2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
2 tomatoes, diced
Heat the lard in a skillet over high heat. Add the beef, and cook until browned. Stir in the tomato paste and adobo sauce, and season with salt, chili powder and cumin. Set aside.
Heat the chalupa shells on the stovetop or in the oven, according to package directions. Heat the refried beans in a saucepan or in the microwave, and fold in half of the cheese.
Spread each of the chalupa shells with the bean and cheese mixture, and top with a portion of the beef. Sprinkle with cheese, lettuce and tomato, and serve.
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