It started out innocently enough. Just a cook with a dream and a portmanteau, somewhere in a test kitchen, devising a way to make the world a better place. But the Man? The Man had a different idea. The man took this idea, this edible Prometheus’ Fire, and decided that this gift isn’t for the world, it’s for a town. The town of Toledo, Ohio, to be exact.
This injustice will not stand.
My esteemed colleague, Michael_LSRR (nee LoneStarRedRaider), first brought this to my attention when he published this article on this site’s inaugural day, and ever since we have been scheming on a way to bring this delicacy to you, the Red Raider faithful. And so, in honor of the first Gaters Gonna Gate, we decided there was no better way to kick-off (football term) a series than to trail-blaze by inventing a new recipe. Without further ado, I bring to you. . . The
Quesalupa Chalupadilla Quesalaco Chulacadilla. . .
um. . .
The Quesadilla-That’s-Also-A-Chalupa Taco!
For the shells
- 4 cups of flour*
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1.5 cups of warm milk
- 12-16 oz Monterrey Jack cheese, block or shredded (I preferred block)
*Self-rising flour can be used here as well, just omit the baking powder and salt as that’s already mixed in.
For the filling
- 2 pounds ground beef (80-20 works well here for how we’re cooking it)
- 7-8 roasted green chiles, de-skined & diced*
- 1 large white onion, diced
- ~1 tablespoon of salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 bottles of Saint Arnold Santo/dark Mexican beer of your choice
*If you don’t have have these readily available or don’t want to make an effort,, get a medium sized tub of Bueno green chiles in the frozen food aisle
- In a large pot, mix together the meat, onions, chiles, salt, pepper, and cumin thoroughly. You can use a large wooden spoon, but your hands usually work best for this.
- Pour in the beer. Use water to cover the rest of the meat by at least an inch. Bring this to a boil; once it reaches this point, reduce to a simmer. This is going to cook for about 2-3 hours.
- While the meat is cooking, mix together the dry ingredients for the dough. Add the oil into the warm milk. Slowly incorporate the milk and mix until a loose, sticky ball is formed.
- On a floured surface (I use a silicon pastry mat), knead the dough for about two minutes. Technique: fold the dough in half from top to bottom and press it down all over with the heel of your hand. Then, fold the dough over from left to right and press it down all over with the heel of your hand. Repeat. Add flour as needed, and after the 2 minutes your dough shouldn’t be as sticky.
- Cover the dough, let it rest an hour
- After an hour, divide the dough into two large, equal pieces. Then, divide those into 10 pieces each (you’ll have 20 dough balls total).
- Roll one of the balls out into a roughly circular shape, about 6-8″ in diameter. Layer some of the cheese onto this round.
- Roll out another ball the same way, place on top of the cheese round, and crimp/pinch the edges. Try to be as thorough as possible, as the two individual pieces will split apart when frying if you don’t.
- Repeat steps 7 & 8 until you have 10 stuffed shells.
- Heat up some canola oil for frying the shells. This next part is extremely un-scientific on my part, but trust me: it works. As you don’t want to burn the oil, I went with medium-high heat (7) on my gas stove-top. After a few minutes, put the handle of a (clean) wooden spoon into the oil. If tiny bubbles start to pop up around the handle, your oil is ready to go. GENTLY place a round into the oil and let it fry for about 10-15 seconds. Then, using tongs, GENTLY flip it over and let it fry on the other side for about 10 seconds.
If you want it particularly crispy, flip it one more time and let it go until golden brown, probably about another 5-10 seconds. Take out of the oil and place onto a paper towel to drain.
NOTE: if you let them fry for awhile to get really crispy, they may still be a little pliable right after coming out of the oil, but when they dry they’ll get very stiff, so you’ll have to form the shell fresh out of the oil. Use one of those fancy taco molders, or place it between two bricks wrapped in foil, or however you so choose to MacGuyver it. Mine weren’t scorched, so we were able to bend them pretty easy when filling them.
- Your meat will be ready after about 2 hours of cooking; however, I usually let it go until a fair amount of the liquid has cooked out. Whenever you’re ready, drain the meat into a colander and then place it in whatever serving dish you like.
- Grab a shell, fill it with the meat, and top however you so choose. If you want a more chalupa like experience, throw in a layer of refried beans before you put in the meat, then top with lettuce and cheese. As for myself, I prefer street style, always and forever. Dice up some cilantro and onions, apply liberally, and squeeze fresh lime juice on there. Voila.
A NOTE ON YOUR LEFTOVER OIL: Don’t pour this down a drain. As it’s oil and not grease, it probably won’t congeal, but it’s better safe than sorry. Pour it into another container, preferably one with a lid, and throw it away.
NOSTALGIC VARIATION: My crack team of test eaters noted that the shells taste incredibly similar to the fried cheese from a certain Lubbock hamburger joint that’s right across from campus. That said, you can simply form the rounds into sticks, fry them, and serve with marinara or ranch. Versatility!
Special thanks Michael_LSRR for helping me figure out the recipe, and to my
guinea pigs friends Ann, Greg, Ted, Gabe, my brother, & his fiancee for braving the waters of this unproven recipe.