The Daring Cooks Get Corny, Chalupas and Crusty Soft-centered Spoon Bread

 I have been looking into new ways of using cornmeal this past month.  Yes we like cornmeal pancakes a lot, waffles, tamales and even Corn Dodgers, polenta is a favorite, as well cornbread.  Still, we need to get out of our boxes.

Rachael of pizzarossa was our August 2012 Daring Cook hostess and she challenged us to broaden our knowledge of cornmeal! Rachael provided us with some amazing recipes and encouraged us to hunt down other cornmeal recipes that we’d never tried before – opening our eyes to literally 100s of cuisines and 1000s of new-to-us recipes!

The first recipe I tried was for a Crusty Soft-center Spoon Bread, which I had heard of and considered making in the past.  It sounds so yummy, I guess I just needed the impetus of this challenge to forge ahead.  Turns out to be a combination of cornbread  and pudding.  I added some grated cheese to the top, and we thought it was great.

The recipe, which was from my old Joy of Cooking, will follow. 

Next came Chalupas, a fairly obscure Mexican specialty, at least where we live, and I thought they would make a good entry for this challenge.  A type of tostada from south-central Mexico, particularly the states of Puebla, Guerrero and Oaxaca, they are much easier to make than tortillas (unless you are an accomplished tortilla maker), so tortillas for the amateur.  

Thicker and less flexible though, as they don't fold over without breaking.  So, what you do is pile on the toppings and eat with a fork.  Very scrumptious.  I made a Guava Salsa, some guacamole and crema to go with the jalapeno black beans and cheese for toppings.  They are quite filling and we found that one each was plenty.

In case you might have one chalupa left, you can do as I did the next morning and top it, warmed up, with the cheesy beans and an egg.  A bit of salsa and some fresh pineapple on the side, oh boy!

for 5
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups masa
1/2 teas. salt
3/4 cup water
Make ahead:
1 recipe Guacamole 
Refried beans with cheese
Crema and Salsa
shredded lettuce, sliced green onions

For the dough, beat butter in a small bowl until fluffy.  Mix in the masa, salt and enough water so that the dough holds together well.  Divide into 5 equal parts and pat out to 5" circles on waxed paper.

Heat griddle on medium.  Flip rounds of dough off the paper onto ungreased griddle and fry til light brown (about 3 minutes each side).  Serve with toppings.

Crusty Soft-Center Spoon Bread
From Joy of Cooking

Preheat oven to 375F

Sift together:
1/4 cup AP flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teas. salt
1 teas. baking powder
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
Stir in until well blended:
1 beaten egg
1 cup corn kernels (canned or shucked), drained
1 cup milk
Melt in a high-rimmed 8x8 inch baking dish:
2 tablespoons butter
Pour in the batter.  Pour over the top:
1/2 cup milk
Bake 45 minutes or more, until good and crusty.

I sprinkled on about 1/2 cup shredded jack cheese before baking. I also cut back on the milk to be poured over the top and would follow the recipe next time.  Still very good, but would probably be moister inside with the full amount.



My name is Andy. said...

I've never made chalupas, but they look very yummy, so I must try. I love your spoon bread too. Thanks for sharing.

Kim said...

I absolutely love chalupas, and making them from scratch is one of the things I thought of doing too. In south Texas though they are made with crisper thinner tostada shells, I may need to give your recipe a try! Thanks for sharing it! As for the spoon bread, I could almost put a spoon in the screen to scoop some out. That looks so yummy!

Monkeyshines in the Kitchen said...

Oh you take me way back! My mom used to make chalupas with the leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. Yum! I sure wish I'd thought of that - yours look just fantastic!

I've never had spoon bread, that's also quite intriguing. It looks utterly delish!

Esther said...

Nice Claudia, I like the chalupas, what is exactly masa, is that the same thing as corn flour, or is it a special kind?


Anonymous said...

Both your recipes look amazing! Bookmarked :)

mjskit said...

Both of these recipes look great!!! I grew up with spoonbread but haven't had it in ages, so thanks for bringing it back. The chalupas look perfect!!! Great job with this challenge!

Ruth Ellis said...

These look delicious - and what a fantastic breakfast!!!!

Claudia said...

Thanks all - Esther, I've put a link on the masa, basically corn meal treated with lime, which makes it more digestible.

Swathi Iyer said...

Delicious chalupas, love this spoon bread idea.

Joanne said...

I love all things that involve corn although I've never had chalupas OR spoonbread! Need to change that!