Here is a sensational Mexican delicacy of crisp wheat tortillas covered with jalapeo peppers, melted cheese, and avocado pure. They can be served as a main course as one would serve pizza or tostadas, or they can be made cocktail-size and served as an appetizer. No drink suits them as well as ice-cold beer.

SERVES 4

3 ripe medium avocados (preferably Hass, or black pebbled-skin variety)

Juice of ВЅ lemon

3 tablespoons sour cream (or 1ВЅ tablespoons yogurt and 1ВЅ tablespoons mayonnaise)

Salt to taste

Freshly ground pepper to taste

8 wheat tortillas

3 tablespoons oil

4 to 5 seeded and minced jalapeГ±oВ peppersimageВ (pickled, canned, or fresh)

3ВЅ cups grated Monterey Jack cheese (about 12 ounces)

  1. Slice the avocados in half vertically and discard the pits. To remove the skin, insert the handle of a spoon between the flesh and the skin and move it all around the avocado until the flesh is released from the skin. Put the flesh in a medium bowl and mash it thoroughly with the lemon juice, sour cream, salt, and pepper. Cover and chill until ready to use, no longer than 3 hours in advance.
  2. Preheat the broiler. Brush both sides of the tortillas with the oil and lay them on a cookie sheet; this will have to be done in batches. Broil on both sides until golden. Keep the broiler on. The tortillas may be prepared up to 2 days in advance. When cool wrap in plastic and keep at room temperature.
  3. Place as many tortillas on the baking sheet as will fit, and top with some of the minced jalapeo peppers. Cover with some of the grated cheese, then broil until the cheese is thoroughly melted. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
  4. Top each chalupa with some avocado pure in the shape of an X (or you can spoon the pure into a pastry bag and pipe it on with a star tube). Serve immediately.

NOTE: You can create cocktail-size chalupas by using 2- to 4-inch tortillas or by cutting tortillas into small triangles.