Circle B Kitchen

For 12 chalupas

1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

12 (4-inch) corn tortillas (see cooks' note, below)

1 cup shredded cooked chicken, beef or pork

2 to 3 tablespoons crema or crème fraîche thinned with milk or cream

1/3 cup finely chopped white onion (optional)

1 cup shredded cabbage

1/3 cup finely crumbled queso fresco or grated jack cheese

1 cup fresh tomatillo salsa

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 200°F.

*Heat 1 tablespoon oil in cleaned dried skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then briefly cook tortillas, 3 at a time, until softened and hot but still pale, about 10 seconds per side, adding more oil if necessary. Transfer tortillas with tongs to paper towels to drain briefly, then to a large shallow baking pan in oven to keep warm, arranging tortillas in one layer (overlapping slightly if necessary) and covering pan with foil.

Spread each warm tortilla with a little salsa, then top sparingly with a few shreds of meat. Add a little shredded cabbage and then drizzle with crema and sprinkle with onion and cheese. Serve immediately.

Gourmet Note: If not making your own tortillas, look for tightly stacked tortillas in packs of 50 (they can be frozen). They are pressed tightly together to retain moisture and freshness and are available in Latino markets and some supermarkets.

*I also think this step can be done in the oven - spray your tortillas with cooking spray and heat in a 375 degree oven for about 5 minutes.