They respect no turf. They will mug you in the taqueria, at the ball park and even at your own dinner table. And those pickled pepper bad boys seek no reform; their pastime pleasure is to pass pain to your palette. And that they do well.
Darryl was a Technical Engineer. Like many, he had a demanding job. Long hours that often had him leaving and coming home in the dark. Not seeing his family was the hardest part. During the work week, he was lucky to get in a half hour with his two sons before bedtime. An ache, familiar to so many fathers gnawed inside him; the pang of seeing time pass before his eyes as he watched his boys grow ever so quickly.
So it was when his youngest son was 7 years old, that they sat across from each other and discovered something that would connect the fabric of their lives; their love for the bite of the spicy jalapeno. It started with salsa; just a friendly father and son competition. Who could load the tortilla chip with the most salsa? Who could eat through the range of colorful salsa choices at the salsa bar? As the little boy grew, he and dad would eat those pickled peppers one after another. Sweat beading on their foreheads, nostrils running; neither crying “uncle”. Mom joined in and drew up a recipe for Tortilla Soup that had just the right spicy jalapeno kick that would make it a family favorite for years.
That little boy grew up and became a cop. While you and I slept during the dark night hours, this officer patrolled the streets. To stay awake, he’d pull into a 7-11 store and buy a few pickled jalapeños. Sitting in his patrol car he’d take a bite out of the biggest one and WOWEE!! He’d be wide awake. Jalapenos: part of our crime prevention team.
Just like dad.
Yes, jalapeños still connect.
Oh, should you ever find your mouth in the middle of a pepper firestorm; do NOT drink water.
All that does is spread the love around.
Now go explore!
Chicken Tortilla Soup (Mimi’s Style)
6 corn tortillas
2 Tbls vegetable oil
1 small onion chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 can chicken broth, undiluted
1 can beef broth, undiluted
1 can cream of chicken soup (Swanson’s was the family favorite)
1/4 chopped fresh jalapeno peppers
3/4 cup chopped cooked chicken breast meat
1 ½ cups of water
1 Tbls steak sauce
1 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp pepper
2 tsp Worcestershire
1 tsp. chili powder
3 cups grated cheddar cheese
Cut tortillas into strips, set aside. Sauté onion & garlic in vegetable oil. Add remaining ingredients except cheese and tortillas. Bring to a boil. Cover. Simmer one hour, stirring occasionally. Add tortillas and cheese. Simmer uncovered 10 minutes.
Makes 8 cups.