Sunday, January 9, 2011

Tlalpeno Soup at Cafe Corona

A long, long time ago, I remember...

There was no better way to enjoy a blustery cold winter day than to go to over the bridge to Juárez for lunch. The market was so much fun! Beautiful things to see at Decor and El Patio, then a late lunch at Julio's Cafe Corona. Pitchers of margaritas! And we're talking tequila, triple sec, and lime, none of that phoney mix, nuh-uh.   They were fuerte... but sooo delicious.
And we were young, then.

Julio's still exists in El Paso, and is still wonderful.

But this is how I remember that Tlalpeño Soup. (Pronounced talpenyo). Like a swig of tequila, it warmed your mouth and chest. The heat and smokiness of the chipótle with the fresh sharp onion, tomato and cilantro, mellowed by the rich broth and succulent chicken were perfect compliments. What a dish!

First, cook your chicken and make the caldo (broth). I'm cooking a whole chicken because it makes the broth divine.
I use a pressure cooker, but it really doesn't matter. A soup pot and a long simmer is just fine.

To the whole chicken add celery and onion and garlic, salt and pepper and water. Cook until it is falling off the bone. In a pressure cooker this is about 40 minutes.

When it is cooked, strain the broth from the meat into a colander lined with paper towels, and let the meat cool. This takes most of the fat from the broth without having to chill it.

While the meat is cooling enough to pull off the bones, you can chop up the other ingredients:


Green onion top and a little thin sliced white onion.
Green jalapeño, seeded and finely diced.                                       
Cilantro (or Parsley, if you are averse to Cilantro)

When your chicken meat is removed from the skin and bones and chopped, you can compose your soup.
Put your broth in a saucepan and turn up the heat.

In a soup bowl, put 1 chipotle chile and some adobo (sauce).
Follow that with chicken meat (and be generous, this is a meal!)
A heaping tablespoon each of onion, tomato, and cilantro.  A little bit of the jalapeño.
A half of an avocado, cut into bite sized pieces.
When your broth is SCALDING HOT, pour it over the contents of the bowl.
Serve with limes,  the best bolillos (french rolls) you can find, and butter.  And maybe a margarita!

And there it is.  If only we could go back in time.
If only Juárez could be like it was then.

We are horrified,  daily, at the continuing nightmare of carnage and tragedy in that city.
Please pray for the good people of Juárez, and all of México.


Anonymous said...

Muchimas gracias por los recuerdos. Ahora vivo en Montana, y esta es la receta de mi memoria! Me encanta esa caldo! Estoy nostálgico para el México que una vez conocimos.

Forgive me, I don't get to practice my Spanish much!

Jan said...

Gracias por las palabras graciosas y amables. Es mi caldo favorito tambien! Estoy feliz a reportar que Juarez es mucho mejor, Gracias a Diós! Thanks for making my day!