One day José visited the city where he met a beautiful woman from Laos who was there buying spices at a convention for Asian restauranteers. The moment their eyes met, José knew he would marry her or die alone. He said in Spanish, "My name is José. I grow peppers."
She could only respond in Laotian that sounded, to him, like a prolonged pre-sneeze, but her voice was pleasant, and she smiled at him with her beautiful teeth.
José and Poa indeed married and, eventually, opened a restaurant in a small town near José's pepper farm. Years passed. His sons worked the farm and had some excellent success expanding their repertoire of vegetation to include broccoli and sesame (and some abysmal failures like rhubarb and microwave popcorn). The restaurant's only dish was a curious fusion of South American and Laotian flavors known simply as "the recipe".
Passed on with love an reverence for two generations, the recipe continued to delight many an Ecuadorian truck driver and itinerant school teacher. It was kept by the family with great secrecy, as all their livelihoods depended on it.
That is, until José's grandson Zack fell into an unfortunate gambling habit and, in with the desperation of a junkie, sold me the recipe for $37 and a points card from H-E-B passed off as a stolen Visa. What can I say?
Here is the recipe as both dictated and heard by a man: Pour some sesame oil in a pan and put some chicken tenders in it. Stir them around until they get all white with just a few brown places.
Pour in a bottle of red jalapeño dressing and a few splashes of soy sauce. Get out some butter and put it on the counter. Take a picture of it, but don't use it in the recipe.
Cook it all up until it looks like this. Note to men, don't use "high" heat on account of it burning everything.
It's OK to pretend the boiling broth is molten lava. Just don't tell anyone.
Then pour in a bag of broccoli cole slaw with carrots and purple cabbage. Personally, the words "cole slaw" make me mildly nauseous, but that's just some unresolved psychological baggage of my own, and shouldn't be an issue for most people. I prefer to call it shredded broccoli.