Part of a series where individuals share their stories of misfortune and the recipes that got them through.
Carlos Garcia, Shipping Manager, Downtown Los Angeles
THE UNFORTUNATE STORY
I was a high school fullback at Cerritos Hills High School — Second-team, All-State. For our division’s championship game, I scored a two-yard touchdown to seal the victory. It was only my third carry of the season, but it was a big one. I remember all my teammates chanting, “Chalu-u-u-u-p-a-a! Chalu-u-u-pa!” They called me Chalupa because I was a little bit thicker and tougher than the others.
Fullbacks aren’t used much in football today. I had some pretty good tape, but I didn’t get any scholarship offers out of high school, and none of the teams at my local colleges used fullbacks in their offensive schemes.
I decided to skip college because my mom needed help paying the bills. Today, I work in the wholesale fashion district in downtown Los Angeles. I’m in charge of shipping and returns. It takes some strength to ship a bunch of boxes all day. That’s where my athleticism comes in handy.
Growing up, my mom would make this hotdog recipe for us as a special treat. I thought this was just something our family made with whatever was around — it’s a poor man’s taco — but I found out many other Mexican-American families enjoyed it too. To me, a hotdog is a collection of all the pieces people wanted to throw away. That’s who I am –– I’m a hotdog, and I’m OK with that.
•20 hotdogs (*vegans can use non-meat sausages)
•20 corn tortillas
•canola or vegetable oil
•salsa, ketchup, and/or mustard as dipping sauce
- Lightly toast tortillas on each side above an open stove flame.
- Wrap hotdogs in tortillas, and use a wooden toothpick to hold tortilla wrapped around the wieners. Set aside.
- Heat canola or vegetable oil in pan on a medium-high heat. There should be enough oil to submerge a quarter or so of the hotdogs.
- Once oil is hot, add hot dogs wrapped in tortillas to pan.
- Flipping and rolling when need be, fry the dogs in the pan until each tortilla is a crispy golden brown on all sides. Remove toothpicks to fry the top part last.
- Transfer taqiutos to paper towel when done to soak up excess oil.
- Serve with salsa, ketchup, and/or mustard