Once upon a time in the plazas around San Antonio, Texas there were street vendors who sold deliciousness called the chili queens. They specialized in down home Mexican cooking, just like Mama used to make. Despite living for many of my formative years just three hours’ drive away in Houston, I first learned about the chili queens from an article in the Houston Chronicle in 2006, almost 20 years after I had moved away. The recipe was shared as Fideos Mexicanos and looked simple and tasty so I found it online then copied and pasted it into a Word doc, determined some day to try it. Ten long years later, that day has come!
Before I started cooking, I did a little more research about the chili queens of San Antonio and discovered that the beginning of their reign dates back almost 150 years and their pots of chili, tamales, beans and other wholesome cooking were the draw that made plazas of San Antonio come alive at night. They were accompanied by wandering troubadours and the wide mix of customers were there as much for the spectacle and community as the food. If you’d like to learn more about the tradition and history of the chili queens, I recommend this link from University of the Incarnate Word – San Antonio and this story on NPR.
Further research also revealed that there are many recipes for Mexican fideos, also known as sopa seca (dry soup) de fideos (of noodles). Since I had some homemade Mexican chorizo leftover from this enchilada callejera recipe (which, coincidentally, is also street food from a cookbook by San Antonio residents) and some chipotle peppers in the freezer, I mixed and matched a few to come up with this dish. It’s not only tasty but it’s perfect for this month’s Foodie Extravaganza party where we are celebrating noodles. Make sure to scroll down to see all the noodles dishes my fellow members are sharing.
2 tablespoons olive oil
About 10 1/2 oz or 300g Mexican chorizo
8 oz or 227g vermicelli (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 small onion
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 garlic clove
1 can (8 oz or 227g) tomato sauce (not paste)
2 teaspoons chipotle in adobo
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Optional to garnish: sprig cilantro
Chop your onion, garlic and chipotle peppers and set them aside.
Pan-fry your chorizo in one tablespoon of the oil, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks, until it is crispy and brown. Remove the chorizo with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the other tablespoon of the oil to the same frying pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add the noodles to the pan, stirring constantly to prevent them from burning. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until brown. I did that flipping thing with the noodles, like you see chefs do on television. If you can do that without losing all the noodles, it really keeps them moving and browning evenly.
Add the onions, cumin seeds and garlic to the browned noodles and cook for a few more minutes, stirring or tossing regularly to soften the onions.
Add in the tomato sauce, chipotle peppers and 2 cups or 275ml water. Stir well.
Cover and simmer for five minutes. Add the crispy chorizo back into the pot.
Do you have favorite noodle dish or are you looking for new inspiration? I've got some for you!
- Bacon and Beer Mac & Cheese by Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Green Bean and Squash Laksa by Caroline's Cooking
- Haluski (Fried Cabbage & Noodles) by Making Miracles
- Homemade Chinese Noodles by Fearlessly Creative Mammas
- Homemade Noodles by Our Good Life
- Kakaós Tészta (Hungarian Cocoa Noodles) by Tara's Multicultural Table
- MiMi's Baked Ziti by Cooking With Carlee
- Parmesan Garlic Noodles by From Gate to Plate
- Soft Noodles with Veggies and Poached Egg by G'Gina's Kitchenette
- Sopa Seca de Fideo - Spicy Mexican Noodles by Food Lust People Love
- Spicy Shrimp with Peanut Noodles by cookinandcraftin
- Tortellini and Tomato Salad by The Freshman Cook
- Tossed Homemade Macaroni Noodles by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Foodie Extravaganza celebrates obscure food holidays or shares recipes with the same ingredient or theme every month.
Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook group Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you!
If you're a reader looking for delicious recipes, check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out here.