Showing posts with label Mexican. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mexican. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Sopa Seca de Fideo - Spicy Mexican Noodles #FoodieExtravaganza

A deliciously spicy noodle dish with roots in Mexico, this sopa seca de fideo or dry noodle soup is made with fine vermicelli, Mexican chorizo, chipotle peppers and tomato sauce.

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.

Stir well and cook, covered, for another few minutes or until the noodles are soft. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Do you have favorite noodle dish or are you looking for new inspiration? I've got some for you!

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.


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Enchiladas Callejeras with Chicken and Mexican Chorizo

From the shredded chicken inside to the sauce-soaked pan-fried tortillas and the Mexican chorizo hash on top, these enchiladas callejeras are too many bites of wonderful to count.

One of the things I really, really miss living overseas is Mexican food, or I should properly say Tex-Mex since that’s what I grew up on in Houston, Texas. It’s almost always the first meal out when I go home. And I always order the enchiladas with a crispy taco on the side. That’s why I jumped at the chance to get a copy of Enchiladas - Aztec to Tex-Mex by Cappy Lawton, who currently owns three restaurants in San Antonio, and Chris Waters Dunn, a Nashville songwriter and record producer turned food writer. I could recreate those wonderful meals at home? Yes, please!

Enchiladas - Aztec to Tex-Mex: What started out as a small exploration of enchiladas – things enhanced with chili peppers – became a treatise on ALL the enchiladas, from ALL the regions of Mexico and beyond. I hesitate to use the word "definitive" because it is so overused in book reviews and someone is bound to leave a comment about some enchilada their abuela makes that wasn’t covered, but, dang, there’s a lot of information there! The book is divided into three sections covering ingredients, fundamentals and then recipes. Read through the first two before checking out the recipes. You will be so glad you did!

If you’d like to buy your own copy of Enchiladas - Aztec to Tex-Mex, it’s available at <affiliate link or get a signed copy on their website.

I have permission to share the recipe for Enchiladas Callejeras with you today and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Yields 12 enchiladas / Serves 4
For the sauce:
4 guajillo chiles or chiles de árbol, destemmed, deveined, deseeded
10 ancho chiles, destemmed, deveined, deseeded
1 medium white or yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons (18 grams) kosher salt
1 cup (237 ml) olive oil
(This makes way more sauce than you need! Save the leftovers for another dish!)

For the filling:
3 cups or 390 grams cooked, shredded chicken

For the chorizo/vegetable topping:
8 ounces (227 grams) chorizo
1 large Yukon Gold potato, peeled, medium dice
1 large carrot, peeled, medium dice
1⁄2 cup (65 grams) frozen green peas, thawed

For the assembly:
12 corn tortillas, preferably a day old

For the garnishes:
Crema Mexicana
Queso fresco
Avocado slices
Jalapeños en escabeche (pickled)

Cook the diced potato and carrot in salted water until they are just done. I cheated by cutting the potato a little bigger than the carrot so I could pop them all in the same pot.

Now the sauce:
Place the prepared chilies a few pieces at a time on a comal (or iron griddle or skillet) over medium heat and dry roast until fragrant, about 30 seconds per side

Place chilies, onion, garlic, salt, and 4 cups (946ml) hot water in a blender. Let sit for 5 minutes to soften chilies.

Blend at medium speed into a smooth purée. Then, with the blender running, add the olive oil in a slow steady stream and process until emulsified.

Strain the sauce into a pan, then warm over medium heat.

Warm through, taste, and adjust seasoning. Cover and set aside. (No need to keep warm.)

To prepare the chorizo/vegetable topping:
Remove the casing (or cling film if you are using homemade) and crumble the chorizo into a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently to break up the chorizo, until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes.

Add the just cooked potatoes and carrots and gently stir to combine. Cook, gently stirring occasionally, until the edges of the potatoes barely begin to brown.

Remove from heat, stir in the peas, cover, and keep warm.

To assemble the enchiladas:

Gently warm the shredded chicken. Have the topping and garnishes ready and at hand.
Warm 4 individual serving plates.
Heat a 9-inch (23 cm) non-stick sauté pan or pancake griddle over medium-high heat. (The pan with
sauce should be nearby.)

Dip each tortilla in the sauce, making sure it’s well coated.

Place in hot sauté pan, and quickly sear for about 3 seconds per side—just long enough for the sauce to begin to caramelize.

Place 2 tablespoons shredded chicken on the tortilla, fold in half, and place on an individual serving plate.

Wipe the sauté pan with a paper towel and reheat. Repeat the process with the remaining tortillas, slightly overlapping the enchiladas on serving plates, 3 per serving. When the enchiladas are plated, top with a drizzle of crema Mexicana.

Add a generous scoop of the chorizo/vegetable mixture and a sprinkle of queso fresco. Place the avocado slices and jalapeños en escabeche to the side of the enchiladas.


Disclaimer: I was sent one copy of Enchiladas - Aztec to Tex-Mex for review purposes.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sopa de Albóndigas or Mexican Meatball Soup

When we were preparing to move to Cairo, I found a website that gives all kinds of personal advice, written by people who have been posted worldwide by the US State Department.  They clearly had a questionnaire they were following and I am sure this information was supposed to be for the benefit of other State Department folks but I came to it through a link from a friend (Thanks, Sabine!) and I wasted time researched, for many hours.  (Hey, you never know where we will go next!  Reading other country reports is still research.  Check it out!)  The questionnaire respondents were full of vital information about their postings in Cairo (and elsewhere) and I got a good laugh from many of the answers.  My favorite question though, because it was so unexpected, was “What would you leave behind?”  Some respondents didn’t answer this one.  But what I thought was the best answer, based on the annual Cairene weather forecast was ”An umbrella.”  And then, I moved to Cairo. 

The wind was howling last Friday and then the rain came on.  Yes, the rain came on.  Which, as you know, means – say it with me – a soup day.  And while a soup day in KL was JUST rainy, a Cairene soup day in February is also chilly.  Hallelujah!

LOOK! The aftermath:  It's all wet and our one piece of outdoor furniture
was blown clear into the yard by the strong winds.  Yeah, our shipment hasn't been delivered yet.
   Forty-four days and counting.  Thanks for caring.

I made a lovely soup adapted from a recipe in my Christmas cookbook, which you have all heard about before, Fried Chicken and Champagne.  This is not fancy but it has a lovely flavor that puts me in mind of tortilla soup.  I think it must be the cilantro (fresh coriander) and ground cumin.  I can highly recommend it.

For the soup:
1 tablespoon butter
Olive oil
1 small onion
1 medium carrot
2-3 cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tomatoes
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano (I didn’t have any so I substituted regular oregano.)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 cup chopped celery
1 bunch of cilantro or fresh coriander
1 1/2 quarts chicken stock  (Water and stock cubes are fine.)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Sea salt
Black pepper

For the meatballs:
1 lb or 500g of ground beef
1 small bunch of cilantro or fresh coriander
1/4 cup of uncooked long-grain rice
2 eggs
Sea salt
Black pepper

Chop your onion and carrots and slice the garlic finely in the melted butter with a little drizzle of olive oil.   Cook until they are tender.

Meanwhile, chop your tomatoes, celery and cilantro.

When your sautéed vegetables are ready, add the tomatoes, cilantro, celery, then the cumin, oregano and cayenne. 

Add in the chicken stock and the tomato paste and the half-teaspoon of sugar.

Bring to the boil and then let this simmer while you make your meatballs. 

For the meatballs, chop the cilantro finely and mix it in well with the ground beef, rice, eggs and a good sprinkle of the salt and pepper.

Using a couple of teaspoons, drop small amounts of the mixture onto a flat surface and then roll them into little balls.  As you can see, I got 30+ meatballs out of my mixture.

Drop the meatballs gently into the simmering soup and stir very carefully to separate them.  You do not want to break them up.  

Simmer for another 20-30 minutes or until you are sure the meat and rice in the meatballs are cooked.  

You can garnish with some additional cilantro to serve, but I completely forgot that step.