Food Buzz

Because maybe you do care what I had for lunch...

Monday, September 08, 2008

Sopa de fiedo

Sopa de fideo is, at its most basic, capellini pasta broken into inch-long pieces, toasted in oil, and then cooked in chicken stock and tomatoes. It's similar to rice pilaf in its preparation. Some people call it Mexican spaghetti, which sounds like something you might order at Chili's. I bought a package of Italian (why?) fideo, but you can just break up a package of capellini.

I remember my mother making sopa de fideo when we were kids. I didn't like it. It was like some sorry version of spaghetti, only with toasted noodles and less sauce. What was the point of that?

But that was back when I was a little philistine. I have since evolved into the kind of person who can face fideo in its own right.

You're learning with me on this one, because this is my first try making fideo. Here's what I made based on recipes I read online.

Mince about 1 Tbs garlic, 2 Tbs onion, and 2 Tbs red bell pepper.

Heat 1 Tbs olive oil in a wide, shallow pan. Stir in garlic, onion, and pepper, saute for a few minutes, and then pour in fideo to toast. You will need to let it sit for a minute or two until one layer toasts. Then stir gently and let another layer toast. Do not continually stir as this will break up the starch bonds and create pudding.

Meanwhile, heat chicken stock to boiling. When the pasta is well toasted, pour in the chicken stock until is just covers the pasta. Add tomatoes (I used three roughly chopped plum tomatoes but add to your own taste) and simmer. Season to taste.

You may need to add more chicken stock while it cooks. When the liquid is nearly gone, taste the pasta to see if it is done.

You can serve fideo with lemon or lime juice, cilantro, cotijo cheese, or sour cream. I added some leftover pork loin while I was cooking mine, but otherwise kept it simple. Jasper at some but said he did not like it on account of the "burnt" pasta. Figures.

1 comment:

Adriana Velez said...

E-mailed comment from my mom:
In Mexican markets or in the Mexican food aisle (sometimes) you find the pasta that is customarily used for fideo. Its very, very thin, very, very long pasta that is curled and shaped into these little nests. It's so easy to break apart because it's just so thin and light. I've never used any other pasta except these little nests for making fideo. Try it next time and you'll see the difference.