Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sopa de Fideo: Mexican Spaghetti and then some...

The house is unusually quiet and clean without my almost 2- year old around. She is visiting her grandparents in OK. This is normally where I would make a funny about OK, but alas, I am still a little sad about my crazy-haired girl not being around. Yes, I know she is getting spoiled and has forgotten dear old, I mean, dear young, mom, but that does not make me miss her less. While she is away, I plan on doing some therapy cooking and therapy blogging. 

Last night, I got a hankering for some comfort food. I was still too sad to pull out the big oven mitts and make anything to fantastic, so I chose good old comfort Mexican food, Sopa de Fideo.  Many Mexican households make this dish and many of them have different versions; with or without meat, with or without tomato sauce, use of different spices, thick or soupy. Any version is best served with tortillas. It is very inexpensive to make and versatile. Plus, it is super easy to throw together and is regarded as a one-pan meal! Win-win all around.

Sopa de Fideo was a staple in our house growing up. I remember getting so tired of eating it. Now, as an adult far removed from home, I miss my grandmother's fideo. How could I ever have gotten tired of eating fideo? I would love to go back in time and eat at my grandmother's table. My good friend and babysitter, Marina, has a wonderful version of this dish as well. In fact, I do not mind telling you that my family loves her version better than mine. Heck, I love hers better than mine. In fact, I plan to have her teach me how to make my sopa de fideo like hers.

However, mine will do the trick. It is not chopped liver. Although, I LOVE chopped liver, so if it were I would be fine. My family would not be. 

Here is my version:

1 lb. of meat (chicken, hamburger meat, pork, anything)
5 oz. of Fideo a.k.a vermicelli (found in pasta or Latino section of grocery store)
1 TBSP of Cooking Oil
1/2 - 1 cup of diced onion
2 cups of chicken broth
1/2 cup of water
2 TBSP of tomato sauce
2 TBSP of ground cumin
1 TBSP of taco seasoning
Garlic Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook meat. Remove meat from pan. Preferably in the same pan that meat was cooked in, heat oil with meat juices and fat over medium heat. Add fideo and lightly brown, constantly stirring to avoid fideo from burning and sticking to pan. Add chopped onions while lightly browning fideo. After fideo is lightly brown, add chicken broth, water, and tomato sauce. Stir to blend in liquids. Then, place cooked meat back into the pan. Add seasonings. Cover and simmer for and additional 15 minutes. 
Serves 4. 

Voila! Dinner is served. It really is a dish that takes less than 30 minutes to cook. I make it shorter by adding leftover meat or pre-made meatballs. I also add vegetables to it from time to time. 

You can also omit the tomato sauce or add more tomato sauce to taste. You can also play with the liquid ratio and make this dish as soupy or thick as you want. Remember to adjust the seasoning with extra liquid addition. 

This dish taste great with any meat. I especially love it with pork chops and bits of potato. Good stuff. 

My kids think it is the Mexican answer to Italian spaghetti. 

Give it a try and let me know what you think. 



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Leslie said...

This looks fantastic! I can see why it would be such comfort food and make you think of your youth.

Debbie said...

That looks incredible! I wish I lived close to you and could drop by with a fork and spoon:)

5 Star Foodie said...

Sounds so wonderful! Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe!

Life with Kaishon said...

I have never heard of this... does that mean I am not cool? Darn it!

Jaime said...

i love fideos!