city at night

city at night

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Using My Noodles

In Mexico a formal dinner will often include a "sopa aguada" (a "wet" soup... what we call soup) and, as a second course, a "sopa seca" (a dry soup) which is a pasta or rice dish.  One of my favorite "sopas secas", one that I often order in restaurants as a starter, is "fideos al chipotle".  I found a recipe for it on the internet.  It was in Spanish (I learned a few new cooking vocabulary words) and it was rather vague on some of the specific quantities and times.  But I tried it out, and it ended up tasting just like what I have had in Mexico.

On my last trip to the local Mexican supermarket, I bought several packages of "fideos".

"Fideos" are a type of Mexican noodles.  They are similar to vermicelli but are cut short.  "La Moderna" is perhaps the best-known brand of pasta in Mexico.  

The recipe said to fry one package of "fideos" in oil, on low heat, stirring constantly.  Meanwhile you are supposed to cook tomatoes in boiling water.  The recipe didn't say how many tomatoes, but I used four.

The recipe didn't say how long to fry the pasta, but I kept going until I thought that the tomatoes were cooked.  The "fideos" are then to be put aside on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.

The skins were falling off of the tomatoes, so I removed those.  The recipe said to cut the tomatoes in cubes.  They were too soft to do that, so I simply chopped them up a bit.

Then the tomatoes are fried in the skillet along with a half onion, chopped, two cloves of garlic, chopped, and a canned chipotle pepper along with a bit of the "adobo" sauce in which it is canned.

That mixture is then put in the blender and blended with 3/4 cup of chicken broth.

Pour that blended mixture through a strainer (reserving the liquid) and fry it in the skillet.  Add the "fideos" and cook the noodles, covered, until they are tender and have absorbed most of the mixture.  Add the reserved liquid if needed.  (I needed to add much of that liquid.)

The recipe said not to stir the noodles so as not to break them.  However, I found it necessary to gently turn them with a spatula so that they would not scorch on the bottom.

When they are done garnish them with "cotija" cheese (a crumbly cheese common in Mexico) and a dollop of Mexican "crema" (which is a bit more acidic than our sour cream).

Just as good as what I have ordered at Restaurante El Cardenal in Mexico City!



  1. Looks good! Do you have a preferred Mexican grocery in the Cleveland area? I want to buy some good Mexican vanilla next time I'm in town.

    1. I always go to La Plaza Supermarket which is on Lakewood Heights Blvd. (That's where I buy the tamales.) But I have no idea if they have Mexican vanilla. I will check when I go there again next week.
      Back in the day, I used to buy big bottles of vanilla in Mexico at a ridiculously cheap price when I was down there. Now I never see those big bottles any more.

    2. Thanks for looking for me! My in-laws brought me back a large bottle of vanilla from a trip they took to Mexico probably 15 years ago, and I'm finally running out of it. It's the best vanilla I've ever tasted.