One Christmas, my husband and I got to my aunt and uncle’s before the rest of my family arrived. I got a text a couple days before saying to come hungry and that we’ll be having a fun dinner - Fideos with Chorizo. I had no idea what this meal was, but was pumped. My aunt doesn’t make a bad meal. She is the one I strive to emulate most in the kitchen. She knows everything, she can taste recipes before she cooks them, and has the preparation of a great dinner party down to a science (believe me, I’ve seen the meal prep itineraries, printed and timed out to a tee). Anyway, fideos were in our future and a fun night indeed.
As always, we had the most marvelous time together. And the night was only further enhanced by the fideos. Savory, spicy, rich, fresh, varied flavors and textures all melded together in a way I’d never experienced before.
Fideos is a popular toasted noodle dish in Mexican cuisine ("fideo" = "noodle" in Spanish). Here we use chorizo and tomato purée to build a rich red sauce, and top it with a bevy of accoutrements for a full-on flavor explosion.
This recipe comes from Dana Cowin’s cookbook, “Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen.” It’s full of wonderful recipes and lessons learned. Her tips for this messy meal are to 1.) break the pasta into small pieces in a large Ziploc bag, and 2.) toast the pasta in a large, deep pan, working in batches. Great advice. (Although now you can skip tip #1 and buy fideo pasta shapes at mainstream grocery stores, which saves you time and mess.)
Hot damn it is so good! We all had seconds. And the next day for lunch, I ate the leftovers. And then again for snack. I couldn’t help myself! When my husband and I got back to Chicago 5 days later, we made it again. And then a few weeks later, we had a dinner party and made it again. Everyone else seemed to enjoy their first fideos experience as much as we did. I can’t wait to make it again.
- 1 pound angel hair pasta or fideo pasta
- 3 TB unsalted butter
- 3/4 lb Mexican chorizo, casing removed
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-3 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, seeded and minced, or to taste (add more/keep seeds if you want more of a kick)
- 1 cup tomato purée
- 3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
- Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
- Shredded cheddar or shaved manchego cheese
- Cilantro, chopped
- Radishes, thinly sliced
- Sour cream
- Lime wedges
- Prepare garnishes
- Fideo noodle prep:
- In Dana Cowin’s words: “Put the angel hair in a large resealable plastic bag, seal the bag and break the pasta into 2-inch lengths (the bag keeps the pasta from flying all over the place)”
- In my own: buy the fideos pasta and the hard part is done for you (they’re closer to 1-inch length, which makes it much easier to stir in step 5)
- In a large deep skillet (soup pot or dutch oven work well), brown butter over medium heat by stirring constantly, about 2 minutes
- Add pasta to butter and stir to coat
- Stir pasta until it’s brown and toasted, about 5 minutes. It may be easier to work in batches (See photos below for pasta color reference)
- Transfer cooked noodles to a large bowl
- Increase to medium-high heat and add the chorizo. Crumble the meat with a wooden spoon about 5 minutes, until cooked and nicely browned
- Stir in garlic and chipotle about 1 minute, until fragrant
- Add tomato purée and stir occasionally, until thickened, about 2 minutes
- Stir in chicken stock and bring to a boil
- Once boiling, add fideo pasta and simmer, stirring frequently for about 4 minutes, until the pasta is al dente and coated in a thick sauce
- Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately with garnishes
Tip: Steps 1-5 can be done before your guests arrive.
Source: Adapted from Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen - Dana Cowin