Fideos with pasilla chiles, avocado, and crema


by: Orchid

This sopa seca, or dry soup, from Mexico, made with the skinny, short noodles called fideos, is cooked pilaf style. The result is a soft noodle dish that is sort of an elaborate, spicy version of spaghetti with tomato sauce. Broiled or seared Roma tomatoes are my preference for the sauce, but in winter, a good season for this dish, Muir Glen's Fire-Roasted Tomatoes make an acceptable substitute. Eight ounces of noodles make reasonable portions for four adults, but two hungry teenagers can probably polish it off. I would start this meal with a salad of watercress, pomegranates, and grapefruit, or grapefruit sections with romaine hearts and a lime vinaigrette. With the fideos, drink a Mexican beer or a dry sparkling wine, such as an Italian Prosecco. The sweet and spicy elements call for the scrape of bubbles.


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serves: 4

3 dried pasilla, New Mexican, or guajillo chiles

4 cloves plump garlic unpeeled

3 tablespoons sunflower seed oil

8 Roma tomatoes (or 1 15-ounce can Muir Glen Fire-Roasted Tomatoes, drained and juice reserved)

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 pound short, skinny egg noodles (can be noodle nests or linguine or broken pieces)

3 sprigs parsley (plus a little coarsely chopped parsley to finish)

1/2 cup Mexican crema, creme fraiche, or sour cream

1 (2-3 ounce) chunk feta cheese or queso fresco

1 avocado (peeled and sliced, for garnish)

Pickled Onions for garnish

Nutrition Facts
Fideos with pasilla chiles, avocado, and crema

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount per Serving

Calories: 482

  • Total Fat: 23 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 7.7 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 75.2 mg
  • Sodium: 209.4 mg
  • Total Carbs: 58 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 9.2 g
  •     Sugars: 7.3 g
  • Protein: 15.1 g

how is this calculated?

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1.  Cover the dried chiles with hot water and set them aside to soften while you make the tomato sauce. When soft, tear or cut the flesh into strips. Discard the seeds.

2.  Moisten the unpeeled garlic cloves with a little of the oil, then cook them in a small skillet over medium-low heat, occasionally sliding the cloves around the pan, until the skins are toasted and the cloves are soft, 10 to 15 minutes. If using fresh tomatoes, coat them lightly with oil and grill over an open flame or on an asador (a Mexican stove-top grill) or sear them in a hot skillet to blister the skins. Squeeze the garlic from the skins into a blender and add the charred tomatoes, 1 teaspoon salt, the onion, and the reserved tomato juice plus water to make 1 cup. Puree.

3.  Heat the remaining oil in a 10-inch cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. If the noodles are coiled or long, crumble them into pieces about 1 1/2 inches in length. Add the noodles to the oil and stir them around until they’re lightly browned, then add the tomato sauce and parsley. Add all but a few of the torn chiles, then even out the contents, and adjust the heat to a simmer. Cover the pan and cook until the noodles are soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Season with pepper.

4.  Loosen the cream with a fork, then drizzle it over the surface of the finished dish. Crumble the cheese over the cream, scatter on the remaining chile pieces, and slice the avocado over all. Add a little chopped parsley and some pickled onions and serve, being sure to scrape up all the delectable crust that lurks on the bottom of the pan.

Cooks' note:
First soften the dried chiles and mast the tomatoes for the sauce. Next brown the noodles, then cook them in the sauce. Add the garnishes and serve.

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