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My dear friend Shun, as I affectionately call her, shared this dish with me many moons ago, and I was hooked after my first try. Fideos (noodles) are a simple symphony of spicy, smoky and fresh flavors. It is sometimes called sopa de fideos, which translates to dry noodle soup.
It makes for a great side dish, but I often eat it as a main course. Traditionally, it is served with crema fresca (creme fraiche), queso fresco and avocado. A great option for a meat-free menu, and delicious to boot. Another plus, it is prepared in a jiffy - rapidito! I made this batch at the last minute to take to a party and was unable to find tomatoes that were ripe enough, so I opted for good canned ones. Likewise, I had no luck in the avocado front, so no avocados for me! You decide how much heat you want and adjust the number of serranos accordingly, you may also remove the seeds, this will further reduce the heat level.
Fideos a la Shun
12 oz fideo pasta or angel hair
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion
2 garlic cloves, whole
1 or 2 serrano peppers, to taste
5 fresh Roma tomatoes, ripened OR 1 can (15 oz.) stewed tomatoes
2 tablespoons chicken flavor bouillon (like Knorr or Maggi)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Queso fresco, crumbled
Avocado slices or small cubes
I would suggested getting the sauce ready first. Shun's recipe calls for the onion, garlic, serranos and fresh tomatoes to be roasted first. You can skip this step, but it does add an intensity and complexity to the dish, so if you have the time --about 10-15 extra minutes-- you should do it.
I use my comal (grill pan) for this, getting it nice and hot, then sear the sliced onion, whole serranos, garlic and fresh tomatoes. Once seared, dump the whole thing into your blender or food processor, adding the chicken bouillon, cumin, oregano, salt & pepper and enough water to get things moving. Set aside.
Heat a large saute pan over high heat add the oil and break the pasta into it, the purpose of this step is to toast the pasta, but don't walk away, it burns rather quickly and that will ruin the flavor of the dish. The noodles will change color and turn golden brown.
Carefully, VERY carefully add the pureed sauce and watch yourself! It becomes the evil spitty monster at this point, add enough water to ensure the noodles are submerged in liquid. Lower the heat so it simmers gently, check the seasoning and adjust as necessary.
The noodles should be al dente, when done. It will take about 20 minutes for the pasta to cook and you may need to add more water as it cooks down. To plate: spoon some noodles onto a plate, top with crema, avocado and the crumbled cheese. Pull up a chair and enjoy!
PS: Thanks, Shun!
Other recipes by Anamaris:
Puerco en Salsa Verde (Pork in Green Sauce)
Sopa de Arroz con Pollo
A Tale of Two Rice Recipes
Cod in Creamy al Ajillo Sauce
Arroz con Coco (Coconut Rice)
Panamanian Pasta: Johnny Mazzetti
Sopa de Res con Arvejas (Split Pea and Beef Soup)
Yuca Delights: With Mojo or Spicy Mayo-Ketchup
Chuletas Guisadas (Stewed Pork Chops)
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