Prep time: about 40 minutes
• 8 ripe plum tomatoes
• 2 cloves garlic
• 1/2 small yellow onion
• 1/2 jalapeño, finely minced
• 1/2 teaspoon grated piloncillo (or brown sugar)
• 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 14 oz. fideo noodles (or vermicelli broken into 1-inch-long pieces)
• kosher salt
• freshly ground black pepper
• 3/4 cup queso fresco (or feta)
• 1/2 cup sour cream
• 1 avocado, peeled and sliced thin
1. With a gentle simmer, cook the tomatoes in boiling water for about 6 minutes or until they are softened. Set aside, reserving 2 cups of the cooking water.
2. Once slightly cooled, remove the skins from the tomatoes. Put the tomatoes in a blender with the garlic, onion, jalapeño, piloncillo or brown sugar, and 3/4 cup reserved cooking water. Blend until the mixture is smooth.
3. In a large skillet, add 1 1/2 tablespoons oil and heat over medium heat. Fry the fideo noodles until they are golden brown in color, being sure to prevent them from burning by stirring.
4. Let the fried noodles drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Remove any scorched noodles from the pan and add another 1 1/2 tablespoons oil. Repeat with the remaining noodles.
5. Clean the pan and add the last tablespoon oil. Over medium heat, carefully add the tomato purée and cook it about 5-6 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
6. Add the fried fideo and cook over low-medium heat for about 4-6 minutes or until all of the sauce is absorbed. The noodles should be al dente. If they seem underdone, add a little more of the reserved cooking water as needed.
7. Serve the fideo topped with the crumbled queso fresco, sour cream, and sliced avocado.
Recipe courtesy of Karla Sorrentino
Chef & Proprietor, TASTE by karla sorrentino