We get the New Orleans Advocate delivered to our house seven days a week and have for years. A proper morning at home consists of the morning paper, a pot of coffee and an old cast-iron pan filled with homemade bacon. Continue Reading
Chris Madrid died in 2012 and now he’s surely rolling over in his grave.
His heirs have sold his eponymous burger joint that Madrid founded back in 1977. Continue Reading
Nubian Queen Lola has departed Austin, Texas for nearby Taylor. We ate countless meals at her restaurant when we still lived in Travis County. The Lake Charles, Louisiana native routinely put out sub $5 meals that would’ve cost thrice that in Acadiana.
Eastside ATX has the details.
We were fiddling around doing a little site maintenance when we noticed our recent Zephyr Wright’s Chili Con Queso article was receiving astronomical traffic.
We vectored in on the sender to discover that the Houston Chronicle had featured us in an article on LBJ’s favorite queso recipe that was routinely trotted out by his legendary cook, Ms Wright.
Thanks for the hat tip Craig Hlavaty.
What we wouldn’t have given to have been in Lamesa, Texas for their big Chicken Fried Steak shootout held last month. The foodways of New Orleans have their charms but careful breading and frying of cube steak is not among them.
Chicken Fried Steak, one of the core foods of the Lone Star state, is held in the same esteem as Texas Red Chili and Oak smoked brisket. Continue Reading
Fideo has a thousand mothers, each claiming primacy. One mujere insists that tomatoes are the most crucial ingredient while another claims that the inclusion of them makes the soup “not fideo” but indeed, the dish must include tomatillas to be considered part of the canon..
We’re late comers to the sopa de fideo tradition. It wasn’t until the late 90’s when a torrid affair found us in Brownsville Texas and at the table of a bona fide culinary genius that we were indoctrinated into the tradition. Efiginea was born in Mexico but has lived in USA for over 50 years. She’s raised 9 children and has countless grandkids and great grandkids. In a family filled with good cooks, this septuagenarian is still the Queen Bee.
When we’re in the presence of superior chefs one course of action must be taken. Out comes the pad and pen and the note taking commences. As Efiginea bustles about in the kitchen we scribble furiously hoping against all hope that we’ll be able to create a reasonable facsimile of this vaunted recipe at some point in the future.
Here’s Sope de Fideo, inspired by Efiginea of Brownsville Texas
1 6 oz packet vermicelli noodles
1 bunch celery
2 each 12 oz cans tomatoes, whole, peeled [ pureed or roughly chopped as to your preference]
1 roasting hen
2 each Onion, yellow, sweet, chopped
8 oz Mushrooms, sliced
1 Bunch, Green onions, giant, chopped
6 each Chiles, Hatch, chopped [poblano would be more traditional]
2 each Chiles, Cayenne, chopped [jalapeno would be more traditional]
4 each Leaves, Bay
1 T. Peppercorns, Black
* In large kettle submerge chicken in cold, salted water with bay leaves and peppercorns
* Bring to boil, reduce to simmer
* Cook one hour or til chicken is done
* Remove hen from water, reserve water
* Shred meat off bone, reserve
* Return carcass to water, bring to boil, reduce to simmer, cook 2 hours
* Remove carcass, discard along with bay and pepper, you now have your chicken stock
* In separate pan cook onions on high heat for 15 minutes
* Reduce heat, cook for 45 minutes more
* Add celery and chiles cook 15 minutes
* Add green onions and mushrooms, cook 10 minutes
* Add onion, celery,chile, mushroom mixture to chicken stock along with tomatoes, vermicelli and chopped chicken
* Simmer everything on stovetop til vermicelli puffs up in broth
* Adjust flavor with salt
* Intense deliciousness is now at the ready
* Buen Provecho
1] I later discovered that it is traditional to fry the noodles in oil or butter prior to their being simmered in the broth. Efiginea did not follow this technique.
2] Also, a lot of fideo cooks add pinto beans, potatoes or both to their fideo. Efiginea added neither to hers.
3] There is also the phenomenon of fideo tacos where the fideo is cooked “down” to the point where the soup is viscous, the noodles are then ladled onto tortillas and served as tacos.
4] Typical garnishes for this soup include avocado, crema, lime juice, chopped fresh onion, cilantro, hard grating cheese and fried tortilla strips
5] There is also the phenomenon of fideo casserole, an intriguing dish if ever there was one and definitely a subject for another post in the future
How do you make your fideo?
Did you grow up eating it or are you new to the canon?
The forty nine states that are not Texas have some catching up to do in the official state food category.
California is pitiable for any number of reasons but especially when it comes to state food as they have zero.
Maine has the whoopie pie, the old timey dessert enjoying something of a renaissance at the moment.
We’re not sure what spawned this revival but we’re all for it. Particularly now that some restaurants are offering homemade versions. Continue Reading