Fideo Con Pollo - 1

This is one of those recipes that I like more and more every time I make it.  It’s not a coincidence that I first tried it in the fall when the weather began cooling down and warm comfort food was just what we wanted. Plus it’s all made in one pan, so there’s less to clean up!

As you know, even though I own a ton of cookbooks, I rarely end up cooking out of them.  However when I was flipping through my copy of Eva’s Kitchen, by Eva Longoria, her recipe for Sopa de Fideo kept catching my eye.  It doesn’t hurt that the picture next to the recipe got my stomach rumbling, but as I read it, it just seemed like such a comforting, every-day type of recipe. Which is probably why it took me months to work up the courage to try it.  I don’t know, I’m weird like that.

Longoria’s version is a hybrid of the traditionally soupy sopa de fideo and the dry version, fideo seco.  The first time I made it, I accidentally doubled the amount of noodles called for and it still turned out fine, which tells  me this is a VERY forgiving recipe, which is important when you get easily distracted like me.

Each time I’ve made it, I’ve tweaked it here and there, adding more spices and changing the technique as I go.  While she sautes the onion and garlic, then browns the fideo before adding the broth, tomato sauce, spices, and finally adding the chicken before letting it all come to a boil and then simmering, I’ve changed the order so that it’s almost as if I’m making a chicken pullao but with noodles.  So I saute the onions and garlic (I also add a bay leaf), then add my spices (I’ve added oregano and hot Mexican-style chili powder) and let the flavors bloom, then I add the chicken, making sure it’s coated with spices, then the fideo, and finally add the broth and tomato sauce before boiling and simmering.  Seems like little changes, but I think it changes the flavor.

I’ve made it with drumsticks, bone-in skinless chicken thighs, boneless skinless chicken breast, and boneless skinless chicken thighs and I prefer the boneless skinless thighs.  When cooking with bone-in meat I have to cook it for a lot longer to make sure it cooks through, but at the risk of mushy noodles.  I really don’t like cooking with boneless skinless chicken breast unless I’m making a stir-fry — it’s so bland and flavorless and if you cook it in something like this it gets tough and stringy.

If you can’t find fideo in the Hispanic foods section of your grocery store, use broken pieces of angel hair or vermicelli.  The original recipe calls for ordinary tomato sauce, but I’ve been using a Mexican-style hot tomato sauce – use whatever you want.  After doing some online research to see how others make their fideo, I started using Mazola Tomato Bouillon with Chicken to get a more authentic flavor.  However, regular chicken broth works just fine.

Anyway, I’ve made this often enough that I almost don’t need a recipe anymore, I know what goes in and how to cook it.  It makes a ton of food for Mr. Spice and me, giving us leftovers for a few days even after generous servings the first night.  Okay maybe even seconds since we’re piggies.  Here’s a link to Longoria’s version of this dish, my version is below.

Fideo Con Pollo - 2
Fideo con Pollo

Adapted from Eva Longoria’s “Sopa de Fideo” recipe in Eva’s Kitchen: Cooking With Love for Family and Friends

Ingredients

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 large yellow onion, chopped

2 teaspoons jarred minced garlic

1 dried bay leaf

2 tablespoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste

1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces

3 to 3-1/2 cups broth made with Mazola tomato bouillon with chicken or regular chicken broth

2 7-ounce cans Mexican hot tomato sauce or regular tomato sauce

2 7-ounce bags fideo noodles or equivalent amount angel hair or vermicelli pasta broken into 3-inch pieces

1 stalk green onion, both white and green parts, sliced

 

Preparation

Heat oil in large deep skillet over medium high heat.

Add onions, garlic, and bay leaf and cook until onions begin to soften and slightly brown.

Add dried spices to onion mixture and stir to combine, cooking for a couple minutes.

Add chicken pieces and stir to coat thoroughly with spice and onion mixture. Cook for a few minutes, then add fideo.

Pour the broth and tomato sauce into the pan, stir to combine all ingredients.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat and cover with a lid, simmering for about 25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked and liquid is reduced to a thick sauce.  Check periodically to make sure the fideo aren’t sticking to the pan, adding water or broth if necessary, but DON’T stir unless you want mush instead of noodles.

Garnish with sliced green onion and serve.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

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Turkish Apricots Stuffed with Sweet, Thick Yogurt

by spiceaholic on February 25, 2015

Turkish Apricots Stuffed with Sweet, Thick Yogurt

After our little trip to Istanbul a few years ago, my already well-established love for Turkish food went into overdrive.  I collected cookbooks, sought out restaurants, and even found a Turkish grocery store near my old office. I’ve dabbled here and there with a few dishes, but I had never attempted to make a dessert.

Then the other day, I was going through some cookbooks and came across a copy of The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook, by Nancy Harmon Jenkins.  After ooh-ing and ahh-ing over several recipes, I ended up in the dessert section and found a recipe for Turkish Apricots Stuffed with Sweet, Thick Yogurt.  It looked simple and easy, which is good, because I tend to get intimidated by dessert recipes. Since this month’s theme for the Stonyfield Clean Plate Club was incorporating their Petite Crème into a dessert, I knew this recipe was perfect for that.

I tweaked the original recipe by substituting orange juice for the dessert wine, using Stonyfield Vive La Vanilla Petite Creme for the sweetened labneh/yogurt, adding some ground cinnamon and skipping the syrup at the end.

Can I just say how cute these are? When stuffing the apricots with the creamy filling, Jenkins says that they “should look like an old-fashioned whoopee pie, with the yogurt oozing out.” And they totally do! These soft and creamy apricot bites are full of Middle Eastern flavor with the yogurt, cinnamon, and pistachio complementing the natural sweetness of the apricots. They look and taste indulgent but are full of healthy ingredients, so eat away!

*Disclosure: Stonyfield Organic provided me with samples of Petite Crème as part of their Clean Plate Club. I did not receive any compensation.

Turkish Apricots Stuffed with Sweet, Thick Yogurt - 3

Turkish Apricots Stuffed with Sweet, Thick Yogurt

adapted from The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook, by Nancy Harmon Jenkins

Ingredients

12 oz. dried Turkish apricots

1/4 cup sugar

2 tbsp. orange juice

5.3 oz Vive La Vanilla Petite Crème or vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt

2 tbsp. finely chopped pistachios

ground cinnamon

 

Preparation

1.  Place apricots in a saucepan and cover with enough water to come to one inch.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until the apricots have plumped up and softened.

2. Take out the apricots and set aside.  Keep 3/4 cup of the cooking water and discard the rest. Add the sugar and orange juice, cooking until the sugar is dissolved.  Add the apricots back and cook for about 20 minutes.  Remove apricots and let cool. Save the syrup if using (I didn’t).

3. Once the apricots have cooled, open them and place a spoonful of the Petite Crème/Greek yogurt inside.  The apricots won’t close up completely, and they do look like little whoopie pies, just like Jenkins says in her book.  I mixed a little bit of ground cinnamon into my Petite Crème but you don’t have to.

4. After the apricots have been stuffed, place in the freezer for a few minutes to firm up the Petite Crème a bit.  Then sprinkle some ground cinnamon, the syrup if you’re using it, and garnish with the chopped pistachios.

Enjoy!

 

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*CLOSED* “Skinnier” Lasagna + Red Gold Tomatoes Lasagna Kit Giveaway

February 1, 2015

A hearty but healthier lasagna with lean ground beef, mushrooms, spinach, low-fat cheese, flavorful tomato sauce and whole wheat noodles – doesn’t this sound like the perfect comfort food for all this cold weather we’ve been having recently? I hope everyone’s been keeping safe and warm, especially those of you in the Northeast affected by […]

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A New Normal

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Don’t Be a Jerk Spicy Baked Sweet Potato Chips + Cooling Yogurt Dip

December 31, 2014

I’ve been going through a potato chip phase lately.  Usually my chips cravings tend towards the nacho cheese tortilla chip spectrum (the store-brand generic ones have MUCH more flavor!), but for the past few months, potato chips have captured my tastebuds. Jalapeno kettle chips, dill pickle flavored chips, Limon (like a spicy tangy lime), cheddar […]

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A Slice of Paradise – Soufriere, St. Lucia Sights

December 12, 2014

We’ve been back from our much-needed trip to paradise for a few weeks and yet every time I look at pictures, I feel like we were just there. And now that it is getting chillier outside, I especially like to fondly remember the beautiful warm weather! Now I must confess that I never did do […]

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Gingersnap Smoothie

December 8, 2014

So when you see “Gingersnap Smoothie,” you are probably already thinking this one of those decadent “smoothies” that is one blurred line away from really being a dessert.  Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but you’re wrong!  As smoothies go, this one has plenty of redeeming nutritional qualities: you get calcium and vitamin D in […]

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Trip Tease — Soufriere, St. Lucia

November 25, 2014

In case you couldn’t tell from my Facebook/Twitter/Instagram activity last week, we were in St. Lucia belatedly celebrating our 10th anniversary! We stayed at the Fond Doux Resort &Plantation in Soufrière, St. Lucia and saw some sights and had lots of tasty bites during our stay. I’ve uploaded most of the pics I took and plan […]

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Easy Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes with Gingersnap Crust

November 14, 2014

You won’t believe how easy it is to make these cute mini pumpkin cheesecakes – they even come with their own gingersnap cookie crusts! This is a variation of the Raspberry Lemon Mini Cheesecakes with Gingersnap Crust that I posted a few years ago. The original version is pretty darn good, but this pumpkin version […]

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