It is impossible to lose weight in Mexico. I’ve tried all sorts of things: increase salad intake, exercise regularly, ignore tight pants. But the food here is too delicious: it draws you in like a good book you never want to put down. You cannot put down. And so I’ve learned to live with tight jeans and I run the extra mile so that the guilt is less, or the appetite is more, I don’t know anymore.
There’s a simple dish that’s captivated my heart. It is given to all the children in Mexico as a staple side dish. Some folks go for rice, in Mexico, it’s Fideos Secos. They are tiny pasta pieces- think vermicelli chopped into ½ inch pieces. But where one would suffice with butter and salt for these babies, the Mexican’s take it to the umpteenth of flavor: slowly cooking them in a beef and tomato broth that gently is absorbed in each tiny noodle, packing it with a rich meat and tangy tomato punch.
That would make me happy. Just writing about it already does. But this is not enough for a Mexican palate, not even a child’s. It is missing its crown, a crown often worn in Mexico cuisine: thick slices of creamy avocado, followed by a drizzle of cream and strips of the irreplaceable Oaxaca cheese. Now the dish is complete. Rich, comforting, and truly Mexican, I could eat bowlfuls of this for supper. But wait, it is only a side dish. More goodies await. Waistline sighs. Soul smiles.
2 cups fideos
I small can tomato concentrate or 1 cup tomato puree
1 tablespoon beef bouillon powder (or 1 bouillon cube)
2 cups water
pepper, to taste
2 tablespoon oil, to fry
1 tablespoon Crema (or sour cream if you don’t have crema)
Oaxaca cheese (or fresh white cheese, such as Mozarella)
Heat oil in a pan and fry fideos until golden. Place them in a paper towel to absorb grease. Add tomato puree and sauté two minutes. Add bouillon, pepper, and water and let boil. Add fideos, allow to reach a boil, lower flame and place lid on pot. Adjust seasoning. Simmer on low heat until liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. Add garnishes.