So, I am really missing Cafe Rio. Yes, Jenn, Kathi and Billie Kaye, I know that you are all shocked! :-) Each day of the week Cafe Rio has a special. Fridays are Fideo Friday and I would sometimes get that when we would go out for date night. It is really delicous there and I was hoping to recreate it. While this is not exactly Cafe Rio, I think that your family will enjoy it. It was a hit at our house!
2 Tbsp. oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 (12 ounce) package fideo ( I used a 14 ounce package, because that is what they sold!)
5 Roma tomatoes (I used 4 large salad type)
1 large onion, chopped
1 large yellow pepper, chopped
1/2 tsp. ground cumin ( I use a little extra!)
salt and pepper to taste
2 (plus) cups of chicken broth (or water with boullion)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (that is all they have here. At home I would use a 1/2 cheddar 1/2 monterey jack blend)(or colby is good too!)
tortilla strips ( I don't know how to do these.....any help Heidi?)
Put the oil into a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken breasts in the oil until nicely browned on the outside (and cooked through). Remove from the skillet and set aside. Add the onion and pepper to the oil and cook until tender, but not brown. Add the fideo noodles. Cook, stirring constantly until the fideo is lightly browned. Drain off any excess oil and add tomatoes and seasonings. Dice the chicken breasts and return to the skillet. Pour in the water, cover and simmer over medium-low heat until pasta is tender and water has been absorbed, about 10-15 minutes.
Garnish with shredded cheese, sour cream, cilantro and tortilla strips. Eat it and think loving thoughts about me!
A word about the noodles and the water:
They sell fideo in any supermarket. I always bought mine at Walmart or an IGA store. If you can't find them with the regular noodles, look for them with the Mexican food items. At home I only saw them sold as Fideos Corto, which is Cut Fideo..... so they were in small pieces. Here they sold them as very long pieces, all wound up together (coiled vermicelli). Because of this I used like 4-5 cups of broth when I made this last week. You want the noodles covered while it cooks and the Fideos very moist when served. Mess around with the amount of water, checking every few minutes and adding when necessary. I think it probably uses less water is it is the Fideos Corto. You want it saucy when it is done, but not soup.
You can also make this a beef version by using beef broth and cooking steak strips, in place of the chicken. Personally, I wouldn't cook it with hamburger, but to each his own.
The really interesting thing is that this is called "Mexican Spaghetti" by some. When I told my neighbor, Emma Munives, who is from Mexico City, that I was making fideos for dinner she said that in Mexico fideo is only a soup. She had never had it the way that I prepared it (and had assumed was Mexican!) but she really liked it!
So, give this a try. It is relatively inexpensive and way good!
As they say here in the DR "Buen Provecho!"
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