Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sopa Seca de Fideo con Tomatillo y Queso

The Bay Area is a pretty magical place for fresh produce, but even with nearly year-round abundance, late summer is a pretty magical time of year. I had initially passed over this recipe while flipping through this cookbook, but while searching for a way to celebrate the availability of fresh tomatillos at the market, I looked at this one with fresh eyes. Tomatillo salsa, chorizo, pasta, chevre, and avocado! How had I passed over this one? If you want to simplify this recipe into quick and easy territory, I think you could easily replace the homemade tomatillo sauce with 1 cup of quality jarred stuff. Not that it's difficult to make, but it is sometimes hard to find fresh tomatillos depending on your location and it will save 20 minutes (and the first 2 steps), moving this into a quick weeknight meal. The author suggests Hoja Santa for the chevre, but I didn't feel like hunting for it. I also went with a slightly thicker pasta than the recommended capellini.

Two years ago: Chilled Cucumber Soup
Three years ago: Gooey Ginger Chicken
Four years ago: Pearl Couscous with Olives, Roasted Tomatoes and Feta

Sopa Seca de Fideo con Tomatillo y Queso (from Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese)

12 ounces tomatillos, husks removed
1 - 2 serrano chiles, stems removed
1/4 medium onion
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
5 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
4 ounces Mexican chorizo, crumbled
7 ounces capellini, broken into 1/2" pieces
1 tsp sea salt (less if your stock is on the salty side)
2 1/3 cups chicken stock
1 (5 ounce) round of Hoja Santa or other chevre, chopped and broken apart
1 avocado, seeded, peeled, and diced
crema fresca or sour cream (I omitted because I forgot to buy some!)

1. Place tomatillos, serrano chiles, and onion on a sheet pan and broil for 15 minutes until charred.
2. Place broiled vegetables along with garlic and cilantro in blender. Puree.
3. Place 3 tbsp of oil in large saucepan and heat over medium-high. Add chorizo and cook 3 - 4 minutes until crispy. Use slotted spoon to remove and set aside.
4. Add pasta to saucepan and return to medium-high heat. Cook in chorizo oil until well browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
5. Add remaining 2 tbsp of oil to pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add tomatillo salsa and salt. Allow to reduce for about a minute (only a 1/4 cup reduction).
6. Add pasta and cook until it absorbs the liquid.
7. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook undisturbed fro 15 - 17 minutes or until pasta is soft, but not mush and liquid has mostly been absorbed.
8. Scoop into bowls and garnish with fried chorizo, chevre, avocado, and crema fresca. You can also garnish with more cilantro if desired.

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