I am not quite sure where this inspiration came from. Today was very windy which gave the impression that it was cold outside, when in reality, it was quite warm. But the howling wind made me think of comfort food and comfort food made me think of chili. A trip to the grocery store sent the whole thing in a different direction. What started out as chili with beans became my version of Mexican Spaghetti. I was inspired to change it up by a macaroni product in the Hispanic food aisle that looked like little pieces of broken spaghetti.
fideos Pronunciation: fih-DAY-ohs Notes: Mexican and Spanish cooks use these short, curved strands of pasta in soups.
I decided to forgo the beans and add the pasta and see what happened. I loved it, while Michael hated it. He said it had too many green and red things and it reminded him of things his mother tried to make him eat as a kid. I could eat it everyday for a week and still look forward to it, but I like green and red things in my food. In this instance the red things were fire roasted chopped tomatoes and the green things were chopped jalapeno peppers. Yum. I am going to have to start adding more blue things to Michael’s meals. I am running out of colors. For you fans of red, green and a little kick, this one’s for you!
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 1 red onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds and membrane removed and chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 16 oz can fire-roasted chopped tomatoes
- 2 cups water
- 3 TBS chili powder (less if you like it less spicy)
- 2 TBS Salsa Chipotle (or one chipotle pepper) ( spelled chilpotle in Mexico)
- 8 ozs (uncooked weight) Fideo macaroni from the Hispanic food aisle
- Diced avocado
- Sour cream
- Grated Cheddar Jack cheese
- Fritos Scoops on the side
Brown the ground beef in a hot skillet till crumbly. Pour off grease, remove from skillet and set aside. Heat the olive oil to medium then add the onion, garlic, and jalapeno pepper. Cook until the onions are translucent but be careful not to burn the garlic and pepper. Add the ground beef back to the pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour in the tomatoes, water, chili powder, and chipotle. Reduce heat and simmer for about 25-30 minutes until the tomatoes fall apart and the water is reduced. Feel free to taste along the way and add more chili powder and/or chipotle salsa as you go. I actually used more but wrote the recipe for those with a more sensitive palate. Cook the macaroni in boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain and add to the sauce. Serve with diced avocado, sour cream, and cheese on top. Pour a big pile of Fritos Scoops on the side for dipping.