Tag Archives: angel hair pasta

Chicken Fideo Soup (Mexican Chicken Noodle Soup)

29 Oct
Chicken Fideo Soup

Chicken Fideo Soup

After two weeks of temps in the 60s and 70s, the weather plummeted into the 30s. Cold, chilly rain, mixed in with snow. So what’s better to ward off the chill than a pot of spicy, steamy soup?

I have to once again thank my friend Richard over at REMCooks. He lives in Texas, and is a man after my own heart for spicy food. When I saw this soup recipe he posted last week, I told myself I just HAD to make it. And with the colder weather, I did.

It was a tad too spicy for my hubby, but he tempered it with some sour cream. Me and my daughter ate it “as is.” But the hubs went back for a second serving and the daughter swilled hers down, so it rates two thumbs up in this household.

I used the method to add the broth that Richard recommended, which makes this longer to make, but it is sure worth it. I adapted his recipe by de-seeding the Serrano peppers to give it less heat and used fairly small ones, and I also doubled the tomatoes. I wanted to use my homemade canned tomatoes for it, so I picked my least-filled jar of them and ended up with about a cup. (You could use a 14-ounce store-bought can if you don’t have homemade, just drain it first.) I also used Mexican Oregano instead of regular and added a pound of chicken breast meat because the boneless breast I had was that size.

This makes a big pot of soup, and it reheated well the next day for a delicious lunch. And if you are feeling really feisty the day you cook this, you can do like I did and poach the chicken and make the homemade chicken broth for the soup at the same time!

Fideo Soup Ingredients

Fideo Soup Ingredients

Chicken Fideo Soup (Mexican Chicken Noodle Soup)
Adapted from Fideo Soup with Chicken (Sopa de Fideo con Pollo) by REMCooks

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup onion, chopped
2 Serrano chiles, stemmed and de-seeded (use 1 if you don’t like too spicy)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup of homemade canned tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon dried Mexican Oregano, crushed
6 ounces Angel Hair Pasta, snapped into 1 to 2-inch pieces (or pre-cut Fideo)
6 cups homemade chicken broth, or low-sodium canned
1 pound cooked chicken, chopped
Cilantro for garnish

Add two tablespoons of the oil to a medium pot over medium heat and cook the onions and peppers for several minutes until starting to soften. Add the minced garlic, and cook for about another minute. Next add the oregano and the tomatoes, stir to combine, and cook for a few more minutes. Pour the mixture into a blender with 1/2 cup of water, and puree until smooth. Set aside.

Spicy Tomato Mixture

Spicy Tomato Mixture

In a large pot or dutch oven, add the other 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-low heat, add the noodles and stir. And stir, and stir, and stir! You want to stir them constantly to evenly brown them, and if you walk away for a minute you might burn them! This took me about 10 minutes to get them to a light brown color.

Browned Angel Hair Pasta

Browned Angel Hair Pasta

Next add the tomato mixture from the blender, increase the heat to medium, and add 2 cups of the chicken broth. Bring up to a simmer and boil for about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure the noodles don’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Now cover, and lower the heat and gently simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, add 2 more cups of chicken broth and bring back up to a simmer for another 15 minutes. Finally, add the last 2 cups of broth and simmer covered for yet another 15 minutes. Uncover, add the chicken, and simmer for a few more minutes until the chicken is heated through. Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro. Spicy goodness in a bowl!

Chicken Fideo Soup

Chicken Fideo Soup

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Spinach, Artichoke, Chicken, and Mushroom Alfredo Pasta

1 May
Chicken, Spinach, Artichoke, and Mushroom Alfredo Pasta

Chicken, Spinach, Artichoke, and Mushroom Alfredo Pasta

This is the third variation I’ve made of this dish over the past couple of months, but the options are endless and it only takes a half hour to make from start to finish. That makes it my go-to recipe when I’m pinched for time. I’ve served this with just the spinach and noodles as a side dish, then I also made it a meatless main by adding artichokes. I think I’ve maxed out the ingredients this time around by also adding chicken and mushrooms to that growing list!

Getting this ready in a half-hour with chicken means you need precooked chicken. I used the leftover grilled chicken from the night before, but you can also use a rotisserie chicken from the deli.  I made way too much, as adding the chicken and mushrooms just put it over the top in quantity category for the three of us, especially since I over-eyeballed the pasta amount. Somebody PLEASE tell me how much dry pasta to boil for three?!  But it made great leftovers the next night.  All I had to do was add a little milk to the saucepan while reheating it to loosen it up, and it came out great. Since we didn’t have as much leftovers to eat as the night before, a side salad was served for round two.

Adding the Chicken and Spinach to Alfredo and Artichokes

Adding the Chicken and Spinach to Alfredo and Artichokes

Spinach, Artichoke, Chicken, and Mushroom Alfredo

1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 to 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or cubed

Plus, follow the recipe from this blog entry Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Angel Hair Pasta,   except add the mushrooms when sauteing the garlic, then add the cooked chicken when adding the artichokes. That’s it! Dinner on the table in a half hour, really! So sorry for the shortcut recipe, but I’m short on time these days.  🙂

Egg Drop Noodle Soup with Mushrooms and Spinach

13 Apr
Egg Drop Soup with Mushrooms and Spinach

Egg Drop Soup with Mushrooms and Spinach

Here’s a quick and easy soup I made for lunch the other day, but it’s filling enough for a meatless main and packed with protein and nutrients. I actually had it in mind to  make a turkey noodle soup with the leftover turkey breast I had hanging around in the fridge, but at the last minute I switched it out with eggs because, well, that’s what I do sometimes. After I ladled this into a bowl and took all my photos, I took a sip and frowned, thinking, “something is missing.” DOH! I forgot the lime juice and cilantro. I poured my bowl back into the pot, squeezed in the lime, and chopped up some fresh cilantro, and mixed that in. There, much better.

But I didn’t retake the photos, because I was on lunch break and had to eat and get back to work. And that brings me to a very important lesson in cooking. Always taste test throughout the preparation, so you can adjust seasonings accordingly or “notice” the lack of an ingredient — or two. Yes, I was rushed for time, but it was no excuse. But it all turned out good in the end. This made enough for four servings. The next day, I packed the leftovers for lunch and added some shredded turkey breast. Power lunch!

Egg Drop Soup with Spinach and Mushrooms

Egg Drop Soup with Spinach and Mushrooms

Egg Drop Noodle Soup with Mushrooms and Spinach

1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/8 teaspoon dried, ground ginger (or 2 teaspoons fresh, diced)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 green onions, chopped, white and green parts divided
4 cups homemade or low sodium chicken or turkey broth
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1/2-inch round of angel hair pasta, broken in half
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Juice of one small lime, plus wedges for serving
1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro, plus more for serving
4 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped

In a soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat, add the oils then saute the mushrooms, ginger, garlic, and white onion parts until the mushrooms have released their liquid, about five minutes.  Pour in the chicken or turkey broth, add the soy sauce and rice wine vinegar, and bring up to a boil. Add the angel hair pasta, and bring to a low boil and simmer until pasta is tender, about five more minutes. Slowly stream in the eggs, breaking up with a fork and stirring to make egg threads. Add the chopped spinach by handfuls, pushing down into the liquid and stir until wilted. Squeeze in the lime juice, then add the chopped cilantro. Simmer until heated through. Ladle into bowls and garnish with green onion, cilantro, and a lime wedge.

Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Angel Hair Pasta

17 Feb
Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Angel Hair Pasta

Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Angel Hair Pasta

What’s not to love about a thick, cheesy sauce filled with spinach and artichokes? Well, maybe the fat content but I reduced it down as much as possible to still give you an awesome meal without meat! I can’t believe I pulled it off. I was worried, I tell you. I don’t serve meatless meals that often in this household, but it was rich enough to sate even my husband’s carnivorous appetite. While shopping for my list of food for this, I was specifically looking for  some Neufchâtel in the cheese aisle and when I started peering closely at labels, this more than helpful stocker asked if he could assist me. When I told him what I was looking for, he pointed it out and said “Neufchâtel is the original cream cheese, and has 1/3 less fat than that other stuff.” Well I was one not to argue since I knew that already but thought I’d throw that out there for you in case you didn’t. He also informed me that they have various forms of  Parmesan cheese in no less than four different locations in the store, and five if you counted the fake-shake stuff by the jarred spaghetti sauce. I think this guy really knew his cheese. Thank you, sir.

Moving on, I’ve mentioned before that if you use spinach,  always think of lemon and crushed red pepper flakes. That combination just can never go wrong. In fact, just go off right now and cook up some fresh spinach with a little butter and lemon juice and red pepper flakes, and tell me what you think? OK. We have an understanding. Before I lose too many carnivores in this post, you can always add some cooked chicken at the end to this. I was tempted. But I resisted.

Please do not be intimidated by my long post below, as this actually comes together in about a half an hour. I just had lots of  words to share with you!

Adding Spinach to Creamy Cheese Sauce

Adding Spinach to Creamy Cheese Sauce

Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Angel Hair Pasta

8 ounces Angel Hair pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 brick (8 ounces) Neufchâtel cream cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1 6-ounce bag fresh spinach
1/2 to 1 cup low-sodium homemade or boxed chicken broth, as needed
More Parmesan cheese for serving

Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. In a deep cast-iron or heavy bottomed skillet, heat the olive oil to medium, cook the garlic a minute or so, then add the brick of cream cheese. Once the cheese starts melting a bit,  add the milk (I used 1%)  and light sour cream. Using a spatula or back of large spoon, smoosh the brick of cheese all around and get it to mix with the liquid. Just keep smooshing and stirring and cooking and finally it will start looking creamy. I know, I had my doubts on this. It does eventually happen.  Once the mixture starts looking creamy enough, add the 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese, then stir until combined. Grind a bunch of black pepper over it all, to taste. I add lots, usually. Now add the lemon juice, pepper flakes, and artichoke hearts and stir and stir around to combine nice and good.

At this point, you better put your Angel Hair pasta into the water that’s probably boiling by now. Now it’s time to start adding the spinach into the sauce. I just grabbed a handful of spinach and tore it up a bit and started adding it to the creamy sauce handful by handful and stirring it in. This is where the chicken broth comes in. As the sauce starts to get too thick, stir in a bit of chicken broth, maybe a quarter of a cup at a time, stirring all the while. Add more torn spinach, stir, simmer, add more, stir simmer. Too thick? More chicken broth. You get the picture. Finally all the spinach will be in and wilted, and you will be very hungry now because it looks and smells so good. OH! Drain that now-cooked pasta, heap a mess on a plate, then spoon the delicious creamy yummy spinach artichoke sauce over it. Top with more shredded Parmesan cheese to taste. Whoa! This is goooood. Real good.

Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Angel Hair Pasta

Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Angel Hair Pasta Ready to Eat

Soothing Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

26 Jan
Soothing Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

Soothing Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

Mom!? We’re having soup AGAIN??!! You’ve made that like five times already the past week! (Not true.) OK, OK, my soup kick has gotten out of hand. But I’m in comfort mode. It’s winter, the hubby is gone on a business trip for two weeks, my work is crazy busy right now, and that’s what I feel like eating. So there. I did, however, promise the daughter I’d serve her  some “real food” next, although I can’t quite figure out how a good soup for dinner is not real food. Oh well.

So this is another one of my Asian-inspired soups that is a snap to make. I used my Inside-Out Won-Ton Soup broth as the base, but then threw in some new flavors and textures. To make this really simple, I picked up a rotisserie chicken on the way home from my physical therapy after work for my pinky finger (YES, I still can’t straighten the durn thang… apparently in the long healing process my tendon got stuck to the top of my joint and will be awhile to get it unstuck). I also picked up a baby bok choy, which was an astounding $2.99 a pound, but I handled it and it felt pretty light. At the checkout stand it only ended up 53 cents. I can do that! I also picked up some quite spendier fresh basil, as I know I have some cilantro-hater fans (read it’s SOAP!) so I thought I’d throw some of that in to see how that melded.  A fairly decent-priced bag of bean sprouts was also added to the cart. With all that in hand, I traveled home to concoct a really soothing, very slightly spicy, chicken noodle soup. I didn’t bother even looking for rice noodles at the store as I knew they didn’t have any from my prior hunt. So I used Angel Hair pasta snapped in half instead. This took about 35 minutes to make from start to finish to table to eat. Well, it actually took me closer to 45 minutes by dinking with my camera to take pics because I forgot to add the green onion for garnish in my first shots, and when I reshot with them I forgot to do my white balance setting again.My daughter ate it during that process. All in good time.

OK friends, now on to the recipe! Oh, and I made half the amount I normally would, so feel free to double or triple.

Simmering Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

Simmering Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

Soothing Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

Angel hair pasta, broken in half
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 large white mushroom, sliced
1/2 tablespoon peeled fresh ginger, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 or 2 green onions, chopped, white and green parts divided
1 cup baby bok choy, roughly chopped
1 cup fresh spinach, roughly chopped
3 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken or turkey broth
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 cup rotisserie chicken, shredded
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
1 tablespoon lime juice
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Fresh basil, chopped

Asian Soup Ingredients

Some of the Asian Soup Ingredients

Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta, then start gathering and chopping up all the ingredients. Things tend to go quickly when cooking Asian, so it’s always best just to have everything ready. When the water starts boiling, add the pasta and cook according to package directions. I’m sorry I didn’t give you an amount to use, as I’m terrible about measuring or guessing pasta amounts to cook. Go with your gut. If you don’t have enough, that won’t matter much with the soup, or if you have too much, just leave some in the pot for something else. When all your ingredients are ready, heat the sesame oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, ginger, garlic, crushed red pepper, and the white and light green parts of the green onion. Saute for five minutes, then add the broth, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. Bring this up to a low boil, then turn down to simmer for about 10 minutes. Now add the cooked angel hair pasta, shredded chicken, bean sprouts, bok choy, spinach, and lime juice. Come up to a simmer again, and let the flavors meld for about another 10 minutes. Serve in bowls garnished with the green onion parts, fresh chopped cilantro and/or basil. This was a perfect soothing soup for a cold winter’s night, and I cursed myself for halving the recipe, as the one small  portion of leftovers the next day was fabulous and I was hankering for more.

Stuffed Sole with Spicy Spinach Alfredo Pasta

19 Mar
Stuffed Sole with Spinach Alfredo Pasta

Stuffed Sole with Spinach Alfredo Pasta

Sometimes my husband goes all out on making dinner, and last night was one of of those times. He pretty much cooked the entire meal, and the only thing I managed to help with was getting a toothpick for him out of the box while he was closing up one of the filets. Oh, and I think I put the pot of water on to boil for the pasta. This meal was EXCEPTIONAL!

What made this particularly yummy was the stuffing. He used the last of our Dungeness crab and combined it with garlic, crushed Ritz crackers, butter, and Parmesan cheese. After filling the filets and securing with toothpicks, he then coated the pieces with a cornmeal/flour mix and lightly sprayed them with olive oil. While the fish was in the oven, he made a Spinach Alfredo sauce, much like the one used in his Tilapia recipe, found here: Copycat Jalapeño Garlic Tilapia. I think the only difference is that he used frozen spinach instead of fresh since we didn’t have any.

Dungeness Crab Stuffing

The master chef at work...

I really can’t give out all the details of how to make this, since my sister and I were playing Yahtzee while he was slaving in the kitchen. But I did manage to pop off a few photos so I could not only share this meal with you, but I could show off one of the new plates I got at a thrift store to use in my photography! I got four different plates and one bowl, and I’m hoping to find more on my next thrift shop spree. Hopefully now you’ll see less and less of the same dishware.

Copycat Jalapeño Garlic Tilapia

8 Jan

Jalapeño Garlic Tilapia

Our family doesn’t eat out at restaurants very often. For one, since both my husband and I enjoy cooking, we don’t have the desire to spend our dollars that way. My husband is also very picky when it comes to restaurant-made food, particularly when it comes to the chain eateries. “I can make this for one-third the cost and it would taste a hellavalot better,” is his usual grumble.

Every Christmas we inevitably get a gift card from one family member or another to Carino’s, an Italian food chain. One of the dishes we enjoy ordering from there is their Jalapeño Garlic Tilapia. The first time my husband ordered that, soon after he began trying to replicate the dish in our kitchen. After several years, I believe he has finessed the recipe into a close approximation of the dish — but of course his is better! Now I’ve only ever watched him make this on the sidelines, and he doesn’t share my desire to write, so the recipe below is my best guess. But the nice thing about cooking most dishes is you can improvise. I do all the time, believe me.

Jalapeño Garlic Tilapia

4-6 filets of Tilapia (or other light white fish)
Milk and flour for coating
Panko bread crumbs
Mrs. Dash Table Blend
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil

Dip the fish in milk, lightly coat with flour then pat down into the seasoned bread crumbs on each side until coated. Cook in a medium-hot skillet with a layer of oil in it for 4-5 minutes each side, until fish is done. Drain on paper towels, cover and keep warm.

Sauce
1/4 cup butter
2-3 teaspoons minced garlic
2-3 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk or cream
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
1-2 teaspoons chopped pickled jalapeños
1 green onion, sliced thin and cut into half-inch pieces
Handful of fresh chopped spinach
1 small Roma tomato, chopped

Pour oil out of skillet, then place back on heat and add the butter to melt. Stir in the garlic until beginning to sizzle, then add the flour to make a paste. Slowly whisk in milk or cream and stir until smooth. Add Parmesan cheese and stir until melted. Add more milk or cream if necessary. Add the last five ingredients and stir until spinach is wilted. Place 2-3 filets over cooked angel hair pasta, spoon a generous amount of sauce over them, and top with more grated Parmesan cheese.

Note: I was able to interrupt my husband watching the football playoffs long enough for him to tell me that sometimes he uses the dry Alfredo mix package for the base then adds the other ingredients to it.  You could also use the jarred sauce, but we’ve never been fond of the brands that we’ve tasted so far.

%d bloggers like this: