WFMW: Dinner edition
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Today's WFMW is the What Do I Fix Edition.

I posted my tips for quick and easy pantry cooking on a WFMW around this time last year. I have a list taped to the inside of the pantry of dishes that come together in 15 minutes or less. Helps with the last minute freaking out inspiration.

I have another trick up my sleeve, and not only can it be a fast dinner, it is an amazing leftover makeover, and it costs a quarter.


Fideos are skinny macaroni noodles - they look like the "roni" in Rice-a-Roni (and, in fact, make excellent homemade rice-a-roni without all the MSG and other chemicals.) It's basically one inch pieces of angel hair pasta. Moderna is the most famous brand, and runs around 25-30 cents for a 7 oz. package. It's in the Mexican section of the store, where they sell Goya products, whole chiles in packages, and the guava nectar. (And, BTW, while you are over there pick up a package of macaroni noodles or little shells. They are a great way to stretch a box of mac n'cheese and are closer to the smallish size Kraft and Annie's Organics uses. Just add half the package to make more noodles, the sauce will stretch to cover it.)

You can add it to soups. You can cook it in a little olive oil, add a cup of rice, add some broth (3 c. or so), and make Rice A Roni. It is great with just about any sauce or leftovers and will reinvent them just enough, and only using one pan!

Here's the basic recipe:
Put a little olive oil in a skillet and heat on medium high. Add a package of fideo. Cook and stir. First, the fideos will look translucent, then they will start to look a little dry on the ends and perhaps brown a little too (about 5 minutes).
Add your leftovers - sauce (spaghetti, tomato, chicken alfredo, stroganoff)
- soup (use a slotted spoon to get the good stuff, leaving the broth behind)
- various meats, deboned and chopped up (shredded pork, chicken, taco meat, beans, whatever)

Add about a cup and a half of liquid, and cook until absorbed. Add more liquid if you want it runny with tender pasta, less liquid if you want it al dente.

The KEY is to match the spices. If you have taco leftovers, add chili powder or cumin, but NOT Italian seasoning. If you have leftover spaghetti sauce, add oregano, onion powder, or italian seasoning, but NOT caraway seeds. This is how you keep it from tasting like a leftover mashup that everyone feeds to the dog or the toddler.

Mama's Classic Fideos
Brown a pound of ground meat. Remove from skillet and rinse or drain. Cook a cut up onion until translucent or caramelized, whatever you like better. Dump in a bag of fideo. Cook and stir about 5 minutes. Add two 15 oz. cans of diced tomatoes with juice, and one can of water. Mix meat back in. Add your spices (cumin, pepper, garlic, chili for taco style; oregano, and garlic for pizza flavor, italian seasoning for italian style). Cook about 8 minutes until fideo is cooked through (add more water if desired).

Go see Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer for more last minute meal ideas!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 12/05/2007 08:20:00 AM | Permalink | |