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Don’t make this unless you want to eat almost half of it in one sitting. I’ll start this out by saying four simple words: I FUCKING LOVE FIDEO! There are all different kinds of fideo – fideo on pollo (with chicken), sopa de fideo (fideo soup), fideo seco (dry) and this baby is fideo seco a los tres chiles because why? we’re using three types of chiles.

Our pantry was always stocked with bright yellow boxes of Q&Q fideo growing up. I’ll be honest – I have never fucking made this and I killed it on my first try. This recipe is fucking perfect. It’s spicy, filling, flavorful, basically the best thing ever and very quick and easy!

Start by setting your oven to 400 degrees. Grab 4-5 roma tomatoes, 1 white onion, 4-5 cloves of garlic and place them on a baking sheet. Roast for 20-25 minutes until tomatoes start to split.

While those are cooking, add a couple of guajillo and pasilla peppers to a comal, toasting for a few minutes on medium heat then dump into a pot of boiling hot water. Turn the heat off and steep for the remaining time your things are roasting.  Take 1/4 brick of tofu and press/drain. I literally just put a pot on top of it filled with fruit.

Add the roma tomatoes, onion and garlic to a blender along with your soft as fuck drakes I MEAN PEPPERS and blend with a bit of water. Add about a teaspoon liquid of better than chicken bouillon and a bit more water. Open a can of chipotle peppers in adobe sauce deseeding a couple of peppers. Add them to your blender with 2 heaping tablespoons of adobe sauce then blend until smooth. Set aside.

Grab a large deep pan and toss a couple tablespoons of a high heat oil you prefer. Add a couple of boxes of fideo to the pan and brown on medium heat. Do this by constantly stirring the fideo in the pan for 6-7 minutes or until golden brown.

Combine tomato-y puree with the fideo then turn the heat off! Add a few cracks of pepper + salt and stir until all the fideo is coated well. Let sit for 15 minutes until the fideo has soaked up much of the sauce. Add fideo to oven safe dish (I used a casserole dish) and bake at 350 for 15 minutes covered with foil.

While that is baking, take your tofu and crumble to mimic cotija cheese. Grab a little bowl, squeeze a whole lemon, add a little cumin, add a little olive oil, add a little salt, and mix. Add to your tofu and mix again. Drain if there’s excess liquid. Taste then give yourself a pat on the back because you just made vegan cheese in like 2 minutes.

Top your fideo with avocado slices, cilantro and generously sprinkle with cotija cheese theeeeeeen get rowdy to Destino Final ‘cuz you’re doneeeeeeeeeeeee. 

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When I think of this soup, I think of being at my grandma’s house and watching her lean over the stove with her walker stirring the soup. I think of the thick plastic covering her wooden kitchen table and her old beautiful brown hands chopping onions at it. I think about after my grandma died, laying on the living room floor as my mom laid on the couch above me and understanding at age 11 that I would never see her again.

She passed on my last day of 5th grade. I had to be picked up early from school that day. The nurse called my mom and my sister showed up to take me home. “What happened?” Wellllllll KARIMA – I was playing kick ball with my “friends” and Frank (the hottest boy in school) kicked the ball straight into my face. I ended up having the beginnings of a black eye and a bloody nose. Obviously, I was the most well liked popular 5th grader and no I did not get beat up by the girl who looked like Sonia from Mortal Kombat nor did I lose a game of “poker” and have a 4th grader shake me down in art class.

That summer, I played with a ouija board with my neighborhood friend Gina. I asked the board about my grandma and I swear I heard her call my name. We threw the board across the room and I think Gina moved away that summer.

CALDO DE RES aka Beef Soup

Start by roughly chopping 1 white onion and a few cloves of garlic. In a large stock pot, add a bit of oil and sauté your onion and garlic for a few minutes until the onion is a little brown. Add 4 cups of water and 1 can of diced or freshly diced tomatoes in its juices. I wanted to make this soup as “beefy” as possible. Traditionally, caldo is all about the meat but animals are my friends so let’s improvise. I did a bit of research and read a lot of different recipes before I figured out how I wanted to make this.

You may be wondering why the fuck I just put four damn cups of water and virtually no seasoning – I’m getting to that. I had vegetable stock but I didn’t want to use it, I needed something heartier tasting. It’s all about that broth, you know? I had better than chicken liquid bouillon but I’m trying to mimic beef, so here it goes. I ended up finding one better than beef bouillon cube hidden in my cabinet but that wasn’t enough, so I mixed some shit together after reading up. I added the bouillon cube to my water-onion-garlic along with a little cumin and chili powder, cooking it a little longer. After a couple minutes, I spooned a couple cups of water out of the pot and added it to a mixing bowl with a couple more cups of water (4 c total now). Next, I added a handful of nutritional yeast, around 2-3 tablespoons of vegan Worcester sauce, a couple tablespoons of onion powder, 1 tablespoon of garlic powder, a little ground ginger, a little braggs liquid aminos, fresh ground pepper and salt to taste. I mixed and added it back into my stock pot then mixed again. To me, this now tasted what I remember beef broth tasting and looking like – sort of a clear brownish color, salty but not too salty and “hearty”. Fuck yeah!

Now that I got my broth tasting right, I add 2 chopped carrots and 1 large potato peeled and cubed cooking until *almost almost* tender then I added 2 ears of cleaned corn cut in half and 2 chopped or quartered chayotes (it’s a squash – google that shit). Cook about 10 or so minutes then add 1/2 of a head of cabbage quartered. Make sure to really push the cabbage into the broth so it cooks. I put the lid to my stock pot on for a couple minutes to really make sure that shit cooked down. Do not over cook the cabbage and chayotes unless you’re into mushyyyyy. There’s a difference between tender and mush, remember that!

Uncover and add a handful of cilantro and a sprinkle of Mexican oregano. This step is optional really, but I fuck with all the spices if you can’t tell yet. You can give the soup a couple of swirls and you’re done OR you can add a meat substitute like I did.

I wanted a sub that resembled the consistency that meat on a bone would have. I didn’t want tofu or tempeh. I tried fucking with TVP but decided against it. I didn’t have any seitan. What the fuuuuuck to do?  Theeeeeen I remembered that I had Gardein meatloaf in the freezer and thought it would be the perfect texture! Normally, I would try to be more creative than using a prepackaged item like this but when it works, it works. So yeah, I cut into chunks, cooked in a fry pan then added that in.

Serve with fresh jalapeños, more cilantro, diced raw onion and of course LIME AND CORN TORTILLAS. I swear to fucking fuck if you follow any directions from this, it is to squeeze lime into your bowl of soup and dip your goddamn tortilla. Eat on a cold rainy day while listening to Brazil’s Rakta.

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Nopales aka cactus can be bought fresh in paddles which requires de-prickling (is that a word?!), ready to use and canned. Yesterday afternoon I went to Fiesta (a local grocery store in Austin) and picked up a bag of ready to use freshly cut nopales unknowing what the fuck I was going to do with them.

Nopales have a special slimy place in my heart. They remind me of the days where Chaos in Tejas was something I looked forward to every summer. 100 degree heat, lots of punk bands from around the world and all my best friends in one city for a week. We’d spend the days at the green belt illegally drinking shitty lone star and floating in the springs (and dodging snakes and frat bros alike) before heading to Curra’s for avocado margaritas and food. One of Curra’s veg-friendly dishes are their nopale tacos. A mix of nopales, soyrizo and peppers in a fluffy white flour tortilla served with refried beans and like 20000 margaritas.

I sat down on my couch, queued up Limpwrist and thought about the first time I stage dove in a huge crowd to “I love Hardcore Boys” at age 16 some Chaos in Tejas years ago. Deciding I am going to attempt to prepare nopales two ways in the amount of time it takes me to listen to the entire Limpwrist discography. 41 songs in 34 1/2 minutes.

Up first, tacos de nopales.

Start by dicing 1 white onion, 4-5 cloves of garlic, 1 deseeded jalapeño, 1/2 of a red bell pepper and 1/2 package of tempeh. The goal here is to finely dice the tempeh so it resembles ground “meat”. Dice all your shit up. Add 1/2 of the diced garlic and onion to a pan with a little oil. Sauté for 2-3 minutes then add the tempeh and 1/2 of the jalapeño. This is where shit gets blurry because I was already 4-5 songs in and beginning to slam all over the kitchen with my dogs – I added a cup of fresh chopped nopales and a shitload of spices: some cumin, smoked paprika, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, turmeric, fresh ground salt and pepper….probably some other stuff I am forgetting but c’mon, I don’t need to tell ya’ll how to season, do I? Just taste and season, taste and season more. So anyway, I seasoned the shit out of all that then added 3-4 tablespoons of fresh salsa I had made a prior (feel free to use store bought or just skip this step if you don’t have any) and the diced bell pepper. Cook until nopales look a little burnt. Don’t freak out if they look sorta slimy, the heat will cook it out. Taste and set aside.

Onto nopales tostadas!

IN THE SAME PAN, add the remaining onion, garlic and a tiny amount of oil and sauté. While that’s cooking, open a can of black or pinto beans (I used black), drain, rinse and add to a pot with a little bit of water. Cook your beans as you would and go back to your onion and garlic. Add about a cup of fresh cut nopales, the rest of your jalapeño and cook.

Set your oven to 400 degrees, grab some corn tortillas and put them on a cookie sheet (covered in parchment paper). Rub a little oil each side and sprinkle salt. Check on your nopales and take some aggression out on your beans by smashing the hell out of them with a potato masher or fork and stir. I added spices to my beans such as nutritional yeast, cumin and a dash of hot sauce. You can do this too or just leave them be. By this time, your oven should be ready to roll. Add your corn tortillas to the oven and cook on each side for a couple minutes or until crispy. Warm some corn tortillas on your stove (if it’s gas – I don’t know how else you do this, this is the way my grandma taught me.) and get ready to fuckin mossshhhhhhh. Your second batch of nopales should be done, so now to assemble.

For the tacos, I just spoon a little of the tempeh & nopale mixture into a warm corn tortilla and added some grated Chao cheez, cilantro and a couple lime wedges. For the tostadas, I start with a crispy baked tortilla topped with a thin layer of beans then nopales + onion mixture followed by toppings! Raw veggies such as shredded kale, raw onion, tomato, cilantro and avocado.

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So if you’re wondering, I fucking did it (but I kind of cheated). I already had shredded kale, a little diced onion, and cilantro ready to go.

If you’re from Texas, you’ve probably of heard of migas. Traditionally, it is a dish consisting of eggs and depending on where you’re getting it from – a mix of peppers and onion topped with queso or salsa along side tortillas. My grandmother Mercedes Delgado goddamn Vargas was from Mexico and didn’t really fuck around with migas. Truth be told, it’s a very “tex mex” dish. Don’t get me wrong, she fucked with a lot of tex mex but migas wasn’t one of them. Migas were never a family staple unlike menudo, caldo, fiedo, arroz con pollo, and chorizo but that doesn’t mean I don’t fucking looooove them. I didn’t have migas until I was old enough to get a job, go to Tamale House and order whatever the hell I wanted. For $3, you could get a plate smothered in migas, beans and potatoes. Well, those days are loooong gone. I don’t fuck with eggs anymore and if you don’t either – here’s a recipe I managed to write down after sleeping 4 hours after This is Austin, Not the Great. Enjoy, punker.

Start by laying awake at 5am after you played a show in 18 degree weather and thinking about MIGAS. Dream about MIGAS. Wake up and realize you only have silken tofu then cry to your partner who is hungover, to go get tofu only to discover that there’s a frozen container of tofu in the fridge from sometime in the last year. Say fuck it and use the mysterious tofu.
Take the tofu and thaw it! Drain it of excess water. Tip: when you freeze then thaw tofu it retains less water and stays together a bit better, doesn’t really matter for this dish but just a heads up.

Crumble your tofu in a bowl with your hands like a savage then set it aside. Chop some garlic, half an onion and add a tiny bit of oil in a frying pan and heat it up! Sautéed until it starts smelling delicious then add your tofu. Mix it alllll up! Cook for 1-2 minutes while thinking about what kinds of spices you want to use. I used turmeric because it’s really fucking good for you but also tints the tofu to have a yellow eggy color. I just dashed it around. I also used: a lil cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, fresh ground pepper, ground pink Himalayan salt and probably a couple of other things I am forgetting – remember, I had 4 goddamn hours of sleep sandwiched between my partner and two really smelly dogs. I mixed all the spices in thoroughly then added 2 handfuls of nutritional yeast and mixed again.  Next, I added like 1/4 cup of water and cooked for around 5 minutes. While that cooked, I sliced some corn tortillas into strips, heated 1 tablespoon of oil and fried them babies until nice and crispy using a smaller frying pan (that was bit shallow). I placed them on a paper towel afterwards to drain excess oil.

I forgot to mention I had also diced 1 jalapeño that had been deseeded and 1/2 red bell pepper and some cherry tomatoes. I added this in towards the end because I still wanted them to be a lil crunchy and  a handful of spinach! I try to add in greens whenever I can. A little spinach in your migas never hurt anymore.  While that was finishing up, I took 1 slice of Chao (original) and folded it up into a  teeny tiny little square then grated the fuck out of itttttt – why pay more for grated cheeses?

Mix your corn tortilla slices in with your tofu and cook about 1 minute, top with a bit of cilantro and then discover you’re out of Cholula. Serve with warm tortillas.

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Pairs nicely with a heaping tablespoon of one of my favorite Texas punk bands, Criaturas.