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Mexican food has at last come of age. Come and learn the ancient food of the Aztecs, as Tommi Miers of London’s Wahaca Mexican cantina showcases some of her modern Mexican favourites, from slow-cooked lamb barbacoa with the hottest salsa ever, to citrussy-fresh ceviche tostadas and smoky crab fideus – plus the lowdown on how to drink tequila.
These noodles are served as a first course rather like a pasta course is served in Italy. It is actually called a soup, but a dried one and is the ultimate comfort food: a smoky, tomato sauce, soft, fried noodles and light, fresh crabmeat mixed with a sweet, fiery salsa. It is baby food for grown-ups. Cook this for people you love.
In a heavy–based frying-pan or paella dish, fry the vermicelli in the oil, stirring from time to time, until it turns a rich golden colour, a few minutes.
Pass through a sieve, draining the vermicelli on kitchen towel and putting the oil back into the pan.
Plunge the tomatoes in boiling water for 20-30 seconds and then peel.
On a medium heat, sweat the shallots and chillies until they are translucent and then add the tomatoes, capers, allspice and bay, season with salt, pepper and a good pinch of sugar and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Simmering the sauce will concentrate the flavours, giving you a lovely, rich tomato sauce.
Fifteen minutes before you are ready to eat, pour the stock into the tomato sauce, bring to simmering point. Stir the noodles into the sauce and simmer gently until the liquid is absorbed and the noodles are tender.
Serve on plates with the crab on top, a good spoonful of the salsa, a dollop of sour cream and lots of coriander.
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