Prep time: 45 minutes minutes
Total time: 1 hour
for the meatballs:
2 poblano chiles
½ medium red onion
¼ cup|60 ml olive oil
1 pound|454 grams ground chicken
1 cup|60 grams panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup|15 grams cup finely chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon cayenne
½ teaspoon ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg
1 lime, zested and juiced
_for the tomato sauce and fideos_**:**
1 ½ pounds|685 grams ripe tomatoes (or heirloom if you’re feeling fancy and they’re in season), roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
½ medium red onion, roughly chopped
¼ cup|60 ml olive oil
7 ounces|200 grams fideos or vermicelli
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon tomato paste
¼ cup|60 ml heavy cream
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
crumbled cotija cheese, to serve
lime wedges and cilantro leaves, for garnish
- Make the meatballs: Heat the oven to broil. Toss the poblanos, jalapeño, and onion with 2 tablespoons of the oil on a baking sheet. Broil, flipping once, until charred, 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then peel, discarding the skins and seeds, and finely chop. Transfer to a large bowl and mix with the ground chicken, panko, cilantro, salt, coriander, paprika, cayenne, cumin, garlic, egg, lime zest, and juice.
- Pour the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil on the baking sheet. Form the chicken mixture into about 36 balls and place on the baking sheet. Broil until the meatballs are brown, 7 to 8 minutes. Set aside.
- Make the tomato sauce: Purée the tomatoes, garlic, and onion in the bowl of a blender or food processor until smooth.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add the fideos and, working in batches, cook until they are golden and toasted, about 4 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fideos to a bowl.
- Add the butter to the saucepan to melt, then stir in the tomato paste. Cook until dark and caramelized, about 1 minute. Add the reserved tomato purée and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, then cook until the tomato purée has reduced slightly, about 8 minutes. Add the toasted fideos and the cream and cook until the fideos are tender, about 6 minutes more. Add the meatballs and their juices and season with salt and pepper.
- To serve, divide the fideos among plates and top with a few meatballs. Sprinkle with the cotija and cilantro and serve with lime wedges.
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