Vermicelli with Tomatoes and Chipotle Chiles

Morita chiles are red, fully mature Chipotles. This gives them a unique, medium – hot smokey flavor which is popular in many Southwestern dishes. These can be added to sauces (including Mole) to add smokey flavor and maintain the red color of the sauces. These peppers are about 2-4 inches in length, 1 inch in width, and have a deep brick reddish brown color. The word Chipotle translated to smoked chile. Consider the Chipotle a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the hottest). Scoville heat units 7,000-25,000.

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1/4 cup peanut or olive oil
1/2 pound vermicelli, broken up
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
3 medium tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped into 1/4 inch chunks.
1 canned chipotle chile, finely chopped
1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

Pour the oil into a large pot and heat until it begins to smoke. Add the vermicelli and stir fry over high heat until well coated and starting to turn golden, about 1 minute. Add the onion and garlic, continue stirring until the onion wilts slightly, 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, chile, oregano, salt and pepper, simmer until the tomatoes wilt, about 3 minutes.

Stir in stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle the cheese and the parsley over the top and serve right away.

Yields 4-6 servings.

Recipe by Victoria Wise.