Shrimp, Ancho Chile, and Pasta Soup (Sopa Seca de Camarones y Fideos)
Fideos (vermicelli) are much loved in Mexico, where they form the basis of thick, delicious soups. Usually the soups are served as a first course, but our hearty shrimp version is a meal in a bowl.
The ultimate crowd-pleaser, nachos were invented in 1943 by a maître d' in Piedras Negras, Mexico (just south of the Texas border). Ignacio "Nacho" Anaya, working a solo shift at the Victory Club restaurant, cobbled together a pile of tortilla chips topped with melted cheese and pickled jalapeños for a group of U.S. military wives in for a snack. His creation became hugely popular, paving the way for massive concession-stand revenues across America. Our super-stacked version has tangy chorizo, juicy chopped steak, black beans, guacamole, and crisp lettuce.
QUICK TIP: HOW HOT IS YOUR CHILE?
To assess a chile's heat, slice off its top through the ribs and seeds, where the heat-producing compound capsaicin is concentrated. Touch the slice to you tongue. If you want your food to be milder, split the chile and scrape out all or some of the ribs and seeds. If your skin is sensitive, wear kitchen gloves or hold the chiles with a fork ― and don't touch your eyes.