NPR logo Lydia Mendoza's Chiles Rellenos & Mexican Fideo

Lydia Mendoza's Chiles Rellenos & Mexican Fideo

Lydia Mendoza, queen of Tejano music, began her legendary career singing in the plazas of downtown San Antonio with the chili queens in the 1930s. During The Kitchen Sisters' recent interview with her, Mendoza shared her time-honored recipes for some traditional dishes and her secret for chiles rellenos. These are her recipes, in her words:

Food Memories

Mendoza's Daughter Yolanda Hernandez Recalls Her Mother Cooking Her Fideo Recipe

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Chiles Rellenos

Put each chili on the stove (above the burner) and let the skin burn, one by one — each bell pepper. Then take it off the flame, and once you are done with all of them — make, for example, six of them — clean them under running water. Once you put them on the flame, the skin comes off easily under water. Have hamburger meat and potatoes mixed and cooked.

Make a slit in each of the peppers. Then put maybe two tablespoons of the meat mixture inside each one. Separate some eggs and beat the yolks and whites separately.

Then fold the yolks gently into the beaten whites. Dredge each stuffed pepper in flour.

Then dip each pepper in the beaten egg mixture. Fry them in hot oil until they are done.

This is how I make chilies rellenos.

Mexican Fideo

  1. Start with a small 8-ounce box of vermicelli
  2. Fry it in a little oil until golden brown.
  3. Dice 1/2 onion and one tomato and add to browned vermicelli.
  4. Add 1 cup of water and some tomato sauce. Add 1 small garlic clove chopped and some cumino (cumin).
  5. Simmer for 5 minutes.

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