Sunday, December 3, 2017

Finally Getting Around to Making Fideuà

Earlier this year I had a friend from Spain teach me how to make paella. Real paella. And, since then, I've made peace with my paella pan - it was previously collecting dust in the garage - and whipped up some really tasty dinners. When they went back to Spain for the summer, they brought back some fideus pasta for me to try my hand at fideuà. Fideuà, they said, was just like paella but with pasta instead of rice. I am finally getting around to trying it...and without a real recipe, so this may not be authentic. But it was delicious! 

Ingredients serves 8
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 pound fresh seafood (I used a mixture of clams, mussels, baby octopus, and shrimp)
  • 8 T olive oil (Juan told me 1 T per serving)
  • 1 onion
  • 3 to 4 whole cloves of garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 1 bell pepper (I used a red bell pepper)
  • 1 C diced tomatoes
  • 2 C fideus pasta
  • 1 generous pinch saffon
  • 1 Carmencita Paella Spice Mix sachet+ 
  • 5 to 6 C fish stock, warmed
+Juan used this and they brought some back from Spain for me, so I use it. But, in a pinch, you can add a blend of paprika, pepper, and clove to the pot. These packets also include a food coloring that makes regular paella a rich golden color.


Peel and dice the onions. Deseed and dice the bell pepper. Heat olive oil in the paella pan. Add onions and bell pepper. Sauté until the onion is softened and translucent.

Add the chicken and cook completely. Stir in the garlic. Add in the tomatoes and cook until they have lost their shape slightly, approximately 6 to 7 minutes.

Sprinkle the seasoning packet into the pot and add the saffron to the side so it's not where the heat is most concentrated. Tip in the pasta. Pour in the stock. At this point, do not stir. Gently shake the pan to distribute the pasta and seafood evenly. But do not stir. Ever. As Juan instructed me: "This is not risotto."

Bring the pan to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Watch the pan and keep turning it so that the pasta cooks evenly. As it cooks, the stock will be fully absorbed.

You will see fewer and fewer bubbles popping up through the top. When it is completely dry, it's done. The pasta should also be crackling. It reminds me of rice krispies. Snap, crackle, and pop!

When you no longer see any bubbles, remove the pan from the heat. Tent it with foil and let it steam for 10 minutes. To serve, use a flat spatula to scrape the soccarat from the bottom. Invert the scoop onto the individual plates to show off your soccarat, that delicious, crusty goodness on the bottom of the pan! 

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