Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Finally Getting Around to Making Fideuà #FantasticalFoodFight


Welcome to the June edition of the Fantastical Food Fight. I look forward to this event every single month. It's coordinated by Sarah of Fantastical Sharing of Recipes and you can get more information about it here.


This month, we were given the challenge of making something with seafood. I have no dearth of seafood recipes, especially since we are members of a CSF (community-supported fishery) and receive a share of fresh-caught seafood on a regular basis. Just last week I bought a whole halibut from them during a special Saturday sale. You'll see this recipe next month...


But when I came home, my husband had already filleted it. "Did you take photos of the process?!" I asked.

No, I'm not a food blogger, he answered.

"But I am!" I cried.

Next time, he said, but rather unconvincingly.

Back to the event at hand. Seafood, huh? I thought about doing a variation on my Abalone à la Meunière or Pickled Shrimp or fish en papillote.


But, I was organizing my cupboards after school ended and found the package of fideus pasta that our friends had brought back from Spain for me. That settled it: I was finally going to get around to making Fideuà.



Fideuà 
Last 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 a trip, 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
  • 1/2 pound fresh seafood (I used a mixture of clams, mussels, baby octopus, and shrimp)
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 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.

Procedure

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. Add the seafood, distributing it evenly throughout the pan.

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! 

4 comments:

  1. This sounds incredible! I have yet to attempt paella, let alone fideua. I'm still nervous about the fresh clams and mussels after killing some clams before cooking. You always amaze me! Can't wait to hear about the halibut!

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  2. Frank and I had a chuckle about the halibut. It sounds so darn familiar, it could have been a conversation between us. I had never heard of fideua but I love paella so I am all in for it.

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  3. This sounds like an incredible meal! It looks really delicious, too.

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  4. That sounds delicious! The pasta with all that seafood... yum!

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