It's not easy, but it's worth it.
Fideuà. It's not easy to spell or pronounce. It's not easy to make. But I promise you this, once you've tried it, you won't care that the accent mark over the 'a' is inexplicably backwards (freaking Catalan!). You won't care that the syllables blend into each other until you sound like you're regressing to Neanderthal vowel grunts. You will only see before you a masterpiece, golden noodles and seafood that taste like heaven.
Fideuà - Paella with Noodles, like they do en España
Shrimp Stock:1 pound extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 3/4 cup water
1 cup chicken broth or stock
1 dried bay leaf
OPTIONAL: carrot, celery, onion (mirepoix)
1 lb shrimp bodies (you already used the shells, remember!)
1 lb bag of frozen mixed seafood (clams, mussels, calimari, etc) - DEFROSTED
1 can octopus
3 Tbs. plus 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
Crushed red pepper, to taste (I like it spicy)
1 pinch coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
16 ounces fideo noodles (if you can't find this, get 16 ounces thin spaghetti)
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
10-15 strands of saffron
3 tsp paprika
2-3 anchovies (or 1 tsp anchovy paste)
1/2 cup dry white wine
fresh parsley, for garnish
lime wedges, for garnish
1-2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 pinch salt and pepper
1 egg white
Kelaine's Note: Do not even try to make this without having an oven safe pan or skillet. You'll get to the end of the recipe and want to punch yourself in the ribs. On a personal note, do yourself a favor and get a cast iron skillet ASAP. It will change your life.
To make the SHRIMP STOCK
1. Use ONLY the shells of your shrimp for the stock. The shrimp bodies themselves will be used later in the fideuà.
2. In a medium-sized pot, heat one tablespoon of olive oil. Add your mirepoix and cook until onions are translucent and carrots/celery are soft. Add the shells of your shrimp, along with the water, chicken stock, and a bay leaf. Cook for 8-10 minutes.
3. Pour through a strainer, into a bowl and set aside shrimp stock. Discard the solids.
To make the FIDEUÀ
1. Place the peeled (but uncooked) shrimp in a medium bowl. Add 1 Tbs. oil, 2 cloves minced garlic (there should be 1 clove left over), crushed red pepper, salt and pepper. Toss shrimp to coat. Cover and set in your fridge.
2. If you were lucky enough to find fideo noodles in your grocery store, congratulations. You can skip this step. If not, get cracking, literally. Break the spaghetti noodles against the edge of a table into 1-inch pieces. This will make your fingers hurt, but remember, it'll be worth it.
3. Add 2 tsp olive oil to your largest skillet (in fact, I used TWO skillets for increased surface area) and bring to medium heat. Add the noodles and stir to coat with oil. Continue stirring until noodles are evenly toasted, to the color of what we all assume Rapunzel's hair is, shown in the photo below (7-10 minutes). Remove the spaghetti from the pan and set it aside in a bowl.
4. Add the remaining 2 Tbsp oil to the pan and bring to a medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté 3-4 minutes, until soft.
5. Add the diced tomatoes and sauté with your onions. Add pinch of salt, paprika, saffron threads, anchovies, and the remaining garlic. Reduce the heat if needed. Add your uncooked shrimp and DEFROSTED bag of seafood. Cook together, 5 minutes.
6. Add the toasted spaghetti to the pan and toss until integrated. Pour your shrimp stock into the pan. Add wine, and another pinch of salt and pepper. Simmer the mixture for 8-10 minutes, or until the spaghetti is mostly al dente.
Kelaine even sent me a fun video clip of the simmering for your viewing pleasure...
7. Put your broiler-safe pan into the oven and broil for about 5 minutes, uncovered. You'll know it's done when the spaghetti crisps and curls up on its ends, pointing toward heaven.
Allow to cool and thicken a few minutes.
8. Garnish with chopped parsley and lemon wedges. Add a dollop of garlic sauce (below) to the side of your plate or all over your noodles, depending how you feel about vampires and/or garlic.
To make the GARLIC SAUCE
9. Peel garlic and add to your food processor, along with mayonnaise, salt, and pepper. Blend until all components are incorporated. Add egg white, gradually, until thickened. Serve on top of your noodle creation.
One Year Ago: Extra Crispy Fried Chicken
Two Years Ago: Crispy Tomatoes and Pasta
Three Years Ago: Ropa Vieja