Wednesday, October 20, 2010


So I just discovered Amanda Hesser’s food blog. A food blog for food bloggers (or the food obsessed); I am addicted. It's full of useful information, arranged in a usable and fun way. Every week they have a contest. Last week’s was for Halloween treats. They haven’t announced the winner yet but I’m routing for the cook that made severed finger cookies, with fake blood and almonds for finger nails. (!)

This week’s contest is for paella. I’m not a big rice fan so I submitted fideos. I’m also not a culinary anthropologist either but my understanding is fideos are more commonly used in Southern Spain, feel free to correct me. My friend George introduced me to them while we were in Spain. To me they really have a better flavor as well. So, no big story here, check out the website and check out my recipe.

Smoky Seafood Fideos - Serves 4

1 - 7 ounce bag fideos (or broken angel hair pasta)

2.5 cups seafood stock

1 cup white wine

1/2 cup water or vegetable broth

1 medium Spanish onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, smashed

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 bay leaf

1 pinch cayenne

1 nutmeg seed - 5 shavings across a mircoplane

1 - 14 ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes

200 mg ground saffron (or medium sized pinch of threads)

1 bay leaf

salt + pepper

12 clams

12 mussels

12 shrimp

3 squid tubes cut in to rings

1/2 cup frozen peas

3 tablespoons parsley

1 lemon

Olive oil

salt and pepper

Coat a pan in olive oil, over medium/low heat add fideos and sautee until they become a warm brown color, about 6-7 minutes, using a slotted spoon remove them from the pan and set aside. Reduce the heat add more olive oil to the pan, if needed, add onion and sautee for 5 minutes until almost translucent, add garlic and sautee for another 3 minutes. Add in smoked paprika, oregano, cayenne and sautee for another minute. Increase the heat to medium add tomatoes and bring to a simmer for 3 minutes, shave in nutmeg, return the fideos to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Meanwhile bring stock, wine, water and bay leaf to a boil in another pot, reduce to simmering, adding the seafood one species at a time and removing from the pan and reserving. In the stock cook shrimp 2-3 minutes until just pink, squid 1-2 minutes until just prior to opaque, clams a maximum of 6 minutes, discard unopened ones, mussels up to 4 minutes, discard unopened ones. Allow broth to return to a slow boil in between batches. Remove seafood and set aside. Add the saffron to broth and let ‘bloom’ for 2 minutes. Turn the heat off of the broth. Slowly add stock, in 3-4 batches (like risotto) to the fideos , let simmer with broth about 20 minutes, when the pasta has reached desired consistency add in peas and seafood, reheat seafood, let steam for 2 minutes covered. Prior to serving squeeze the lemon over the ‘paella” and sprinkle with parsley. Serve.

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