Fideuá: The Spanish Noodle Dish Which Resembles Paella.
Fideuá is a Spanish noodle seafood dish in which noodles replace the rice...
Sitting in a good sofrito for a few hours before the final preparation means that this dish will take only minutes to cook, unlike the paella which it resembles. This means that fish and shellfish such as clams, mussels, prawns and so on will be lightly and perfectly cooked, rather than slightly rubbery as they sometimes are in paella where chicken drumsticks and Spanish hot chorizo sausage are also added. Fideuá is one of the great dishes of Spain. Various regions lay claim to the this dish, but Valencia probably wins.
Courtesy of : http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/europe/lgcolor/esregions.htm
- 1.9kg bacalao fish whole, boiled in 4 cm of water with one or two bay leaves and some salt.
- 500 gr frozen mussel-meat if you wish. Retain any liquid when thawed.
- 500 gr frozen mussels on a half shell retaining any liquid when thawed.
- 1 kg fresh Clams (Vongole) boiled for max 5 minutes in a little water to open. Here also discard all closed ones. Retain any liquid obtained.
- 500 gr frozen calamari rings. Here also retain any liquid obtained when thawed.
- 1 kg fresh medium sized shrimp shell and heads taken off keeping the little tails. Be sure to take off the sand along the backs of the shrimp.
- 10 huge gambas (big shrimp) cut the shells along the back with a pair of scissors to make them easy to be cleaned when eaten, and to take off the sand etc. One per guest.
- Some imitation crab meat sticks as a topping. (These need no cooking)
- 2 sweet red peppers (not the bell type) veined and cut in strips.
- 24 cherry tomatoes cut in 4.
- 200 ml of dry white wine.
- 0,50 gr of saffron dissolved in hot fish broth.
- 1 Piment d'Espelette without the seeds, cut in thin strips.
- 1 Tbsp smoked paprika.
- 70 gr tomato concentrate dissolved in hot fish broth.
- 1 small onion finely chopped.
- 3-4 big cloves of garlic finely chopped.
- 1 kg egg noodles.
- ¼ cup olive oil.
- Salt and pepper to taste. \
- 2 Bay leaves.
Note: I did not use any artichokes because neither I nor my guests like artichokes, plus I don't know how to clean them the way Sonia did.
The day before:
Unless you are a super-duper speedy Gonzales experienced cook like Sonia Peronaci I definitely suggest you start from the day before if you intend to feed your guests at 3 pm the next day.
- Drop your fish in boiling water in a special pot for fish called poissonière with two bay leaves and the shrimp shells and heads for 15 minutes covered.
- When fish is done, strain, set aside and using a potato masher, mash the shells with the heads in the broth and return to the heat and boil for another 5 minutes to obtain the most out of the shrimp heads and to give the fish broth extra flavor.
- Clean the fish as best as you can not leaving any bones. Get rid of all bones, keeping the head.Refrigerate till next day.
- Steam slightly all clams, thawed mussels, thawed mussels on a half shell and keep liquids. Refrigerate separately till next day.
- Remember to keep the mussels in half shell, and some clams in their shells for decoration.
- Collect all fish / mussels/ clam broth in a pot. About 3 liters. Refrigerate till next day.
- Discard all shrimp shells and heads.
- Arrange the uncooked shrimp by size in a large platter and refrigerate.
- Cut your cherry tomatoes in 4 and refrigerate.
- Julienne your sweet red peppers and refrigerate.
- Believe it or not all the above takes time especially when you are not a professional cook with no help at all.
The next day:
Proper timing is important here because the calamari, mussels, clams, shrimp, fish and pasta must all be properly cooked but not overcooked otherwise the pasta will be too soft, and the rest of the seafood will end up rubbery.
- Heat the olive oil in the paella dish add the finely chopped onion and the garlic. Stir-fry till softened.
- Add the thinly sliced sweet red pepper and stir-fry two minutes.
- Add the calamari and stir-fry, cook on low heat for a couple of minutes.
- Add the 200 ml of wine and let evaporate.
- Add the cherry tomatoes and let cook, stirring once in a while for about 3 - minutes.
- Add tomato puré and mix.
- Add smoked paprika and mix.
- Add the Piment d'Espelette and mix.
- Add the saffron, stir, mix and bring to a slow boil.
- Add enough fish broth to make a nice liquid sauce.
- Add the egg noodles and mix.
- Using the "risotto" method of cooking, keep adding hot fish broth every time you see the liquid being absorbed by the pasta. Keep stirring and mixing the pasta to make sure all the pasta is cooked evenly.
- 4-5 minutes before your pasta is ready, add the shrimp by size (biggest first) , let cook 2 minutes.
- Add mussels and clams.
- Finally add the already cooked fish.
- Give the whole dish a stir.
- Make sure your biggest shrimp are cooked but not rubbery.
- Decorate your paella dish with 10 big whole shrimp heads and all, some mussels on half shell, and some clams in their shell.
Have everybody serve themselves with lots of chilled dry white wine and salads.