Fideuá de Pescado y Mariscos – Fish and Seafood Noodles

If Paella and Arroz Caldoso are half sisters to the Italian Risotto, then Paella and Fideuá are first cousins. The famous Paella is known to most of us, a delicious rice and seafood (or meat) dish which comes from the Valencia region of North East Spain. Less well known, outside of Spain at least, is its cousin…the Fideuá. It´s very similar to a paella but made with Fideos (short noodles). Fideos come in different sizes in Spain from very thin (called Angel Hair pasta) for dropping into broth right through to almost the thickness of spaghetti. This dish tends to use the ones at the thicker end of the scale, as they need to stand up to a little while cooking in the delicious broth.

Fideua de Mariscos (7)

Amounts used are flexible, use what you have, and play around with the ingredients. Like arroz caldoso, it’s quicker to cook than a paella and is a typical everyday lunch dish, for tucking into with a spoon (a plato de cuchara – a “spoon” dish), with lemon juice squeezed over and plenty of delicious bread. We can’t decide if we prefer arroz caldoso or fideuá caldosa – try them both and let me know what you think! I know Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial enjoys making Arroz Caldoso for her family…Celia, I hope you like this version too!

Approximate Ingredients for 4 people (as a main dish)

  • 250g prawns (less if already peeled) – if they have the shells on peel them and use them to make a fish stock, if not use water or a cube
  • About 250g of mixed fish and shellfish (I used some white fish fillets but when I have mussels or clams I add them in too)
  • Half a red pepper finely chopped
  • A thin green pepper, finely chopped
  • A couple of tablespoons of peas
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large tomato peeled and finely chopped or half a cup of tomato conserva
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato purée
  • 1 teaspoon of sweet pimentón
  • A pinch of saffron
  • Seasoning
  • Olive oil
  • Approx 400g Fideos

Start by making a sofrito or tomato sauce. Lightly fry the garlic until soft then add the peppers and peas. Add the pimentón and saffron, cover the pan and let everything sweat gently until soft then add the tomato. Simmer for another 10 minutes.

Fideua de Mariscos (6)

For 4 people (and a soupy fideuá) add about 1.5 litres of stock and simmer for a further 10 minutes. If you have a paella pan, cazuela or a deep frying pan that you can use to serve, transfer the liquid to this. Now add your fideos – about 100g per person, but follow any guidelines on the packet. When they are about half cooked, add the fish (biggest chunks first) then the shellfish. Taste and season as necessary.

For a thick, dryer dish (more the consistency of a paella) you may need to use less liquid or just cook this way and spoon out some of the liquid at the end (save it for a light soup with some thin fideos thrown in!). Equally, if it looks a little dry as you are cooking it, just add a ladleful or two of hot stock.

Serve like paella with lemon juice, crusty bread and wine. A spoonful of alioli is also great with this dish.

Like a paella, you can vary the ingredients to make your fideuá according to what you have available. Make it veggie, or use meat instead of fish. It may not be absolutely authentic, but the influence will be there and the taste will be just as good!

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Orange and Chili Duck with Stir Fried Vegetables and Noodles

I keep seeing gorgeous duck recipes over at Mad Dog’s blog, and then Rosemary taunted me with this. Then Chgo John started talking about fish talking to him at the fishmonger’s and before I knew it I was having a good chat to a pair of duck legs in the local butcher’s shop. “Go on Chica”, they said “you know it’s been ages since you cooked duck, and now that you have a decent oven and a great extractor fan in your kitchen, there’s no need to fear us”. So of course, they came home with me. I carried them though, I didn’t make them walk.  Well, it was pouring with rain.

Citrus & Chili Duck (1)

I had a bowl full of oranges and some lovely little red chilies at home, so I veered off in a slightly Asian direction with this dish. It was simple to pull together and the flavours really complimented the duck. I served them with noodles which I stir fried (after boiling) with garlic, ginger, mushrooms and pak choi with a final splash of soy sauce, a spoonful of hoi sin sauce and a squeeze of orange juice. I think the noodles like this would also make a great soup with some chicken or vegetable broth.

Ingredients (to serve 2)

  • 2 duck legs and thighs
  • 2 small red chilies, finely chopped (deseeded if you prefer)
  • The grated zest of one orange
  • A crushed clove of garlic
  • Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Rub all the ingredients into the duck legs and roast in a medium oven for about an hour until the skin is crispy and the juices in the thigh run clear. Serve with rice or noodles and sprinkle some chopped spring onion over.

That’s it. How easy was that?