Hello hello! I’m happy to report that my batteries are completely recharged and I’m back feeling quite excited to cook again. Not that I wasn’t cooking before, but I was struggling on the “what do I share on the blog!?!” front! Sometimes I forget that the blog isn’t meant to be a stressful thing I HAVE to keep up with. I just love cooking and trying new recipes out. The blog was created as a way for me to chronicle the recipes I enjoy and the photos are just an excuse for me to keep exercising my photography muscle. Note to self- post only when inspired
So I came back this week with renewed interest and new ideas! I also came back with a new resolve- to make practical choices with food. Not that I was so impractical with food before, but sometimes I found myself wanting to make insanely complicated things that took way too much time and with ingredients I had a hard time finding use for again. This just meant that I need to plan my meals better, budget better and find recipes that are simple without compromising on deliciousness!
So with that I bring you today’s recipe: Shrimp Fideuà. Never heard of the word Fideuà? Don’t worry, I only learned about this when I stumbled on a recipe for Fideuà a couple of years ago. Fideuà is essentially Paella that is made with thin vermicelli or thin spaghetti (classic Paella is made with rice). I’ve made this a couple of times before with thin whole wheat and quinoa spaghetti.
My original intent was to use thin spaghetti for this post. But when I got home I realized the box of thin spaghetti in my pantry, that was earmarked for this recipe, was half empty. No doubt, I was really bummed (and also very annoyed at my lack of labeling boxes like that as “half-used”). So I sifted through all the various boxes of pasta in my pantry and found a whole wheat orzo box still intact. I thought- this should work, it’s kind of in between noodles and rice, right?
Well I clearly don’t have to explain since I’m sharing this recipe, but just to humor you- it worked and it was DELICIOUS. I was worried that the ends wouldn’t curl up and toast like the spaghetti would have in this dish, but to my surprise the ends curled and toasted and it was just heavenly! This is a fantastic one-pot meal for a weeknight dinner! It serves 2 heartily and 4 comfortably. Pair this with a glass of sangria, and you’ll feel transported to Spain immediately 😉 Hope you enjoy this wonderful dish!
Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 11-3/4-Inch Skillet with Iron Handle, Cherry
Muir Glen Organic Diced Tomatoes, No Salt, 14.5-Ounce Cans (Pack of 12)
Rustichella d’Abruzzo Organic Whole Wheat Orzo – Net wt. 1.1 lb
Simply Organic Bay Leaf Certified Organic, 0.14-Ounce Container
Simply Organic Paprika Ground Certified Organic, 2.96 Ounce Container
Simply Organic Chili Powder Certified Organic, 2.89-Ounce Container
Signature Organic Chicken Stock, 32 fl. oz. , 6 Count
- 1 lb white shrimp (shell on, deveined)
- 8 oz. whole wheat orzo
- 1 [14 oz.] can of diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1 small white onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, divided (2 minced, 1 sliced)
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp chili powder or cayenne pepper (reduce if you can't tolerate this level of spicy)
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (reduce if you can't tolerate this level of spicy)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- Vegetable oil for sauteing
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Chopped parsley or cilantro, for garnish **optional
- Sliced lemon or lime, for garnish **optional
- Remove shells from the shrimp and place the shells in a medium microwave-safe bowl, and the shrimp in a separate medium bowl.
- Add 1 Tbsp of olive oil, 1/2 tsp of the crushed red pepper, a pinch of salt and pepper to the bowl with the shrimp. Toss to coat and place the bowl in the fridge until later.
- Add the cup of chicken stock, the 1 1/2 cups of water and dried bay leaf to the bowl with the shrimp shells. Cover the bowl with a microwave-safe lid (like a plate large enough to cover the bowl) and heat the bowl for 6 minutes on high.
- After the stock has heated, discard the shells and the bay leaf and set the bowl with the stock aside.
- In a large 12" oven-proof skillet over medium heat, add about 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil and when the oil gets hot, add the orzo pasta.
- Saute, stirring constantly, for about 4 minutes until the orzo looks toasted. Make sure to watch and stir to avoid burning the orzo.
- Place the toasted orzo in a bowl and set aside.
- Add about 1 to 2 Tbsp of oil into the same skillet over medium heat.
- Once the oil has heated, add the onion and saute until translucent.
- Add the drained tomatoes, paprika, chili powder, sliced garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Mix well and cook for about 3 minutes.
- Add the toasted orzo back into the pan, the shrimp shell stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 8-10 minutes, until the orzo is al dente (try a kernel to make sure it's still not hard in the center).
- By this time the liquid should have reduced but there should still be some liquid in the pan (mostly present when you move the orzo around). If it's too dry, add a little more water.
- Preheat your oven broiler and make sure the rack is at the highest rung.
- Take the shrimp out from the fridge and nestle them into the pan with the orzo & stock. Make sure to distribute the shrimp all over the pan. Some of the shrimp can be submerged, but ideally we want the shrimp to be half submerged and half exposed.
- Turn the heat off after a minute and take the pan and place it into the oven and broil for about 5 minutes or until the shrimp is cooked through.
- Carefully take take pan out of the oven and let it rest for about 2 minutes.
- Serve hot with optional garnish of herbs and/or lemon!
- I highly recommend using a paella pan if you have it, a stainless steel skillet or an enameled cast iron pan for this dish. Do not use a regular cast iron pan as the iron will react badly to the tomatoes (tomatoes may cause iron to leech into the dish and turn it black)