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Shrimp fideos with red bell pepper and edamame

Fideos are thin toasted noodles used in Spanish soups and stews. Add some shrimp, edamame, and a red pepper to make a simple, tasty dinner. 

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Peel and devein the shrimp. If you wish to use the shells to flavor your stock (recommended – they add a nice extra to the finished dish), heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the shrimp shells, toss to coat with oil and cook, stirring occasionally, for two to three minutes. Add chicken stock and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 6 or 7 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly; then pour through a fine mesh strainer into a large measuring cup, pressing gently on the shells with the back of a spoon to release more liquid. Add enough water to bring liquid back to 2 cups (I added about 1/2 cup to replace what had cooked away). Set aside. You can do this as you prep your vegetables or a little before.

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Blue Kitchen

Terry Boyd is the author of Blue Kitchen, a Chicago-based food blog for home cooks. His simple, eclectic cooking focuses on fresh ingredients, big flavors and a cheerful willingness to borrow ideas and techniques from all over the world. A frequent contributor to the Chicago Sun-Times, his recipes have also appeared on the Bon Appétit and Saveur websites.

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Cook the dish. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large nonstick sauté pan or deep skillet over medium flame. Season shrimp with salt and pepper and quickly sauté, about two minutes per side. Don’t worry if they haven’t cooked completely through – you’ll finish them later with the pasta. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Drizzle a little more oil in the pan and add the broken pasta. Carefully stir it to coat with oil and cook until nicely golden brown, stirring almost constantly, about 6 to 8 minutes. Watch closely – it can go from nothing to burnt quickly. Transfer to a large bowl with a spatula or other slotted tool.

Wipe skillet clean with paper towel. Add 2 more tablespoons of oil and sweat bell pepper and onion until softening, stirring frequently to avoid browning, 5 to 7 minutes (reduce heat if onion begins to brown). Season with a little salt and a generous grind of pepper. Stir in garlic and paprika and cook until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Add wine [or substitute] and cook until almost evaporated, scraping up any browned bits.

Reduce heat to medium-low and add pasta to pan along with 1/2 cup of broth. Cook, stirring, until broth is mostly absorbed into pasta. Add another 1/2 cup and repeat. Add the remaining cup of broth and continue cooking, stirring frequently to coat pasta. The pasta will seem to resist softening – alarmingly so as the broth level reduces. Don’t worry. At about 8 to 10 minutes in of total cooking time, it will start to relax. And even any errant strands that fail to totally soften won’t have that raw pasta taste, thanks to the toasting. Instead, they’ll have a nice, delicious crunch.

When pasta has cooked for about 6 or 8 minutes, stir in the edamame and nestle the shrimp into the pasta. (If you’re substituting peas, add them when you add the last of the broth to give them time to cook.) Stir occasionally and start tasting noodles at 10 minutes for doneness. Adjust seasonings and serve in shallow pasta bowls, arranging the shrimp on top. Top with freshly grated Parmesan, if desired, and serve.

Kitchen Notes

Serves how many? Here’s another place where recipes varied greatly. One claimed a pound of pasta made two servings. Um, no. With half that much pasta, this recipe served two of us well and made a more than generous leftover lunch. It would easily serve three as dinner.

Related post on Blue Kitchen: Talapia with miso and scallions

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