I finally got to cook last night. Not just throw a quick soup or salad together, but really cook. It felt great to make something I was excited about, something I’ve never made before, something pretty darn tasty.
I seem to have a stock-pile of hot, Spanish chorizo in my fridge and it’s been finding its way into so many of my meals recently. I love how it infuses a dish with color and flavor. For this recipe, I sauteed it with chickpeas and added chicken stock and the thin Spanish noodles known as fideos. Something really interesting happened that I hadn’t intended — the broth became super thick and almost creamy and I couldn’t figure out how it had gotten that way without flour or cream. After thinking about it, I concluded that the little bit of water from the chickpeas thickened up as I sauteed them and the fideos released a good amount of starch as they simmered in the stock. The result was a thick orange sauce that I used to poach my shrimp.
I think I’ve found my new favorite meal in this dish. It has a really short prep and cook time and is impressive enough for guests. Oh yeah, and it’s a one-pot meal so the hub likes it too.
Fideos with Shrimp & Chickpeas
4 oz. hot Spanish chorizo, chopped
1 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained (but not rinsed)
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 package Spanish-style thin noodles – fideos (or if you can’t find fideos, use 1 lb. angel hair pasta, noodles broken in half)
pinch of Saffron threads
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 lb. large or jumbo shrimp, peeled, de-veined and tail removed
1/4 cup tarragon leaves, loosely packed
good olive oil for drizzling
Heat a large, heavy-bottom pot on medium-high heat. Once it’s hot, add the chorizo and sautee for about 2 minutes until the fat renders out. Add the chickpeas and continue to sautee, stirring frequently for 3 more minutes. Add the stock, tomatoes and garlic and bring to a simmer. Once the liquid is hot and bubbly, but not boiling, add the fideos. Cook the fideos until they’re almost al dente, stirring the pot occasionally.
Right before the fideos are tender, add the saffron threads, cayenne pepper and shrimp, stirring to ensure the saffron and cayenne are equally distributed and the shrimp is submerged in liquid. You are poaching the shrimp in the excess liquid so you want to be careful not to overcook them. The shrimp are done after 2 minutes, or once they turn opaque.
Once the shrimp are done, ladle the noodles into a bowl with a healthy dose of sauce. Garnish the dish with a few leaves of tarragon and a drizzle of olive oil.