The fideo has just a modicum of spice which is a nice foil for the exuberance of the Vin Gris. Serves 4 to 6
1. Peel the shrimp and reserve the shells for shrimp stock. In a medium non-reactive bowl, marinate the shrimp with 2 teaspoons kosher salt, pimenton, garlic and 2 teaspoons olive oil. Cover to seal and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.
2. Remove the prawns from the marinade and mix the juices of the marinade with the prawn stock. Reserve at room temperature if cooking the fideo immediately, otherwise refrigerate.
3. Heat a 12-inch sauté pan or paella pan over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add ¼ cup olive oil and then the fideo. Stir constantly to lightly brown the Fideo, about 4 minutes. Transfer the fideo to a bowl.
4. Return the pan and reduce heat to medium. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan and then the ham. Cook, stirring frequently until the ham is golden and crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove to a plate lined with a paper towel to capture any oil. Reserve at room temperature.
5. Place the pan back on the heat and increase to high. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and then half the shrimp and sear until golden on each side but not cooked all the way through. Cook the shrimp in smaller batches if you don’t have a large sauté pan. You want the pan to stay very hot to quickly develop a nice golden color without overcooking the shrimp, but avoid burning the bottom of the pan as you’ll want to deglaze and get all the flavor of the stuck bits. Reserve at room temperature until ready to add to the Fideo.
6. Reduce the heat to medium high and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Add the onion. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft and starting to brown, 3 minutes. Stir in the peppers and cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
7. Add the chopped tomatoes or puree. Cook stirring constantly until the tomato juices are reduced, thickened and start to brown. Stir in 1 tablespoon of parsley.
8. Add the reserved fideo back to the pan and stir to combine evenly with the vegetables. Add the stock and stir to evenly distribute into a uniform thickness in the pan. Bring the pan to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Set the timer for 10 minutes.
9. After 3 minutes, stir the fideo to make sure that all of the noodles are moist. Stir again at 6 minutes. If the fideo is not producing steam, add a tablespoon of water. Nestle the shrimp into the noodles and cover the pan with a lid or sheet of foil laid over the top. Continue to cook until the fideo starts to crackle and form a crust on the bottom, about 5 minutes.
10. Remove from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes. To serve sprinkle with the crisp ham and the remaining parsley. Serve from the pan with lemon wedges on the side