Blog-checking lines: Our Daring Cooks’ September 2012 hostess was Inma of la Galletika. Inma brought us a taste of Spain and challenged us to make our very own delicious Paella!
OH my, anyone who knows me knows that I love to experience cultures through their foods! I will host entire dinners around a menu complete from one country at a time, so this months challenge fell right into my love of this kind of travel. This month we were challenged to try our hand at Paella. I have made paella only one other time, and that was with a big group for a dinner party, so this time the challenge I added into the dish was to make it small enough so Ashley and I would not be eating Paella for the rest of our lives. I was fortunate enough to find a recipe that I wanted to use that would allow for such a thing. I will add that our hostess offered a suggested menu that was smaller in portion as well. I however went the route of finding one on Foodnetwork.com that was presented by Tyler Florence, Paella with Seafood, Chicken, and Chorizo. Now there were suggestions from our hostess to not use onion because her family reports that it "agglutinate(s) the rice." I had to look this term up to ensure that I knew what it meant, I had suspicions because I had thought I had heard the term before, but was not certain, the term means essentially that the the onion could cause the rice to stick together. Regardless of what the term meant, it seemed something to try, leaving the onion out, though I do love some cooked onion. So the modifications to the paella I made included leaving the onion out, I did not use jumbo shrimp because they are far too expensive, and the little neck clams were not used. I was so excited to use clams, and I was going to have Ashley try them I think maybe for the first time, however I got to the grocery and the clams in my store looked terrible, the young woman behind the counter suggested that I use frozen precooked clams, UM NO WAY! So we were clam less as well. To go along with our paella I made a Spanish olive tapanade from Epicurious that I have made many times before, and LOVE, with toasted baguette to go along with it. Because the dish begged for a salad with a citrus feel I made a grapefruit and avocado salad to go along with everything else. It was all so good, and I had grand plans to cook more paella however the days got away from me and well exhaustion won out. Here though are the photos of my paella experience.
The chorizo and the chicken, a very blurry photo.
This is the rice browning with the tomatoes and the fat from the chorizo.
The liquid added after the rice has browned a bit.
No for the meats and shell fish to be added to the pan.
The final outcome was amazing!
I could almost lick the screen it all looks so wonderful. I have to share too that my sister was the one who gifted me with both the paella pan for Christmas last year as well as the saffron. What a wonderful gift she gave me, and now I know that I can make paella a regular dish. I will be trying this again very soon, maybe even rabbit the next time, now if I can just find a good place to get rabbit around here. Enjoy your kitchen a bit more!