Sunday, June 13, 2010

Paella y España

My brother Aaron is touring around southern Spain right now with his wife, I'm sooo jealous. I guess he deserves it since he served a mission there for 2 years. I just lived there for 2 months doing a geneology internship with my fav cousin Ann, but I still like to pretend like I have some claim to Spain. I wouldn't root for them in the world cup when playing USA or Chile, but against anyone else I'd definitely be on Spain's side. :) Man, I know way too much about sports these days...
I actually spent a couple of layover days in Spain last August when we were on our honeymoon, but it doesn't really count since we barely got outside of Madrid. (Still gotta go back, right?) I really wish I could recreate all of my favorite trips so that I could do them with Brad, and visa-versa, he's probably travelled more than me!
Anyways, I was telling my brother about all of the fabulous things I recommended for them to do (sure, he lived there forever, but you don't really get to play much on a mission-we got to travel all over Spain and Portugal) and it made me think about how much I love Spain. The flamenco dancing, romantic scenery and music, awesome history, fusion of cultures, great food- its a pretty magical place. People always like Italy more, but Spain seemed so much less commercialized to me. I like that, it's raw.  And the food- chocolate y churros, paella, tortillas españoles, magnum doble, and tapas for dinner each night. How luckly I was back then to have such a crazy metabolism.
I'm a scrapbooker, if I'm bored sometimes I'll go upstairs and pull out an old scrapbook to remenisce. I decided to take a pic of a page, then I got carried away. No worries, it's only like 5% of the Spain book...

What I'm actually getting at is that I got a Williams & Sonoma paella pan, made in Spain, for $3 at DownEast Home! The combo of that and having my brother in Spain right now inspired me to make paella for our weekend date w/ my old roomie Eun-Jin and her husband. They got married 2 days after us! We had fun complaining about sports and how our husbands shouldn't try to multi-task with their phones so much while they drive. There's always something comforting when other people can relate to you.
1/2 C olive oil or so
2 chicken breasts, cut in chunks
3 chorizo or hot italian sausages, browned on the outside and sliced
12 large shrimp, (peeled and deveined)
(lobster/crab/scallops/clams or any desired seafood, I just did big shrimp)
3 cloves minced garlic
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
1 C green beans
1/2 C artichoke hearts, sprinkled with lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp cumin
2 C med grain rice (valencia/bomba)- I actually just used jasmine cause I had it, but I'm gonna try sushi rice next time.
3-5 C chicken stock (I always save my homemade stock and freeze it)
1 large pinch or 1/4 tsp saffron (I got it cheapy in Morocco, I love saffron. You could just use turmeric though)
1/2 C peas
Lemon wedges, to garnish
Heat 1/4 C olive oil in paellera (you could prob just use a large saute pan, you just wouldn't be able to put it in the oven)  add chicken- season with salt, pepper, paprika, rosemary, thyme and cumin. Brown on all sides (no need to cook through). Set chicken aside. Add more oil, then add onion to the oil and saute a few minutes, then add tomato, peppers, green beans, artichokes, and garlic. Add rice and saute a couple minutes, add garlic salt and pepper. Pour in simmering broth and stir in saffron. Arrange chicken mixture, chorizo and shrimp on top. (I pushed the shrimp down so that they would cook good) Let boil 2 min, then reduce heat to a simmer. Move pan around to cook evenly, but don't stir rice, add more liquid if needed. It should take about 20 min to cook the rice through. After 10 min add the peas. My motto was do what you gotta do to cook the rice- I put it in a 350 oven for a few minutes, and turned the heat up on the burner for a couple minutes at the end to get the desired socorrat, golden brown crust on the bottom. I kept checking w/ a spoon to make sure it didn't burn. (if it starts burning just add more stock) Cover with foil and let rest 10 min. Sprinkle lightly with lemon and garnish with the wedges.
Brad took this picture of leftovers to make fun of how I always make too much food:
I made these yummy molten lava cakes for dessert: (unrelated to Spain)

Adios for now España!


wuxiheather said...

That looks so yummy, I want some! You're making me hungry! Cute pages!

kristen kathleen said...

I think you need to open a restaurant - I'm always in awe of the amazing (and beautiful) recipes you post about. Steve and I would be frequent customers. Paella? Molten lava cake? Yeah, we'd eat there a lot. =)


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