Sunday, March 14, 2010

Paella

144. For Christmas my honey gave me a Paella pan. Hurray!!! a new adventure! The cooking of Paella has been on my list of "Foods to Tackle" for some time now. We searched our recipes and found this recipe in my honey's old "Foods of the World" series of Time Life Books. Paella was in "The Cooking of Spain and Portugal" cookbook. (purchase here)
The recipe is authentic to the "Levante" area on the east coast of Spain. This area is known as the "Land of Rice" with its miles of rice paddies, green and lush. Reading about this area made me want to fall into the pages, like Alice, and experience the foods, people and surroundings.

I took the recipe and "tweaked" it adding and omitting certain ingredients. Bobby, I'm making Paella!!!! You inspired me on your Throwdown! (Throwdown with Bobby Flay, Paella)

Paella
Time Life Books Foods of the World
"The Cooking of Spain and Portugal" (modified)

1 1/2 to 2 lb live lobster
6 medium-size shrimps in their shells
6 small hard-shelled clams, live
6 mussels, live
1/2 lb chorizos sausage, or other garlic-seasoned smoked pork sausage
1 1/2 to 2 lb chicken, cut into 12 serving pieces
2 teaspoons salt
fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1 ounces lean boneless pork, cut into 1/4" cubes
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 medium-sized sweet red or green pepper, seeded, deribbed and cut in strips 1 1/2" x 1/4"
1 large tomatoe, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
3 cups raw medium or long-grain rice or imported short-grain rice
1/4 teaspoon ground saffron or saffron threads pulverized with a mortar and pestle
6 cups boiling water (I made a seafood stock by boiling shrimp shells, clams and mussels)
1/2 cup fresh peas or frozen
2 lemons, cut lengthwise into 6 wedges

With a cleaver or large, heavy knife, chop off the tail section of the lobster at the point where it joins the body and twist or cut off the large claws. Remove and discard the gelatinous sac in the head and the long intestinal vein attached to it. Without removing the shell, cut the tail crosswise into 1-inch thick slices and split the body of the lobster in half lengthwise, then crosswise into quarters. Set aside.
Shell the shrimp, leaving the tails intact. With a small, sharp knife, devein the shrimp. Scrub the clams and mussels thoroughly with a stiff brush under cold running water and remove the black, rope-like tufts from the mussels. Set the shrimp, clams and mussels aside.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Place oil in paella pan and heat. Add chicken, browning on all sides, once the chicken has taken it's last turn, add the sausage, sliced. Add the lobster turning the pieces frequently, cook over high heat for 2 or 3 minutes until the shell begins to turn pink. Remove lobster, chicken and sausage to a separate plate.

To make the sofrito, add the pork and brown it quickly on all sides over high heat. Add the onions, garlic, peppers and tomato. Stir, and cook briskly. Add the rice, salt and the saffron. Pour in the boiling water and stir constantly bringing to a boil over high heat.
Turn off the heat and taste the liquid for seasoning.
Add more salt if necessary.
Arrange the chicken pieces, lobster, sausage, shrimp, clams and mussels on top of the rice and scatter the peas at random over the whole. Set the pan on the floor of the oven and bake uncovered for 35 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed by the rice and the grains are tender. At no time should the paella be stirred after it goes into the oven.

When the paella is done, remove it from the oven and drape a kitchen towel loosely over the top. Let it rest for 5 to 8 minutes. Then garnish with the lemons and serve at the table directly from the pan.
"WHAT" It was fantastic! We used shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels, chicken and Chorizos sausage and Uncle Ben's long grain rice.

~ Baltasar Gracian, 1650

2 comments:

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Oh my goodness! That looks wonderful! Why is it, ever time I open one of your posts, I am all of a sudden STARVED? :-)

Mrs. P. said...

Oh, this looks devine!! Maybe I need to add a Paella pan to my wish list :)

BTW, that pie in your header looks devine!

Blessings!
Gail

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