Yep....another Coast-to-Coast BakeSpace Cook-off!! (btw, if you're interested in how we come up with these you can ----->click here<------there's even a post on there from Martha, a fellow BakeSpacer who doesn't have a blog, but wanted to participate, so check it out)
Anyways...before I go into the detail of what I did and how...I'd like to introduce you to one of my bestest BakeSpace buds....(giggling cuz I almost typed bugs instead of buds...) Anyways, her name is Cathy and she is an awesome cook...a fun, loving friend and just an all around really great person!
(the pic on the left is mine and the pic on the right is hers..so you can see already how different this dish can be)
Sooo...without further ado....Let me proudly introduce my very first ever Guest Blogger....give a nice warm welcome to Cathy!!!
(applaud, applaud, applaud)
How cool that I get to be a guest blogger! Thanks, Danielle!
When I first heard about this Coast to Coast blogging, I was jealous that I didn’t have my own blog. So, when Danielle invited me to guest blog I was very excited. Our mission was to make paella. Huh? I had heard of it, but it wasn’t anything I had ever thought to make. Didn’t it have all sorts of seafood? And yellow rice. Hmmm. I thought that I had better research it a bit.
2 cloves garlic
In a large pan, heat EVOO over medium high heat. Add chopped onions, garlic and green peppers and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and continue to sauté for 10 to 15 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
Next was the rice part:
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups Arborio rice (traditionally a “short” rice is supposed to be used, but I couldn’t find any. This is a good sub)
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
A good pinch of saffron
Add the chicken broth to the sofregit. Add the rice, bay leaves, Italian seasoning and saffron. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cover pan. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
While the rice is cooking, cut the sausages into slices and brown in a separate frying pan. I used a wonderful chicken sausage from Trader Joe’s---Garden Vegetable, Mushroom & Asiago Chicken Sausage. There were four to the package.
About three to four minutes before the rice is finished cooking, add the browned sausage and the shrimp (1 pound).
And, voila! Paella, Cathy style!
This was pretty tasty stuff! Once my husband got over the fact that I made paella and not payola (he thought maybe one of my recipes finally paid off-ha ha), he enjoyed it, too. Now I have leftovers for a week…..Bring on the next challenge!
Thank you so much Cathy!!! Your dish looks fabulous! I soooo wish I could at least eat shrimp! Anyways....I definitely want to do this again. You can be my guest anytime!
Ok...Now...lemme explain a few things. I'm allergic to fish.
My version has NO fish.
Also, I couldn't find a few things. For instance, I couldn't find the spanish version of chorizo. So I bought the mexican version. It made a HUGE difference. I can't tell you if it was a good difference or a bad difference cuz to be honest with you, before last week, I had never heard of Paella (it seems to me that I have lived a sheltered life in regards to the culinary world).
Anyways....another alteration I made was the saffron. I'm sorry but I refuse to pay $10.59 for .5g of saffron. So I opted for the American Saffron, or what's referred to as the saffron bastard...Safflower.
The main website I referred to when planning and preparing my Paella is here: La Tienda
1/2 tsp saffron (or safflower if you're a penny pincher like me)
1/4 tsp paprika
1 small whole onion, peeled
5 lbs cut up chicken (I used thighs and legs)
1/2 cup olive oil
12 oz of mexican chorizo
13 oz portuguese sausage, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
4 scallions, chopped
6 mushrooms, sliced
4 tablespoons garlic, chopped
2 roasted bell peppers
3 cups arborio rise (I couldn't find small grain spanish rice)
3 tablespoons each: Italian parsley and cilantro
2 bay leaves, crumbled
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 lb fresh corn, cut off the cob
3 plum tomatoes, diced
Lemon wedges and more cilantro for garnish
And a very large pan, with a 15" base. I don't have a paella pan, so I used a deep skillet.
whew...thats ooooone long list.
Heat the bouillon, saffron, paprika and the whole onion in a large pot. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the onion and measure the broth. You need exactly 5 1/2 cups
Now....the package of chorizo said to remove the casing before cooking, and the directions called for what I thought said "cooked" chorizo, when it actually said, cooking chorizo (not sure what that meant but what I did probably wasn't what was intended).
Sooo....I removed the chorizo from the casing and cooked it....
Heat the oil in the pan. Add the chicken and fry over high heat until golden brown...
Put the chorizo and the portuguese sausage in the pan and stir fry for about 10 minutes. Add the chopped onion, scallions, mushrooms, garlic, and red pepper. Saute until the onion is tender...(mean while, bring the broth back to a boil)
Bring to a boil and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes. Bury the chicken into the rice. Bake in a 325'F oven for 20 minutes....
Ok...changes I will make for next time: No mexican chorizo. Although it had wonderfully great flavor, I think it is to blame for my lack of "yellow" in the rice. I guess I don't like portuguese sausage, so I'll have to find a replacement for that too. And thats all I can think of right now. You try it out..and see what you come up with. This dish seems to be pretty versatile and very tasty indeed!