Monday, August 24, 2009

Paella Coast to Coast and a Guest

We're doing it again!!

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)

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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.
A simple search on the internet gave me all sorts of information. Paella is a Spanish dish (this I already knew) and it comes in many variations. This was a good since that meant I could do my own thing. I like to do my own thing. About the only requirements were rice and saffron (and I even saw recipes that used yellow food coloring instead of saffron—blasphemous, I know). Coincidentally, I saw another food blogger on Twitter that was doing a rice dish—www.adreasrecipes.com –The Daring Cooks Make Creamy Rice with Mushrooms. Her picture looked just like paella to me, but she started out with a sauce made from tomatoes and onions (called sofregit in Spanish). Yum. I was using that idea. And since my husband wasn’t into most crustaceans, I just chose shrimp and a nice chicken sausage for the protein. So this is what I came up with:
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I started out with the sofregit:
2-3 tablespoons EVOO
1 Vidalia onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic

5 Roma tomatoes, sliced into wedges

Salt and pepper

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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About three to four minutes before the rice is finished cooking, add the browned sausage and the shrimp (1 pound).

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And, voila! Paella, Cathy style!

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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!

(I'm baaack!)

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


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6 cups chicken bouillon (very strong)
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.

Ready?

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


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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....


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(no comments from the gutter....errrr...peanut gallery!)

The directions say to cut the boney end of the chicken legs off and to cut the thighs in half. I suggest doing this so that everything fits into the pot. Pat the chicken dry and sprinkle with salt.

Heat the oil in the pan. Add the chicken and fry over high heat until golden brown...

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Remove chicken to a warm platter. As you can see, my "warm platter" is a plate that I will cover with a piece of foil.

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)


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Add the rice and stir to coat. Sprinkle in the parsley, cilantro and bay leaves. Stir in the broth, (boiling hot), wine, corn and tomatoes....

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(I'm totally loving this!!!)

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....

Before:
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After:
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Remove from the oven, lightly cover with foil and let sit for about 10 minutes before serving. Squeeze a bit of lemon on top....mmmmmmm

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!

I did mention that this was a Coast to Coast Cook-Off.....so here's what the others did:

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15 comments:

  1. Okay, I'm cracking up. I totally pictured you with a microphone up on a podium or something! I love the joint posting. Very cute!

    Both dishes look great. Yes, very versatile dish!

    Once again, the coast to coast challenge was a blast!

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  2. Awesome!

    They both came out so good!!

    It's cool how different and the same they all are!

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  3. Yay! I'm not a blog virgin anymore!

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  4. How fun! I wish I could log into the "regular" section of Bakespace...haven't been able to forever. I can only get to the wine club...what's that say about me! LOL :D But seriously, I can't log-in or even reset my password...I gave up. BUT...everybody's version looks so amazing...I want some :D Great guest blogger, too!

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  5. How cute are "yous twos"? You make a great tag team :) And Cathy...congrats on your first posting! awesome job you guys

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  6. Man, I might just have to get into these things. You guys seem to have so much fun! Great job kids. :)

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  7. Cathy - Awesome first blog posting... :) And an excellent spin on Paella, cause I love me some shrimp. psst - we used the same chicken stock... ;)

    Danielle - I did really like the Mexican flare you put on your paella..

    I cannot wait to do this again... I love it!

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  8. LOL...Michele ya, I was having a little fun there. Totally loved this challenge!

    Spryte - I think its so cool how different they are but the basic ingredients were mostly the same.

    Cathy - YES you did it! Great job! Now if you could hurry up and post a recipe on YOURS!! Next thing you know, you're gonna be a blog whore!!! LMAO

    Moni - I'm so glad you participate this time! your dish is awesome. :)

    Heather - We do the cook-off in the forums...so you should be able to do the next one with us. When we get started on it, I'll send you a link :)

    DD and Bob...ya you guys need to get in on this action!

    Shane - I can't wait for the next one either! WOO HOOO

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  9. Cathy did a wonderful job. Both dishes look stellar, Id love either version!

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  10. I am with you and I'd leave the fish out of mine too, but just a personal preference.

    I agree with saffron - I bought it once for a dish, and then really couldn't taste it!

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  11. These both look so delicious! I've never eaten Paella! I'm inspired!

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  12. Both dishes look fantastic!I love paella.

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  13. Thanks you guys! :) I'm just having so much fun with the little coast to coast thing. You are all welcome to participate if you'd like. We're just starting the planning process for our next one, which will probably be in a week or two. If you'd like to join us, just shoot me an email: peacefulcooking at gmail dot com and I'll send you the link to the discussion thread :)

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