Friday, January 14, 2011

Paellismo


One day over the break I took the boys into Berkeley to buy presents, and simply had to stop at one of my favorite stores, The Spanish Table. Bought odds and ends with no particular dish in mind.
But by sheer coincidence I happened to win, via Zester Daily, a paella set - from The Spanish Table. I never win anything! But there is was, rice, a new pan, piquillo peppers, saffron, pimenton. And I just happened to have the other odds and ends I bought: razor clams, an end of serrano ham, chickpeas. Why not? It was actually a stunningly good paella too. Rice came out perfect, not too dense and clumpy, not over flavored. I'm thinking chorizo overpowers it. Little bits of ham work much nicer, and as for overcooked chicken breast, forget it. I imagine vegetables alone would be fabulous in this too.

9 comments:

lostpastremembered said...

I am most jealous, Senor Ken. I have always wanted a real paella pan but too cheap to spring for it... how totally cool to win one! Did you get the magical socarrat at the bottom??? I miss it most of the time but it is heaven when it works. I love your version with ham... the great thing about paella is that you can make it any darn way you want... looks spectacular!

Jeremy said...

Our upstairs neighbor is quite fond of making (very good) paellas. We can usually tell when dinner is ready - the last broiling to crisp up the top sets off the smoke alarm.

Anonymous said...

Glad you are enjoying that paella pan Ken! I think that the Bomba rice they sell at The Spanish Table makes all the difference.

I start my paella stove-top over the burner, and then once all the stuff is in except seafood, I put it on the floor of my oven (my oven has the heat source coming up from the bottom). I set the temperature on about 200 or 220, and let it cook slowly. After about 15-20 minutes, I put in the seafood (shrimp, scallops, bivalves) and let it cook another 5-8 minutes. It lets the garlic and onion caramelize on the bottom of the pan with the rice. Yum!

KarenSantaFe said...

That was my comment above, Karen S. in Santa Fe, don't know why it showed up as anon.

Ken Albala said...

Hey Karen, What a great idea. I rarely get that lovely crust underneath, mostly because I'm too impatient and cover it, which steams everything. It takes a lot longer, but makes all the difference when you never stir it, and keep adding liquid until tender. I'll try the oven trick though. But I have to admit, the best ones I've ever made were outside cooked over grape vine cuttings.

Jodi said...

Another suggestion: give it a try over a charcoal grill, about 3" over the coals, with the lid closed. Gives you a nice slow cook for the rice, and a great smoky flavor.

Glenn said...

How funny! I just 5-day got back from a 5-day trip down to the Bay Area, and like you, had to go to the Spanish Table (well, I went twice). Didn't win a paella set, though :( I did come away with some nice verjus and other odds and ends, though. Oh, and lust for that oven they have in the corner...

Peter said...

You might like my latest post about paella... sort of. Lately I've been a total sucker for those flavors, making saffron-pimenton fettucine with shrimp, red peppers, and peas.

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