Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Popping Paella

Well, here are two firsts for me: 1/ posting to this blog (hello!) and 2/ cooking paella. This was originally something I had intended to attempt tomorrow, but after a lousy day, I was in need of some cooking therapy.

I started a couple days ago researching different recipes. I actually found two on Epicurious that were both vegan, and I liked different elements of both, so I combined them to make my own.

Now, the first rank:

I also had read that most paella recipes call for the saffron to steep in the liquid for several minutes, so this is after a ten minute swim in the veg. stock pool:

I had a good thing going here, until I realized that my pretty paella-in-the-works would soon overtake the skillet I was using. So, paella purists, cover your eyes, because I went to a large soup pot (I had a toooon of veggies to put in, so this was the only way my kitchen could stay clean).

I was a little worried going into the last 15-minute cooking period. I have never had paella so I had nothing to compare these results to. However, after the last covered bit, I uncovered this beautiful, yellowy, very tasty goodness:

After I uncovered the dish (and after the obligatory taste test, natch), I cranked up the heat for a couple of minutes for the socarrat. I was hesitant (again, my paella knowledge is nil), but I have to say, this was my favorite part of the whole night. After turning up the gas, the rice soon started crackling and this very nutty, sweet, toasted smell arose from the pan. It sounds silly, but it was a nice "zen" moment to a very crazy day.


At February 15, 2007 10:45 AM, Blogger stardog said...

I tried the slow cooker paella from fresh from the vegetarian slow cooker or whatnot, and low and behold, I was supposed to supply the "fresh" part. Some still unidentified ingredient, which looked good to the eye, turned out to be terribly freezer burned, ruining the lot, most distressingly about 10 dollars of ingredients which weren't bad which I was hoping to sustain me for days and days. I couldn't take any pictures cause I was crying to hard to see through the viewfinder. GRRRRRR. Any tips on how to avoid this? Though, looking at Cheryl's post, I think it might just be punishment for so flouting the paella gods with my lazy girl ways.


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