Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Daring Cooks' September 2012 Challenge: PAELLA

It's been a while since I last updated my blog because I've been blessed by so much work, but there was no way I'm going to miss this month's Daring Cooks' challenge just because Paella is one of my favorite dishes to cook and eat!
I grew up eating a "Filipinized" version of paella which my grandmother called "Arroz Valenciana" and I'm guessing that's where my love for paella came from. So without further ado...
Our Daring Cooks’ September 2012 hostess was Inma of la Galletika. Inma brought us a taste of Spain and challenged us to make our very own delicious Paella!
Our hostess was gracious enough to allow us to make whatever paella we wanted so I followed her recipe but I omitted the seafood and made it an all meat version. I also used brown rice instead of white rice and the result was just so delicious, it was wiped out!

2¼ pounds (1 kg) jumbo shrimp (prawns), cleaned & deveined.
1 pound fresh clams (any size)
1 pound (½ kg) pork loin, diced
2¼ pounds (1 kg) chicken breast, diced
2¼ pounds (1 kg) long grain rice (par-boiled)
5-6 Saffron threads *
4 garlic cloves
16 oz. crushed tomatoes
9 oz (250 gm) fresh green beans **
1 bell pepper (capsicum) cut into strips
9 oz (250 gm) peas **
Olive Oil
Salt to taste
3 springs of parsley
Water or chicken broth to boil rice in – ratio is 1 cup of rice = 3 cups of liquid
1 can of sweet pepper (pimientos or roasted red peppers, peeled and sliced), a bunch of parsley and lemons cut into quarters (For garnish)

*Note: You can substitute saffron with “paellero carmencita” or another brand of paellero, you can find it in special stores and it costs much less than saffron. If that option is not easy, you can use paprika but in that case the broth must be excellent.
All vegetables are recommended to be used fresh, although you can use frozen or canned. If using frozen, add to the Paella at the end of cooking, say 10 minutes. If using canned, add at the very end before serving, just long enough to heat through – maybe 5 minutes.

1.Mise en place, maybe this is the most important of all the steps, you have to wash and chop all the vegetables and cut all the meat and remove the skin.

2.In the paellera heat the olive oil, add two garlic cloves diced and remove.

3.Add shrimp, sauté and when it turns pink remove it and set apart.

4.Fry the chicken and the pork

5.In another saucepan boil the clams in salted water. Bring water to just over the clams. Once clams have cooked, remove from water and discard any clams that did not open. Strain the clam broth and set aside.

6.Add pepper to the chicken and pork, sauté. Add salt to taste

7. Add crushed tomato

8. Add broth (or water) to cover the chicken and pork, boil for 30 minutes.

9. Add the strained clam broth. Add the fresh green beans too.

10.At the same time you have to make: “la picada”. In a mortar or a home coffee grinder crush 2 garlic cloves, parsley and saffron. Add a little bit of paella´s broth. Pour it into the Paella.

11.Spread the rice through all the paellera.

12. Add water (per cup of rice add 2 cups of water)

13. Add peas

14.The paella must continue boiling until the rice is dry. Add some lemon drops. Add the shrimp.

15.You have to wait until the broth or water is consumed

16.Turn off the heat and cover with some clean cloth towels. Let rest for 15 minutes.

And voila, the Paella is ready

The finished product!

Thank you Inma for this wonderful challenge! It's great to learn another way of cooking my favorite dish.
Please don't forget to visit the other Paellas that my fellow Daring Cooks have come up with!


Tangled Noodle said...

Fabulous! Paella is also a personal favorite, although I've never tried making it myself. But I've seen those paellero carmencita packets - it may be time to give this a try! 8-)

Anonymous said...

Dahlia..what a gorgeous, colorful, mouth watering paella! I love the substitution of meat and brown rice. I'm going to try that one day..since I've only ever had seafood and chicken paella.

Anonymous said...

Your grandmother sounds like a wonderfully talented cook
You did a wonderful job on this challenge Dahlia :)

Kitchen Belleicious said...

it looks just stunning and delicious. I love the vibrant colors and love that you used brown rice! very creative