May 18, 2009


I made paella tonight. It involved a bit of prep: Making a sofrito (browning minced onion and garlic). Browning chicken in a hot skillet with smoky pimenton, coarse salt, and pepper. Making a quick stock with frozen shrimp shells and fish trimmings. Scrubbing and cleaning mussels. Slicing rings of squid. Soaking saffron threads in hot water. OK, so it was quite a bit of prep. Luckily, I have Mark here as my sous-chef!

Next step, starting the rice. Unfortunately, I did not find any bomba rice at Central Market so I subbed arborio, which was not ideal, but passable. I added the rice, hot stock, and saffron to the sofrito and let it cook on the stovetop, covered, for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, I steamed the mussels in fish stock and wine and sauteed the squid, then pulled the chicken off the bone in chunks. After 15 minutes, I added the peas, mussels, squid, chicken to the rice and let it dry out in the oven for 5 minutes. Final garnish with parsley and scallions. We had this with a bottle of vinho verde, a slightly sparkly, minerally white from Portugal that is one of my favorites for summer.

Verdict: good, but not excellent. I was looking for some soccarat: browned, crisp rice on the bottom. It didn't happen, which was disappointing-- the soccarat is the best part! I attribute this to using the wrong rice (and not enough heat, obvs), but now I'm definitely motivated to try this again with proper rice. Still, the rice was flavorful from the stock, the chicken was salty and smoky, and the mussels were plump and slightly briny. I might leave out the squid next time -- not that exciting.

I'll refine this and eventually post a recipe.



LJ said...

tomato paella...I'm telling you, it's the way to go.

Unknown said...

wow! i love your new site :) and now that you have a recipe index, i know where i'll be looking to for inspiration!

Kim said...

Lynh - I promise I will make tomato paella. When tomatoes are in season and start to taste better.

Jyoti - thanks! :) hopefully I can get marky mark to post about his bread/desserts too.