Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What I Made Today… Paella!

Paella literally means frying pan in Latin, and is a typical Spanish rice dish cooked in a pan.

1 yellow onion
1 cup small chopped carrots
¼ cup of Goya peas
4 garlic cloves
½ leek shredded
1 cup white rice (Whole Foods has a paella rice, but if you can not get it there white rice will work)
1 box chicken stock
2 tbsp Goya Adobo seasoning
4-5 saffron threads
10 oz white fish (I like halibut)
1 cup shrimp, 20-32 count
1 chicken breast
2 lemons
1 bunch parsley (for garnish)


Chop all ingredients to equal size. Chop chicken and fish into equal pieces, peel shrimp and butterfly. In a large deep sauté pan, heat up the oil and sauté the onions, carrots, leek and garlic. Cook until soft, glistening and very aromatic. Add rice, salt, pepper and spices. Heat chicken stock with saffron threads. Add chicken stock, chicken and cover. Simmer for about 30-45 minutes. Halfway through, throw in the fish. Chop parsley and sprinkle over the top, and squeeze lemon over it as well. Serve!

Ingredient of the Day: Saffron

I have this brilliant Swede that works with me. She is sweet and bubbly and loves to cook. We work very hard to bridge the gaps between her cooking and my cooking, and we learn a lot from each other. One of her favorite cooking ingredients is saffron. The Swedish are extremely fond of using saffron in their cooking. Specifically, they use loads of it in December during the festival of St. Lucia.

Saffron actually comes from the stamens of the Crocus Sativus. This delicate flower cannot be grown in most parts of the world, and the tiny amounts that can be harvested from this flower are so small that supply of saffron never quite meets demand. Therefore, prices for saffron will always be high.

Zeus was said to sleep on a bed of saffron, and for good reason. Saffron tastes special and delicious. The world’s most expensive spice, saffron should be used sparingly, as its flavor is extremely robust.
Check in all this weeks for Saffron, tips and recipes.

Happy Cooking!

Illustration of a crocus from Carolus Clusius, Rariorum plantarum historia, Antwerp, Plantin, 1601, p. 203.