Thursday, June 3, 2010

Paella for Dinner!

I made dinner today and I tried cooking Paella for the first time. Looked at a couple of Paella recipes online and decided to improvise with the ingredients so it's a modified paella :P

For all you curious ones, Paella's a Spanish rice dish that originates from Valencia. It's famous for being cooked in a Paellera (big, round, shallow skillet/pan that varies in size- it can be hugeee) and for the rice being a bright yellow/orange in color. This is probably one of the more popular non-Asian rice dishes out there, alongside the Risotto from Italy.

Looks yummy doesn't it?'s not mine xP

Instead of using calasparra or bomba rice, I used Japanese rice, lol. I bought a whole bag and used only 1 cup for sushi last time. Hence, the balance in rice that I have to start cooking! But Japanese rice is similar to bomba rice as they're both short-grain, so can lah.

This gloppy mix is a Sofrito, a Spanish onion & tomato base for dishes like Paella

I prepared the sauce base, fish stock and other ingredients first before adding the rice to the pan.

Added stock to the pan after removing the Sofrito. Allowed all the yummy caramelized bits on the pan to melt into the stock. Added tumeric powder for that bright yellow color as I don't have Saffron (which is hella expensive and also turns things yellow)

Sautéed red onions, garlic, diced tomatoes and 100% lean bacon in a teeny bit of olive oil

Alas, preparation- done!

Added rice to the Sofrito

Added the sautéed ingredients

Squeezed some lemon juice over

Voila! Still in the pan :) Didn't have parsley so I used shredded lettuce.

You know your paella has passed if you get just the right amount of charred rice (known as the highly-prized Soccorat) at the bottom!

Pan-fried some fish fillets (seasoned with salt, pepper, cajun seasoning, lemon, olive oil) to go with the Paella

I'm glad the dishes turned out. Not bad for a first-timer, eh? :D

Hope I made you hungry! ^^