Paella And Tostones! - I burnt the bread! Blog at - 264054

I burnt the bread!

Paella and Tostones! 
Jan. 14, 2012 6:56 am 
Updated: Jan. 19, 2012 7:54 pm
I have always, always wanted to try spanish paella. My husband has always wanted to try plantains (tostones!) Tonight was the night. I planned on cooking the plantains, and googled "cuban recipes" paella came up in my search. Although traditionally spanish, it was close enough for me!

I had mostly everything I needed on hand, sans the chorizo and specialty rice. I had short grain japanese rice, and after my last rice failure (mexican rice, still working on that one!) using the wrong rice, I wasn't taking any chances! I went to Trader Joe's and found a very short grain Arborio rice.

I thought long and hard about using chorizo. The last time I had chorizo, the smell of it cooking made me nauseas. I generally like sausage, but NOT chorizo!!! I really wanted to stay authentic, but decided on substituting with hot italian sausage instead. I caved.

My son, Bodie came home from school just as I was gathering my ingredients. What a great opportunity to teach him how to make Paella as well! He loves cutting the meat and veg, so I had him start with that. He diced the onions and red peppers while I chopped the chicken and sausage.

First, he added olive oil, garlic, onion and peppers. Cook until translucent. He then added the chicken and sausage and spices. The dish is becoming so incredibly fragrant at this point! He cooked on med-high heat slightly browning. He added rice and cooked it dry for a couple of minutes, coating in the pan oils.

he added two cups of rice and 1 quart/4 cups of chicken stock. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Add shrimp, laying on top. Simmer, covered for approx 20 minutes.

Unfortunately, the paella was kind of dissapointing.  The rice was sticky, and I had too much rice and not enough "stuff".  I regret the italian sausage, it tasted out of place in this dish.  The chicken was bland (maybe a marinate?). Next time I will add clams, and try a different order of preparation.  I will continue to try this dish though, until I master it!

Here are the ripe Tostones- sliced and single fried in Canola oil.

Now for the double fried unripened (green) tostones... 
For the double fried I cut in 1 - 1 1/2 inch pieces fried on both sides (med-high heat) and then flattened them with a pan between parchment paper, then fried a second time, salt and eat!  They were pretty good! I will definitely make these again. 

Jan. 14, 2012 7:16 am
I want to try to make paella one day. I'll remember your not having enough "stuff" and be sure to add more. Thanks for sharing!
Jan. 14, 2012 9:07 am
Oh Ho, the vaunted Paella. I've made Paella just once. I love Bouillabaisse, which I make on occasion so it had always been a thought to try the Spanish version, which would seem to be about halfway to a good Jambalya. It was kind of like a Cassoulet, the french recipe that requires 14 different kinds of meat. What it ended up being was a massive and very expensive dish that did not keep. Mind you, the one I made had ham, sausage(s), chicken, clams, mussels, shrimp, lobster, sea bass (I subbed in halibut) and shrimp. It was delcious but even cutting it in half provided us with a pot that was full. Although, its hard to do half a lobster but not totally unpleasant. From what you made, in addition to the meats, I added thyme, oregano, parsley, red wine vinegar, tomatoes and coriander. Like I said, delicious and oh so expensive. I'll just bet one could whip up a less expensive version with just the ingredients you used and amp up the spice factor to bring it to that savory edge it was missing, I'm thinking bacon pieces too. Its a fun dish, you should look it up on Google, its a really diverse and varied food, the closer your recipe comes to France the more it begins to resemble bouillabase, saffron included. .... The plantains are interesting, I bought one to try last year and never got around to it. It's great that your son likes to get in there and mix it up!
Jan. 19, 2012 7:54 pm
Good luck Mother Ann! Let me know how it turns out! @Raedwulf- that sounds so interesting! I will look into Bouillabaisse! I have never heard of it before. Because of the effort and cost that would be a good dish for company, or a special occasion! I am intrigued, thanks for the tip!
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About Me
I'm married with 3 children. I live on 7 acres with chickens, goats, and dogs. Being a city girl and living and traveling all over the world, this lifestyle is a new adventure for me. I'm an RN and I work at the local hospital in town. I love my job, and love my community! UPDATE: We have just recently relocated to the south! My husband was relocated to Marietta, GA. We are now in the suburbs, and I am embracing our new lifestyle with open arms!
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I recently had to go Gluten Free and low sugar. This is actually a good thing for my cooking progression! I no longer buy any processed or packaged products. I make just about everything from scratch! I love soups and international foods! I absolutely love experimenting with spices and fresh herbs.
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I enjoy cooking with family and friends. I always give my kids jobs in the kitchen, it helps me and also helps them learn how to chop, dice, zest, puree, braise, etc... And nothing is more fun than having a friend visit, and cooking a meal together while we drink wine, and catch up on lost time!
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Creating my own recipes! I recently started doing this. I will research a food, look at several other recipes, and combine and moderate to my own taste. Check out my recipe box to see some!
My cooking tragedies
There have been so many. The family joke is my burnt bread. I burn the rolls/bread for every Christmas and Thanksgiving!!! My friend and I made our first T-giving turkey and left the plastic bag-o-guts in the turkey! And of course, there's the time that I mistakently added 1 cup of salt instead of sugar in a cookie recipe!
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