The Joy of Eating…

Did someone say it was Friday? Yes it is and we’ve made it through another insane week; be thankful your not living in Portland. In all honesty, I’m having a difficult time deciding on who the worst Mayor in the United States is: Ted Wheeler of Portland, OR or Bill De Blasio of NYC, NY. Wheeler, a Harvard graduate had his ass chased out of his personnel condominium by a mob. He’s part of the political aristocracy who are largely inept. An invading force would not need to establish a beach head on the west cost, they can just fly in to Portland and Wheeler would turn over the keys. Makes you fell secure doesn’t it. What this guy has done is throw the community that he’s sworn to protect under the bus and has the audacity to blame it on the President. Laughable!

Man, I’m starting to sound like I need therapy but I refuse to pay a jackass who studied psychology so they could understand themselves $150+ per hour to do what I can do for free with a good shoot the shit.  For those new to the site, a shoot the shit is a social interacting during which any topic can be discussed. Participant don’t need to know anything about the subject, they are free to make any unsupported statement, use uncensured profanity, insult anyone they wish or change the subject altogether. Shoot the shits can be organized with any number of people and work even better when you’ve got some great chow.

So, just in time for Labor Day and because who the hell wants to go to a restaurant I share with you possibly the best rice dish on the planet. It is called Paella (pronounced Pa ey ya) if you call it pa el la, people will know you’re an impostor and expel your ass from the shoot the shit.

This dish folks is delicious, it is classical Spanish cuisine (not Mexican) recognized along with French cuisine as the best in the world. It takes a little bit of time to cook but worth the effort. There are numerous renditions but the authentic Paella if from the Valencia region of Spain, there’s also a version from Barcelona equally as good but with differences.

The first thing you’ll need is the appropriate pan, I like a copper clad pan because copper distributes heat evenly and efficiently, cast iron is great as well.

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Your looking at about a 2 hour project including preparation.

 Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • ½ a whole chicken (roughly 4 pounds), cut into 6 pieces (keeping bone)

  • ½ a whole rabbit (roughly 2 pounds), cut into same size pieces as the chicken

  • 1 head of garlic, with cloves separated and peeled

  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped

  • 1 can of butter beans

  • 10 ounces (285g) frozen green peas

  • 10 ounces (285g) frozen green beans

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika

  • salt, to taste

  • 1 pinch saffron

  • 4 bay leaves

  • 4 cups Bomba rice

Preparation

  • Heat a paella pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Swirl to coat the entire base of the pan.
  • Add the garlic, chicken, and rabbit and fry until browned.
  • Push the meat away from the center of the pan, and add the tomatoes, butter beans, peas, and green beans. Season with the paprika and mix to combine.
  • Using a measuring cup, add enough water to fill the paella pan almost to the top. Record how much water you needed, this will let you know how much rice to use later on. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Keep simmering for 45 mins to an hour, to make a broth.
  • Once the broth is formed, add a few generous pinches of salt. Also add the saffron and bay leaves. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Stir until the broth becomes a vivid orangey-yellow color. If the color doesn’t seem intense enough, add a bit more paprika and another strand of saffron.
  • Now it’s time for the rice! Add half as much rice as you did water to make the broth. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook until all of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. You’ll know when the rice is ready and the broth is gone, as you will hear a faint ticking/cracking coming from the bottom layer of rice.
  • Serve immediately, straight from the pan. If it’s done well, the paella should have a healthy socarrat, the crispy, blackened layer of rice at the bottom!

The finished product should look like this…

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Notes:

  1. The Bomba (that’s its name) is important to achieve authenticity.
  2. If you want to get creative you can add some shrimp to enhance the presentation
  3. Top it all off with a nice Ribera del Duero red wine.
  4. I have just turned you on to some of the best eating since you and your partner found some quiet time together.


Alright readers, enjoy a great Labor Day shoot the shit with your friends or family and do try the Paella Valenciana.

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