Sunday, May 06, 2007

A Labor of Love Spanish Style

Paella must be one of the most labor intensive, but delicious, dishes imaginable. You never realize when you order paella in a restaurant just how much work is involved.

The paella we had in France at the Cadenet horse show in was spectacular, made outdoors in giant paella pans over an open fire.

The last paella I had at a Spanish restaurant in Old Towne was only mediocre, featuring a lot of peas and rice and some overcooked shrimp. That was the day the party menu was hatched. Anything we made would be better than that paella.

My friend Kris, who has mastered the art of cooking for a crowd, came over at 2:00 to help us with the remaining cooking. First we made guacamole with perfectly ripe avocados. Then we turned our efforts to preparing the various things that ultimately get combined for the paella. It’s now 5:00. So during the last 3 hours David, Kris, and I:

– Cooked chorizo and sliced it into thin rounds,
– Sauteed chicken legs and wings,
– Sauteed the chorizo rounds,
– Sauteed tiny cubes of lean pork,
– Sauteed a mixture of onions, garlic, pepper, and tomatoes,
– Scrubbed mussels and clams,
– Steamed lobster, shrimp, mussels, and clams.

And while we cooked, we planned our next adventure with Kris and Bill, this time to Chile and Argentina. First we must convince Bill that he wants to South America. I think a week in December in the Chilean lake country and in Tierra del Fuego sounds just about perfect.

As for tonight’s gala, at 6:00 we will build the paella from all the things we prepared, combining them with rice and fish stock and peas and lots of saffron to finish cooking. The guests arrive at 7:00.

This is the real thing. I can’t wait to taste it!
(Much later) It was delicious!


Blogger Malnurtured Snay said...

I've read the post and looked at the photos and still have no idea what you're talking about.

1:27 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

With some help, I made paella -- a Spanish dish with rice and lots of other things in it -- for a party of 30. Now does this make sense?

1:46 AM  
Blogger GEWELS said...

That is absolutely gorgeous. I must say it looks better than most of the paella I've even had in Spain! I, too, have made it for scads of people- actually just this past Christmas eve.

10:28 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Gewels -- When you take that first bite, you had to admit it was worth all the work, right?

11:26 AM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

My husband said he had it in Spain 30 years ago and it was great! Yours looks professional! Good thing you love to cook! (I actually don't so I'm in awe of you!)

6:17 PM  
Blogger steve said...

"Ima justa madabouta Saffron"

1:59 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home