Saturday, January 4, 2014

Paella por favor: how about making it a tradition!

This New Year's paella features shrimp, but you can add other seafood, sausage or chicken! Be creative. Happy 2014.


This paella, prepared by Ecuador born Carlos Montero, features seafood.

NOTHING SAYS "eating" in Spain the way the paella pan does.
A celebration is underway the moment the pan is placed on the grill.
Our favorite paella has plenty of seafood..  The original dish, born of a fisherman's leftover catch, always featured fish.  This recipe features shrimp, but you can substitute or add crab legs, mussels, making your own combination.  You can also add sausage or chicken.  Make it your own, by featuring whatever you like.
Be adventuresome.  
BUEN PROVECHO! Which says "enjoy your meal" or "bon appetit" in Spanish!
First, assemble your ingredients:
These are basic paella ingredients, but you can be creative!
1 to 1 1/2 pounds raw extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined. (If you decide to use mussels or crab, cut the shrimp to a pound or less. Precise measurements are unimportant.)

Coarse salt
2 1/4 cups bottled clam juice or fish or poultry broth
3/4 cup wine
1/2 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads or powdered saffron
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup or more uncooked   rice
This Spanish chef enjoys his job at Parador Aiguablava in eastern Spain.
2 tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons  paprika

1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained (optional - can use olives)
1 cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)
Lemon wedges

Cookie says, "Buen provecho!"
Eggs, fruit and chocolate are
typical "dulce o postre" offerings.
* To add additional flavor, place the shells of the shrimp in a saucepan and cover with water. Simmer over low heat  7 to 10 minutes. remove from heat and strain the broth; discarding shells. Add shrimp broth to clam or chicken broth to equal 2 1/4 cups.

SINCE PAELLAS are as different as their creators, you can invent your own variations to make the dish yours. Some people add sausages, small potatoes, or a favorite vegetable or poultry. I've eaten delicious paella with chicken legs and shrimp, or with clams, mussels and crab claws.The rice cooks up in the juices. Add it the last half hour or 45 minutes. Serve with salad and bread and a bit of "dulce o postre" -- Spanish dessert!

A visit to New Orleans must include jazz aboard the steamboat Natchez!
UP NEXT: Take a trip to the Big Easy with us, for jazz on the historic steamboat Natchez, a stroll through the city's unique cemeteries, and more. Upcoming blogs will feature the island of Tenerife  and its pyramids.  Who knew, pyramids there!  The Seville, close-up with a visit to the heart of Andalucia. We also spotlight theater around San Diego. Remember to explore, learn and live, and visit us Wednesdays and Saturdays at:

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