FOOD DIARY: paella

Last night was my turn and I fixed my version of that wonderful Spanish outdoor dish, paella. It was my version because of lack of correct ingredients, a desire to make it low-cal and choosing the wrong ingredients.  As with many mistakes those mistakes show you new pathways that would never have been tried if not for the mistake.  Last night we got all the proper things out for the dish except that we set out regular long grained rice rather than the Spanish abboreo rice which is normally used.  Also, because the flame source is concentrated in the middle of the pan, I used a regular cooking pan rather than a Spanish paella pan which spreads the rice out over a much larger area rather than concentrating it as a narrower cooking pot will do.

It’s curious, a little bit of cooking trivia, that the New Orlean’s cooks say that their gumbo is a Cajun version of Spanish paella and when you cook it you can easily see the connections.  The dish that I made last night was not Spanish and it was not New Orleans but it was probably closer to the Cajun version being wetter than the Spanish version and much more like a gumbo.  Diane reckons that the rice made the difference; long grain just cannot compare to the abboreo and the Spanish paella pan is an absolute necessity but if you use one you must have a wide spread heat source.

Having said all of that the dish last night tasted really good, so good in fact, we finished the whole lot so it was not a low-cal evening.

We had the compulsory cleansing salad and a bottle of truly delicious Spanish white wine.  It was a Marques de Riscal Rueda which uses the Verdejo grape variety which is native to Rueda region of Spain.  We both enjoyed it so much I will try to remember how and where I bought it and lay in a case.   


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