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Spanish Paella
This traditional Sunday afternoon meal can vary greatly, depending on what meats you want to include. Some paella contains all seafood, some paella includes less common carne such as rabbit, while I prefer a mixed paella of seafood, chicken and pork. Add and substitute the meats you like. This dish will feed people according to the amount of meat and rice you add.

It takes a lot of pans and stove top space to prepare this dish, so hopefully you have some kitchen helpers to clean afterward! Without further ado, here is the recipe from the Escalante-Plaza family (my Spanish host family) with some Curry modifications.

 
Ingredients
▪  Shrimp
▪  Clams
▪  Mussels
▪  Calamari
▪  4-5 chicken breasts
▪  5-6 slices of pork
▪  Cooked spicy pepperoni sausage (2)
▪  Bundle of fresh parsley
▪  Small can tomato sauce
▪  1 medium sized onion
▪  Garlic clove
▪  Small jar of pimentos
▪  1/2 c. frozen peas
▪  Whole green olives
▪  Rice (make 1 c. cooked rice per person)
▪ 
Saffron
▪ 1/4 of lemon per person
▪ 1 tsp. salt
Garlic salt

     Boil the shrimp and calamari in water in one pan.  Scrub the clams and mussels and boil in a separate pan. Dice
the chicken into cubes and boil in water in large pan. Add a bundle of parsley tied with a string,the chopped onion
and a couple teeth of garlic to the pan with chicken. Cut the pork into strips and cook in a small frying pan with a 1/2 can of tomato sauce.

     Add rice and water to a boiling pan (rule of thumb: 1/2 c. uncooked rice per person). Here's the trick to creating a flavorful dish: For each cup of uncooked rice, add 1 cup of water from the leftover chicken-flavored water, shrimp-flavor water or the shellfish-flavored water. Using a mortar and pestle, crush the saffron and add a few drops of water until it's a dark reddish-yellow liquid. Stir it into the rice, and it will give the rice a yellow appearance. Personally, I cannot taste any flavor from this very expensive spice, and I think that yellow food coloring can do a satisfactory job. (I probably shouldn't say that!) But, as long as the rice looks deep yellow, who's really going to  know the difference?

     After all the meat and rice are cooked, add it a roaster pan. Decoratively place the shellfish in the pan, and add the frozen peas, pimentos, and green olives. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees in the oven, until the dish warmed. Spritz with water periodically to keep the dish from drying out.

After serving the dish, squeeze lemon juice on top of the paella. Season with garlic salt, if desired. Spanish food is generally not very spicy, but you may wish to spice it up according to your taste.
Optional: Top with white asparagus stems in a spoke and wheel fashion and bake


What is saffron?
The saffron filaments, or threads, are actually the dried stigmas of the saffron flower. Each flower contains only three stigmas. These threads must be picked from each flower by hand, and more than 75,000 of these flowers are needed to produce just one pound of saffron filaments, making it the world's most precious spice.

Buen provecho!
Joe


 
         
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