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Old 04-18-2015, 01:15 AM   #1
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Not your standard casserole

Paella, not sure what topic this is in, but the dish seems like a rice casserole of sorts. In any case, my son, the professional cook made it for us tonight, in my cast iron dutch oven. It was yummy. This is what he used to make it, and as I wasn't there to watch, I can't give amounts.

Shrimp
Calamari rings
squid tenticles
muscles
bratwurst
Arborio rice
safron
onion
chicken broth
salt & pepper

I'm telling you, this stuff was good! But really, this was peasant food for folks who lived near the sea, where seafood was plentiful. I see huge paella pans sold for rediculous prices on many online sites. My son made it in a $30 Lodge camping, cast iron dutch oven, and it came out great.

I'm with the person who posted that they would like to see TV chefs make real food, with techniques and recipes, in the types of pots and pans we use at home.

When you have the best tools, and the best food, it's easy to make great meals. When you're trying to make a great french omelet in an 8 inch cast iron frying pan, with vertical sides, it's just not as easy, but can be done with a bit of ingenuity.

But that's enough of that. I am officially a paella lover.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North

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Old 04-18-2015, 05:50 AM   #2
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So true Chief, I think many of the peasant recipes were gloriously uncomplicated meals cooked using whatever was at hand and using basic (for the area) kitchen utensils.

It's only us folks who have complicated matters!
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Old 04-18-2015, 06:16 AM   #3
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The name of the dish is actually the name of the pan used. I agree though that it can be made in other pots/pans and have done so myself. It is more the technique and being sure that the most prized part, the crusty rice on the bottom, comes out right. I believe there are many different ingredients used in different regions and probably from family to family. Many do not have seafood in them. The one we like best has seafood and chicken. Rabbit is often used as well.
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Old 04-18-2015, 09:13 AM   #4
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We are near the north Spanish border here and so there is a great spanish basque influence to our 'french 'cuisine ( how lucky can you get?) as Craig says, chicken pieces are also added to the seafood selection. The big difference from your delicious recipe is that Chorizo sausage is used and not Bratwurst. As you say, it is peasant food at it's best and so the ingredients change according to the availability of ingredients, time of year and so on. We went to a wedding last year where the outdoor reception in the courtyard of the beautiful old farmhouse centred around a table where two 3ft diameter paellas were being cooked by a chef stirring them with a baton that was almost as big as a rowing boat oar !!
Now that's entertaining and it smelt and tasted divine.
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Old 04-18-2015, 12:42 PM   #5
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Yes, our paella had chicken thigh meat in it as well. I simply forgot to put it in the ingredient list.

From what I understand, most French recipes are of the same nature, the things that were available locally to everyday folks. Think Coque Au Vin, a tough old stewing chicken made tender by braising with aromatics, and wine. I think in the U.S., if it has a French or Spanish name, the masses think of it as gourmet fare. In that respect, out own stews, boiled dinners, casseroles, and American Goulash are all of the same ilk. And to be sure, my own father's recipe for goulash was a meal to be remembered, with a rich, but not over-spiced tomato sauce, corkscrew noodles, mushrooms, onion, and bell peppers, with lots of browned ground beef. Everything was stirred together in a big pot, and covered with cheese when served.

His pan-fried brook trout was as good as fish can get as well. My Dad, though more limited in variety than me, was an excellent cook. His food would stand up to anyone's.

Except for her steaks, my Mother was an equally great cook. And neither of them were afraid of veggies. We ate all kinds, though most were grown in this region of the country, you know, rutabaggas, carrots, tomatoes, summer and winter squash, pumpkin, root veggies, etc.

Though we weren't rich, we were middle class, and I ate very well, and was soooo skinny.

I'm borrowing from Italy and Utah, with a bit of my own tricks for a pot luck for tomorrow, and from New York for the desert. I'm making ham and cheese filled Stromboli, using the Spudnuts pastry dough recipe, with extra vital wheat gluten added to give it a bit more body. The filling will be shaved ham (already done), with thin slices of fresh mozzarela, sharp cheddar, and Swiss cheese, all lightly dusted with basil and garlic. I haven't made up my mind yet as to whether I want sun-dried tomato in it. Desert will be a creamy New York style Cheesecake, backed over blueberries, and topped with cherry pie filling.

I'm going to be everyone's friend tomorrow.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 04-18-2015, 02:25 PM   #6
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It's a standard , old Spanish dish with chicken or rabbit or / and seafood and chorizo sausage . I don't tend to think of it as a casserole as it cooks relatively quickly in the pan and a casserole I think of as something I would cook for longer in the oven . No matter , it's a lovely dish .
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Old 04-18-2015, 03:12 PM   #7
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I make a lighter version of paella which uses chicken, shrimp, mussels, sometimes littlenecks, hot Italian sausage, celery, carrots, onion, and of course, rice and saffron. I have a 16" paella pan, and my paella has become a holiday tradition in the family. It's also a great entertaining dish. I've also made simpler versions in a smaller saute pan.

We traveled in Spain a number of years ago, and had lunch at a restaurant that had quite a variety of paellas on the menu. I don't know if it was just the restaurant we ate in, but their version was pretty greasy. I was very disappointed. Not at all like my version, which is a far healthier dish.
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Old 04-18-2015, 03:27 PM   #8
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Not your standard casserole

A dear former neighbor, who was originally from Venezuela, had a lovely house party. He cooked the heck out of his paella after bragging about it for weeks prior. Three hours into the party it was finally done, and we had something that was not memorable and barely edible. I felt so bad for him.
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Old 04-18-2015, 07:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigC View Post
The name of the dish is actually the name of the pan used. I agree though that it can be made in other pots/pans and have done so myself. It is more the technique and being sure that the most prized part, the crusty rice on the bottom, comes out right. I believe there are many different ingredients used in different regions and probably from family to family. Many do not have seafood in them. The one we like best has seafood and chicken. Rabbit is often used as well.
I think I've mentioned before that when I was young and foolish a Spanish (well, Menorquin) boyfriend taught me to make paella (about the only thing Spanish men do cook - at least back then it was!) and he used a mix of seafood and chicken. Like Craig I've also had it with rabbit, mallard duck and monk fish. There are different versions of the basic recipe depending on where you are and what's available. Away from the coast it often has no shellfish at all.

I make a vegetable paella as well. Not exactly authentic Spanish but it goes down well with my vegetarian friends.

Paella = the food
Paellera = the pan it's cooked in
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Old 04-18-2015, 07:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenspeed View Post
I make a lighter version of paella which uses chicken, shrimp, mussels, sometimes littlenecks, hot Italian sausage, celery, carrots, onion, and of course, rice and saffron. I have a 16" paella pan, and my paella has become a holiday tradition in the family. It's also a great entertaining dish. I've also made simpler versions in a smaller saute pan.

We traveled in Spain a number of years ago, and had lunch at a restaurant that had quite a variety of paellas on the menu. I don't know if it was just the restaurant we ate in, but their version was pretty greasy. I was very disappointed. Not at all like my version, which is a far healthier dish.
No, it shouldn't be greasy.
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