Saturday, August 11, 2012

Seafood Paella with Squid Ink

Recently I decided to switch away from teflon pots and pans.

So I bought this 12in stainless steel pan with aluminum interior from Calphalon.

We had to christen it properly, and my bf suggested paella. It looked a little complicated at first, and given how much we love authentic paella, it seemed doomed for dissatisfaction.

A few videos in Spanish later, we decided to give it a shot.

First, we put in the ingredients that would form the flavor base: olive oil, garlic, and onions. Then we added the meats that would take longer to cook: chicken, chorizo, and calamari.

Whole Foods left some spine in the calamari, so I had to go and pull those out... it screwed up our well orchestrated schedule a little bit.

We then added rice, crushed tomatoes, paprika, tumeric, and chicken stock. We cheated with the rice by just using yellow rice in a bag because we couldn't find saffron. Next time I will use arborio rice and cook it in olive oil, white wine, and stock first as if making risotto. We also cheated on the spices. It turned out the Lawry's seasoning salt had all the ingredients that we needed.

Squid ink! I just happen to have this stuff lying around, and it makes the dish smell all the more seafood-y.

A little squid ink goes a long way.

Once the rice was 10 minutes from being done and nice and puffy, we added in some peas, and it's time to decorate! You don't want to stir the rice anymore from here because you want the hard crust (socarrat) to form on the bottom.

Mussels are so pretty. They were farm raised, so I just rinsed and jostled them a little.

They popped open with the eagerness of something destined to be eaten.

Umm I forgot to leave room for the shrimp.

No matter, we shoved them into the rice (careful not to disturb the bottom), and they cooked within minutes.

Time to eat with fresh lemon! My bf had the brilliant idea of cooking some snow peas to eat with the paella. They added the fresh green color and the extra crunch! We had 2.5 helpings each and still had at least 4 servings left over. It was a 10 out of 10 - probably not quite good as Siete Portes or Con Mas, but pretty darn good for this side of the Ocean.

Btw I ate it with a fork. I don't know what the chopsticks were doing back there.

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