My birthday is quickly approaching and, if you’ve been following along, that may make you a little worried about how I’m going to accomplish everything on my 30 Before 30 list. The good news is, I’ve actually done a few more things that I’m just behind on posting. The bad news is (spoiler!), I still won’t be getting everything checked off in time. But I’ll save that post for a later date and focus on getting you caught up on what is done!
Back in September, on September 11th to be exact, I made my first paella. I didn’t really think about the date when I made my meal plan for the week but I couldn’t help but be thinking of it that Sunday. Interestingly enough, on September 11th, 2001 I had just arrived in Spain for my semester abroad. Even if I had planned it, I couldn’t have come up with any better personal tribute for my memories of that day.
Although I normally stick to following recipes exactly as written, I couldn’t find a paella recipe that had everything I wanted. I didn’t know before looking for one that I was so picky about my paella but apparently I am! What I ultimately ended up was something close to this one but with the following substitutions:
- more chorizo and chicken
- no squid or mussels
- canned tomatoes to avoid seeding (see my previous post!)
- added just a little paprika, oregano, and red pepper flakes since they seemed to be in several other recipes
- short grain rice instead of arborio
And do you see this pretty spice jar? I used a little more than they suggested since a) it’s so expensive and b) I have no idea what else to use it for. If you have any other recommendations, please let me know!
(Also, side note, I think Spain should consider making “Spain, Superior” their national slogan. That sums up my feelings pretty well. I need to get back there soon!)
Overall, it tasted great (even if not quite what I expected) and was easier to make than I thought it would be. The chorizo dominated the dish a little more than I would have liked though so next time I’ll probably leave it out. I took a picture of the final dish but I was reminded of something else I learned in Spain – I don’t really like pictures of food unless they’re done very well. Considering our kitchen has no natural light, mine did not fall in that category.
Oh, I also made sangria using a long kept but never used recipe from one of the Spanish bars in the town I studied. Unfortunately, I didn’t want to buy a new bottle of brandy so I decided to just use a little bit of the blackberry brandy that was left at our house after a fantasy football draft (don’t ask…) Not a good choice. Until I’m ready to buy some regular brandy, I think I’ll stick to my red wine and sparkling lemonade combo!