30 Before 30: Paella and Sangria

10 Oct

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!

4 Responses to “30 Before 30: Paella and Sangria”

  1. Petet October 10, 2011 at 9:37 pm #

    One word . . . mmmmmmm!

  2. KWheat October 11, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    Another word….mmmmmm. Wish I could have been there to sample! Sounds great. I have a recipe for chicken that calls for saffron that I have been waiting to use. I can pass it on to you if you would like!!

    • pleasantandhome October 11, 2011 at 6:12 pm #

      Yes, if you get a chance, please do. Thanks!

  3. Krishann October 12, 2011 at 1:29 am #

    That sounds delicious (especially since there were no sea creatures:) I enjoy reading about your recipies. Still can’t wait to try making granola!
    Looking forward to seeing what else you’ve accomplished on your list!!

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