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Paella—Cook-Off 31


snowangel
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Thank you for your write-up and lovely pics! Some tasty looking food there, but may I ask what went wrong with the one you labeled as 'sucky paella?' It doesn't look all that bad but I had a hard time seeing the details. Maybe overcooked in the center? 

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Thank you for your write-up and lovely pics! Some tasty looking food there, but may I ask what went wrong with the one you labeled as 'sucky paella?' It doesn't look all that bad but I had a hard time seeing the details. Maybe overcooked in the center? 

Yeah - overcooked in the center bottom. Rice not cooked evenly (because it wasn't the excellent rice I suggest using), so some was a little too al dente and some a little too mushy.

 

live and learn!

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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  • 5 years later...

*bump*

 

I've had a bee in my bonnet about paella for a while now. Part of it is because a favorite local restaurant, struggling to stay afloat during these pandemic times, now offers a Spanish Paella meal kit. Part of it is because if it's really a hit here at home I may have an excuse to go buy a paella (pan) from one of the local kitchen stores that are struggling in these pandemic times.

 

Yes, I could go buy the meal kit. I've been buying meal kits from that place fairly often, and they've always been good. Still. We have a bunch of meat and seafood in the freezer, including materials for making stock. It was time yesterday to make some freezer room.

 

I pulled out a few recipe books to get an idea of technique, but did not consult this topic until today. According to this post my final result is really an arroz rather than a paella. I know I broke a few rules. Well no, I probably broke most of them. Cooked it on the stove top in my All-Clad braiser. Didn't add the incredible variety of meats; used shrimp only. Used corn and green beans instead of peas and artichokes. Didn't get as much crust as I wanted.

 

20200729_204843.jpeg

 

So maybe a D- for authenticity, but we gave it an A- for flavor. The shrimp was done just right, the overall meal was balanced, and we liked the seasonings with only minor adjustments for individual tastes. We liked it. And it's a good thing we did, because there are a lot of leftovers.

 

20200730_084015.jpg

 

So there's my paella-inspired rice dish. Has anyone been doing the real deal lately? I'm pretty sure I've seen some in the Dinner topic recently.

Edited by Smithy
Corrected bad link (log)
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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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1 hour ago, Smithy said:

*bump*

 

I've had a bee in my bonnet about paella for a while now. Part of it is because a favorite local restaurant, struggling to stay afloat during these pandemic times, now offers a Spanish Paella meal kit. Part of it is because if it's really a hit here at home I may have an excuse to go buy a paella (pan) from one of the local kitchen stores that are struggling in these pandemic times.

 

Yes, I could go buy the meal kit. I've been buying meal kits from that place fairly often, and they've always been good. Still. We have a bunch of meat and seafood in the freezer, including materials for making stock. It was time yesterday to make some freezer room.

 

I pulled out a few recipe books to get an idea of technique, but did not consult this topic until today. According to this post my final result is really an arroz rather than a paella. I know I broke a few rules. Well no, I probably broke most of them. Cooked it on the stove top in my All-Clad braiser. Didn't add the incredible variety of meats; used shrimp only. Used corn and green beans instead of peas and artichokes. Didn't get as much crust as I wanted.

 

20200729_204843.jpeg

 

So maybe a D- for authenticity, but we gave it an A- for flavor. The shrimp was done just right, the overall meal was balanced, and we liked the seasonings with only minor adjustments for individual tastes. We liked it. And it's a good thing we did, because there are a lot of leftovers.

 

20200730_084015.jpg

 

So there's my paella-inspired rice dish. Has anyone been doing the real deal lately? I'm pretty sure I've seen some in the Dinner topic recently.

 

How delicious this is and I am just dreaming about all the little bits in the bottom of the skillet.  I love paella but surprisingly have never made it.

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My favorites paella description is from @David Ross you probably are familiar - the Time Life Foods of the World series.  More recently (pre-Pandemic) I was enticed across the farmers market parking lot location by Bernard Ibarra. I think a dish that needs to be eaten in the open, on the spot when hunger is in high gear.

https://www.tastewiththeeyes.com/2014/03/meet-terranea-resorts-executive-chef-bernard-ibarra/

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8 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

Ok I'm just going to have to make that one too, and those are perfect green beans.

 

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I made a Spanish chorizo and squid paella on the Big Green Egg a couple of weeks ago which turned out really well.  I do like the Chorizo..just one small one sliced thinly mainly to add flavour rather than meat.  I have one more sausage left so that’s what we are having Saturday.  I believe I made just 1 1/4 cups of rice so there were no leftovers...hate leftovers.

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2 hours ago, Smithy said:

Didn't add the incredible variety of meats; used shrimp only. Used corn and green beans instead of peas and artichokes. Didn't get as much crust as I wanted.

 

 

Don't think of it as a dish with an incredible variety of meats; it's a rice dish, first and foremost, with maybe some seafood, or perhaps some chicken or rabbit. Surprisingly, chorizo (though I pretty much always use chorizo in my paella) is not considered "authentic."  Yeah - the soccarat is hard!

 

384397884_Paella2017_04_150767.thumb.JPG.8d1d94513bf629908e88293afb9e45e1.JPG

 

1954593900_Paellachicken06-03.jpeg.ee8848907cd49735ac0fc4cfb0953719.jpeg

Edited by weinoo (log)
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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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31 minutes ago, weinoo said:

 

Don't think of it as a dish with an incredible variety of meats; it's a rice dish, first and foremost, with maybe some seafood, or perhaps some chicken or rabbit. Surprisingly, chorizo (though I pretty much always use chorizo in my paella) is not considered "authentic."  Yeah - the soccarat is hard!

 

384397884_Paella2017_04_150767.thumb.JPG.8d1d94513bf629908e88293afb9e45e1.JPG

 

1954593900_Paellachicken06-03.jpeg.ee8848907cd49735ac0fc4cfb0953719.jpeg

 

 

Those are beautiful, weinoo!

 

@weinoo, @Margaret Pilgrim, or anyone else with experience, please tell me - is a proper socarrat harder and crunchier than the tahdig in Persian rice dishes? I get the idea, without having experienced it, that it's supposed to be. Hard and crunchy like the caramel coat on an apple? Chewier than that, as I consider tahdig? Crisp but brittle and easily broken, with just a little snap? Hard enough to threaten weak teeth? (That's on my mind right now. Don't ask me how I know.)

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Well, those are all interesting comparisons!

 

Lately I find that I get a nice bottom rice crust in my Japanese donabe, with a lot less fuss than in a paella. Probably because I've made more donabe lately?

 

To be sure, the perfect socarrat will neither threaten weak teeth, nor crunch like a caramel coat on an apple.

 

More like in between.

Edited by weinoo (log)
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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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I still daydream about that paella that was cooking in the four-foot-wide pan at the Tower Grove Market in StL last summer.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

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15 minutes ago, weinoo said:

Well, those are all interesting comparisons!

 

Lately I find that I get a nice bottom rice crust in my Japanese donabe, with a lot less fuss than in a paella.

 

To be sure, the perfect socarrat will neither threaten weak teeth, nor like a caramel coat on an apple.

 

More like in betwee//

 

OK this is odd - when grandmother cooked the main mid day meal for us kids during the work week she baked the rice an enamel pan that had the perfect-bottom crust. We fought over it. Not our culture thing so i find it interesting 

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57 minutes ago, weinoo said:

What’s odd, @heidih?  I’m confused.

Sorry I was sobbing at Obama's  Lewis eulogy. I meant to say I have never had it be hard/chewy/inedible. So good is why we fought over it.

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21 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

@weinoo please say more about using a donabe.  Since my Darto paella is warped I'm looking around for another pan to use, and I have a donabe.

 

But that is soo so different to open face paella pan - no?

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8 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

@weinoo please say more about using a donabe.  Since my Darto paella is warped I'm looking around for another pan to use, and I have a donabe.

 

 

8 hours ago, heidih said:

But that is soo so different to open face paella pan - no?

Oh yeah, it's a covered ceramic pan - no bueno for paella. By all means, use your donabe - for the stuff it's good for!

 

https://happydonabelife.com/

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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16 hours ago, weinoo said:

 

Oh yeah, it's a covered ceramic pan - no bueno for paella. By all means, use your donabe - for the stuff it's good for!

 

https://happydonabelife.com/

 

Sorry I totally misunderstood.  How about a tarte tatin pan for paella?

 

Baked.jpg

 

 

Please forgive the pastry.  I've used this pan about twice since I bought it and would love to achieve more mileage.  My favorite paella book, La Paella by Jeff Koehler, recommends Le Creuset for use as a cazuela but disparages cast iron for a paella.  Though he is fine with enameled or stainless steel.

 

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7 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

Sorry I totally misunderstood.  How about a tarte tatin pan for paella?

 

Baked.jpg

 

 

Please forgive the pastry.  I've used this pan about twice since I bought it and would love to achieve more mileage.  My favorite paella book, La Paella by Jeff Koehler, recommends Le Creuset for use as a cazuela but disparages cast iron for a paella.  Though he is fine with enameled or stainless steel.

 

I have Jeff's book as well.  My guess is he feels that cast iron (for paella) stays hot for too long.

 

By all means, make cazuela rice! Which I actually find more forgiving than paella.

 

Also, I recently purchased a couple of new paella pans (I needed other sized pans) - and picked up one of those speckled enameled ones just to play with. It works really well.

 

Check this place out - the enameled pan and the odd sized pan I bought were both from the sale section (slightly damaged, but I noticed basically no damage) and really inexpensive.

 

https://www.paellapans.com/Sale-s/8.htm

 

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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30 minutes ago, weinoo said:

Check this place out - the enameled pan and the odd sized pan I bought were both from the sale section (slightly damaged, but I noticed basically no damage) and really inexpensive.

 

https://www.paellapans.com/Sale-s/8.htm

 

Thanks for that link. There are some good sale prices there, given the original price. When I started looking online for paella pans, I was shocked at their list prices. Does anyone know why they're so expensive?

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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3 minutes ago, Smithy said:

 

Thanks for that link. There are some good sale prices there, given the original price. When I started looking online for paella pans, I was shocked at their list prices. Does anyone know why they're so expensive?

What do you mean by expensive? Like how much -  classic (i.e. carbon steel) pans are very reasonable, or should be.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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