Musing with Max

Musing with Max

November 19, 2010

and speaking of valencia rice....

Now that I brought that up, Valencia rice is also the rice that is used for Paella; well it's supposed to be used for Paella but for some reason it always isn't unless of course you happen to be eating it in Spain where they wouldn't even think of using anything but. In this country though most restaurants, even so-called Spanish ones, have a tendency to use long grain white rice which frankly, is an abomination. In restaurants I actually ask what kind of rice they use in their paella and most of the time I wind up not ordering it. (I clearly have an issue with this).  This changes the entire consistency of the dish, and not for the better. The secret to great Paella is in using the right rice, it's not the seafood or the combination of seafood and chicken and chorizo or whatever. Just as there a bunch of ways to make arroz con pollo, there are a million ways and combinations for making Paella. Paella is simply a rice dish with stuff in it and that can vary depending on what you have on hand and how you like it. I prefer a seafood Paella however, I once had a paella in Barcelona that contained seafood including lobster, shrimp, scallops, fish, squid and rabbit. It was delicious, they used Valencia rice of course. I think most people find making Paella intimidating, I used to, and I think it's mainly because of the seafood which also makes it quite expensive. The truth is it's really very easy to make and it doesn't even need seafood...but it does need the right rice:
Santo Tomas De <em>Valencia Rice</em> (DO) by ChefShop
I tend to make it quite a bit and no I don't always have all kinds of seafood lying around the house, so I wind up making a vegetable paella.

I start by sauteing one chopped onion, green bell pepper and two to three minced cloves of garlic in extra virgin olive oil. Once they are softened I add one cup of Valencia rice with about a teaspoon and a half of salt and a quarter teaspoon of saffron and stir that until incorporated. I then add about two cups of chicken stock and bring that to a boil. As it is coming to a boil I add the vegetables and this can vary depending on what you have on hand. I always have a wide of frozen vegetables in my freezer and always have fresh tomatoes, so I usually add about one cup (I eyeball everything) of  haricot verts, artichoke hearts, sweet green peas, sometimes some chopped spinach and a couple of chopped tomatoes.When the liquid comes to a boil:
I lower the heat to medium, cover the pot and cook for about 20 minutes until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed. Max usually lounges around the kitchen waiting cause he might get lucky.

But he won't, not with this dish anyway.

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