HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Birthday Party Paella



         We were having a group to dinner over the President’s Day weekend.  I saw it as a great opportunity to cook something substantial.  I hit upon making a paella for a couple of reasons. I’d read an article in Saveur written by David Rosengarten.  In it, Chef Rosengarten had gone to the source: the cradle of Spanish paella making, Valencia.  What inspired me the most was that the original recipe, dating from the early 1800s, called saffron-scented rice cooked with Rabbit, chicken, Snails and three kinds of beans. Rosengarten pointed out that you can still find that version all over Valencia. But the list of paellas does not stop there.  There are seafood paellas, vegetable paellas and paellas using all kinds of meats. The recipe is wildly adaptable because as Rosengarten pointed out: “Tinkering, it seems, is inherent to the culture of paella.”  And it’s to be remembered that “Paella” refers the wide, shallow steel pan in which such dishes were cooked.  In my case, all I really needed was a good basic recipe from which to build my paella.  And as to its ingredients, well I just went shopping in my freezer.  There I found the chicken thighs, hot Italian sausage and shrimp that would form the backbone of what turned out to be a delicious and terrifically well-received dish.  Although no thanks to the recipe I found for Birthday Party Paella. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Soup Making two ways….in a Rival crockpot and In the Cuisinart Blend and Cook Soupmaker and a recipe for really good tomato soup.

Can you guess which machine made this soup?
         The weather this winter has yet to cooperate. It has been so consistently mild that the warming pleasures of a bowl of homemade soup have almost seemed out of place.  Not that I don’t appreciate not having to dress like Nanook of the North every time I head outdoors. I would just welcome a couple of opportunities to have a big pot of soup on the back of the stove, warming the house and anyone who comes in from the cold.  And this year, thanks to the Christmas generosity of our friends, Michael and Jim, we even have a new toy to make soup with, the Cuisinart Blend and Cook Soupmaker.  Come to think of it, the Rival Crockpot also came our way through these dear friends.