Friday, September 14, 2012

Daring to do it: Paella

Our Daring Cooks’ September 2012 hostess was Inma of la Galletika. Inma brought us a taste of Spain and challenged us to make our very own delicious Paella!

This one is going to be a "picture walk" through the paella experience.  I never really thought about making paella myself - I know it to be a seafood dish, and therefore didn't do much research into it.  Well, paella can definitely be a great veggie dish.  One which I hope to make again.  And maybe make it a bit more the way it is "supposed" to be!  (Inma gave us some great recipes to work from to make authentic paella for ourselves.)

The veggies:  I used a lot.  Let's see...  There is eggplant, carrots, parsnips, onion, purple cauliflower, green pepper, green beans, and butternut squash and tomatoes fresh from my father-in-law's garden.  There is also tofu in there, since I wanted the protein.  What's missing.  Garlic.  Yeah.  I don't run out of garlic.  I use it in almost everything.  But I was out.  Oops...
The pan:  Nowhere near big enough.
The rice.  Paella is a rice based dish.  Somehow, I only had a half cup of rice.  Not even close.  So I used quinoa as well.  (Side note - tonight, a week after making this, I found more rice in my freezer.  Another oops!)
Veggies sauteed, starting to add the broth to the pan.  Wow, that is full:
Ummm...  There is how much more liquid to add?!
Quick switch, I added the veggies and rice/quinoa to the broth pot.  Then for the element that gives paella it's signature look - saffron:
Now to let it simmer.  And hope that the liquid will be absorbed or evaporated.
Still simmering:
 Still simmering...
Dinner time...  I hope it is thick enough!
Instead of fish/shellfish/chorizo, I used sauteed tofu and fake chik'n strips as the added protein topper:
 All assembled and ready to eat:
Despite my ridiculous number of "oopses," this actually turned out really well.  That being said, I would like to try this again, maybe with some better proportions for my pan (or a bigger pan), garlic, rice, a better ratio of rice:liquid...  :)
I would like to thank Inma for teaching me about paella and showing me that it is something I can make at home.  Check here to see the wonderful dishes created by my fellow Daring Cooks!


  1. I bet some of your "oopses" made the dish even better!

  2. Oh, I like your vegetable version. I don't see any oopses!

  3. Great job! I love ALL the veggies you added! Awesome job! And good thinking with the quinoa! :)

  4. I love how veg rich the dish is for your version. Great job.

  5. Yes, I'm glad I read what people were doing and noticed her ratio of liquid to rice was much more than I usually do, and decided to stick with what I know. I like how you didn't give up, but kept simmering.

  6. I never would have thought to use quinoa! What a great idea.

  7. Wow that is one interesting paella! Would love to try your version with quinoa. Great job!