Friday, October 29, 2010

Garden to Table Challenge - paella

I love a traditional paella. I love the outdoor-cooked, family- style presentation, the fresh mussels, clams and squid on a bed of yellow Spanish rice. There's something so special...warm...authentic...comforting about the dish. However, I think it's the idea of paella that I enjoy more than all the ingredients that make up the dish. Even the paella we had in Spain was not quite to my taste. In my search for recipes, I found this highly rated recipe for easy paella. It ended up being what my husband is calling "poor man's paella". I'm not Spanish, so I can't tell you if this is the "poor man's" or if it's more the "white man's" or if it's simply a variation on the traditional dish, but I can tell you it was absolutely delicious - incredibly rich in flavor and just enough spice to liven things up.

Best of all, I got to use my own saffron (as well as my own: parsley, red pepper flakes, garlic, and oregano). As a side note, I have come to absolutely love the little woven plate above. I have used it this year for drying saffron, drying shell beans, and also for drying saved seeds. I'm not sure what its intended purpose is (maybe for steaming food?), but you can visit an Asian supermarket for one of your very own if you like!

What's going on in your kitchen and garden this week?


An update on the GTTC contest: I originally promised prizes to three participants chosen at random. This will be the last week to join us to be considered for the contest. I'm personally going to keep attempting to post a GTTC blog each week (and I hope you join me!), but next Thursday night (my time), I will close the contest part of it (opening another contest perhaps in the spring). I've been giving one entry to each participant each week. Next Friday, I will choose 3 winners at random for a prize to be announced!


  1. I love paella!! Your version looks delicious. I've never been adventurous enough to try making it at home. I feel inspired!!

  2. Hi Wendy, Your dish make my mouth water.I have never eaten paella before.

  3. Hi Wendy, I love paella and have eaten many different versions of it. I think food like any other cultural artefact evolves over time and place. But maybe I'm just being too eclectic and postmodern ... cheers, catmint

  4. I've never had paella before, but oh man, that looks good! I printed the recipe to have on hand, I'll definitely have to try it sometime soon.

    My post this week is much less involved than yours, but I had to find a way to use up those pumpkin seeds!

    Thanks for running this meme, it's been a lot of fun and has really kept me being creative in the kitchen!

  5. My family and I have found an asian market here where we pick up all kinds of goodies. I will have to look for a woven plate thingy, it looks like a good all-purpose "tool". My husband loves being able to pick from 100+ noodles. I like the spring roll wrappers and my kids are addicted to milkita candy.

    What a great feeling to be able to use your own saffron. Talk about saving money...and you said you never do that. :)

  6. By the way, I forgot to say your Paella looks divine. I can't help thinking about George Costanza from Seinfeld though.

  7. I must cook this dish one day. I have been seeing from TV and now here, people cooking this meal like so fun...

    Oh your saffron... so many pieces... you used them all? Gosh your paella must be really yummy. Ok may be next time add some shell fish he he...

  8. I think it's so cool that you were able to grow your own saffron. Just brilliant.

    I've never attempted Paella. Yours looks delish!

    All our harvesting is done, so nothing to link. Sorry.

  9. Hi Wendy, Thanks for the GTTC host. Cooking is much more fun these days instead of it as ordinary chore.

  10. Hi, Wendy. You are certainly a great cook. I'm joining in the fun here. I just harvested pomegranates but I didn't cook the tongshui featured in my post today. Hope you don't me.

    The wooven plate like yours used to be very popular here too since it is very useful. Nowadays it is difficult to get them, unless we go to the cane shop.

  11. Yum, I love paella. I've never made it before because it looks so complicated. I'll have to try this recipe. And how neat that you used the saffron you grew!

  12. I just planted Crocus Sativus bulbs that I ordered. Do you dig up the bulbs ever year after they have bloomed?


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