Thursday, August 6, 2009

Paella!

Yum
In the spirit of trying to cut down on meat, I decided that chicken broth is a good substitute for actual chicken in my dish. You get the flavor without the meat. Yes, one can argue how that it's better because you still kill a chicken for the broth, blha blah blah but dood, I'm making baby steps here. I already cut down my meat intake to like once a day vs. three times a day and this carnivore is feening.

Anyway, the other day, I got this in the mail:

I made some veggie paella at work the other day so I remembered some of the ingredients. Since I had to make some food for the fam, I decided to go cheapo and went to TJ's to get some ingredients to recreate veggie paella - but with an Asian twist.

Instead of Arborio rice, I opted for the basmati rice at TJ's that has some wild rice in it as well as some seasoning. I thought the seasonings would give it more of an Asian kick to it, which is important if you live in a house with parents who will not eat things that are not suited for the Asian tastebud. I also grabbed myself some precut vegggies (the kind you sautee - the one I got included onions, carrots, broccoli, red, green, yellow peppers, etc.), potatoes (I got a bag full of different colored potatoes to give my paella color). Some green onions were in order as well as some garlic cloves and heirloom tomatoes. I had bay leaf at home and the most important spice, SAFFRON, was already chilling (seeping) in a bowl of water. DO NOT FORGET THE SAFFRON. Without it, the paella will look and taste bland. Saffron not only gives it the yellow color but it also gives it a dimension that is impossible with other spices. Yes, it's expensive, and that's why you seep it.

Anyway, so I got a huge wok pan and splashed some olive oil in there. I added the onions, garlic, then potatoes, the veggies. When it started browning a little, I added 4 cups of Emeril's Chicken Broth, some of Emeril's Original Essence, the whole bag of basmati rice, and let it simmer. Then added a few bay leaves and the saffron and its juice (try to seep it for more than 2 hours for more intense flavor before using it).

40 minutes later, this is what you get (pic was after we ate 75% of it because I forgot to take a pic of it):

It was delicious and I have none left so I'm sorry I couldn't share it with you. What I would do differently for the future is NOT to add the potatoes. It made the dish a little more starchy. My mom and bro liked the potatoes, though so maybe I'd just add a little less.

Next, I will attempt to put Emeril's Chicken Rub on some of my veggie dishes to see if it will make it taste like chicken.
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