Monday, February 19, 2007

Paella Pretender

Ever since I got that great Spanish chorizo for Margy's empanadas, I've been looking for ways to slip the remainder of the sausage into our meals. A bastardized paella had been taking shape in my mind for weeks.

Tonight I gave it a shot. I cooked Arborio rice with chorizo, tiny pork spare ribs from the Asian market, shrimp, clams, peas, shrimp stock (didn't have any chicken stock), aromatics, saffron, and herbs. I definitely wouldn't call it paella, but I would call it dinner. The only bummer was the clams, which were rubbery, but at least they lent the dish a bit of briny sea essence, so they weren't a total washout. The highlights were the smoky, spicy chorizo and the tiny ribs, which were short on meat but long on porkaliciousness.

I should probably backtrack and attempt a traditional paella -- with that great crust on the bottom and all -- but for now this was a fun start. It was a little runny when compared to the real deal, so I'll just call it Spanish risotto and leave it at that.

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