Friday, March 27, 2009

Cooked: Paellissima Paella!

Hailing from Miami, I have been fortunate enough to have had some of the BEST Paella in the world! I especially how serious the Spaniards are about their national dish... conquistadors still those people! I've had so many different variations, nothing beats my girl Debbie LaCasa's mothers Paella Valenciana. My GOD that Woman is a beast in the kitchen. I've had some with Rabbit & all sorts of game some heavily influenced with seafood & even had one made with pasta! I have been making Paella for years in a cast iron french oven (I've named her Marilyn) & although I have NEVER had anyone complain about the flavor of my Paella, in fact there is plate licking involved, I have on more than one occasion been told my Paella isn't authentic, because I didn't use a Paella pan!!! 

Ok after the third time the hunt was ON to find a paella pan. Like I learned in the movie Boomerang "you have to coordinate". Originally I was looking for a aqua Dansk Paella pan, but REALLY wanted a Le Creuset one to keep with my cast iron obsession, unfortunately Le Creuset stopped making them a while ago. After a year I found an extremely rare vintage one & wouldn't you know it was in the aqua color I wanted (yes Jesus LOVES me) I named him Luke after Paul Newman's character in Cool Hand Luke. 

After a year of not making Paella I finally used this bad boy last night ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm... don't like it, like my way better, less messy. It was like a Paella massacre on the stove & it required SO much more attention I was not accustomed to giving my recipe before. I don't know maybe I'll try it ONE more time, I'm not a quitter but the next time I have a Spaniard over that mops up their plate & has the audacity to say "it was AMAZING... buuuuuuuuuuuut that was not Paella" I'm afraid they & I have a "failure to communicate" & might end up with Luke being slapped in the back of their head!

Either way I will say it was hands down one of the best Paellas I have EVER made! The head on shrimp I got for $1.80 in Koreatown was stunning to look at & tasted so good. Trader Joe's seasonally brings back their Langostino tails... AH-MAY-ZING! This is the first time I have ever added it to "my" Paella I also didn't have any peas off hand & honestly am not a huge fan so I used Trader Joe's Soycatash... & I can't get over the the flavor it added to it & the surprise pieces of corn hidden in all the saffron rice was a nice touch. I also enjoyed the Soycatash had diced red peppers in it so that was less peppers I needed to dice. Speaking of peppers I also used Trader Joe's Melange A Trois frozen fajita peppers... it's BRILLIANT for Single cooks. 

You get 3 kinds of peppers, keep in your freezer so you won't be chucking peppers because you don't have any recipes that call for them & you can't beat that you are getting 3 capsicum flavors, already cut for less than $1.50... this makes me moist I tell ya (ew... I REALLY don't like that word). I made my own stock with chicken wings I grabbed from my neighbor & the chicken I had left over from my Au Gratin potatoes from the night before. 

I also used a fantastic seafood mix that had Crab, Octopus, Calamari, Clams & Mussels this was just PERFECT & I soaked the seafood in Chardonnay before cooking it & it REALLY made the seafood the star of the show. I was originally going to cook for my friend Dan & I but was SO excited about the deals I made, I made enough for My neighbor Keisha, her brother Matt, Dan had leftovers for himself & his roommate & I my girl Rena stopped by today for her taste. None of them Spaniard... damn! Must grab the Magic Eraser & tackle that stove *snort*

The Star Studded Cast:


Seafood Mix

CAN'T BAH-LIEVE how cheap these skrimps were:

I will NEVER understand why people buy canned/box stock?!?! My house smelled like heaven!

Chicken & Chorizo

The Supporting Cast:

Aussie love for my HOT Aussie date ♥ ♥ ♥ finishing salt! This Aussie pink salt is ridiculous not because it's pink, but the delicate crunch & light iodine flavor is incredible AND it's PINK!!! The Paw Paw in the Olive Oil is to DIE for! I picked up the salt at Marshall's & the Olive Oil at Tuesday Morning, I can't stress enough going to close out stores (Ross, Marshalls, TJ Max, Tuesday Morning, Big Lots etc) stroll along their gourmet food section. Wonderful steals... I mean deals!


Messy Pan

Dan the MAN!


Dan brought cookies, wine & "lollies" *swoon*

AND pretty flowers... his Mama did gooooooooood!

My dog Divi is a WHORE!

Who's Your Mama?: My FIRST ♥

Plenty of Women claim to shoes.. especially after Carrie Bradshaw said it, but I still have my VERY first love... I wore these from 4 months well into my first year on this planet. These must have been a gift to my Mother & her Haitian behind probably stuffed them with tissues to last. I wish my scanner worked so you can see how I LITERALLY grew up in these! I have lost heaps of stuff over the years (Hurricane, Arson, plenty of moves, breakups, loss in storage... HEAPS of stuff) but I still have these! I will ALWAYS have love for my patent leather Mary Jane's that in my very first steps in my walk of life are still here to remind me how precious every day is. I am SO glad my Mother did not have these bronzed & they will ALWAYS be my first

Check out my FAVORITE Broads in the background at my Mom's wedding, wow she was a baby! I miss my Grandmother :*-(

TERRIBLE: My Obsession

I actually switched banks because I wanted the new Hello Kitty card. I was with BofA YEARS ago & I LOATHED them but I actually switched banks because of a debit card that has her face on it... TERRIBLE! I do it though!

Brain Food/Ab Work: Haitian V

I LOVE being Haitian... this kid is talented & KILLING me!