24 January 2011

Paella. Bringing some summer into your kitchen.

Winter really is harsh this year - it has now been snowing for at least 24 consecutive hours and it doesn't seem to stop. I haven't seen the sun in a while, and if, it's so bitter cold outside, it feels like the cold is cutting into the skin. Hence the yearning for some summer vibes, easily delivered by a Paella. 

Similar to Risotto and Djuvec, Paella is a Mediterranean rice dish. They all have in common that you first fry the rice in some oil and only then add water to cook the rice. For me, Paella absolutely tastes like summer, reminding me of some very nice days in Bilbao. So whenever I come to Spain, I buy some smoked paprika powder, some saffron and of course, Paella rice:

Paella rice is a small grain rice, very similar to risotto or Abrioro rice. So don't worry if you can't find special Paella rice in your supermarket - I have also made very tasty Paellas with risotto rice, even milk pudding rice. Hell, in my opinion, better make a Paella with long grain rice than no Paella at all!

12 January 2011

Pork Wellington. Another tribute to Alton Brown.

Guess you already know that I really like watching Alton Brown's show "Good Eats". Since I had access to Food Network in New Zealand, I'm hooked. And when he made a modernized (and affordable) version of Beef Wellington, I was totally smitten. Apart from one thing: he uses dried apples.

Apples are pure poison to me. Since I was diagnosed with fructose malabsorption, I have cut out nearly all fruit, except bananas, citrus and papaya from my shopping list. You don't want to be near me when I have eaten apples. Honestly. Right now, I'm carefully testing various berries and to my great delight, I found that cranberries are totally compatible to my digestive system.

So I changed the fruit, took Bayonne ham instead of prosciutto and Dijon mustard instead of the coarse variety. Not because I am a manic individualist, just because I happened to have those things at home. Be creative and don't follow recipes to the letter!