Tuesday, July 01, 2008

"Paella" Fried Rice (Page 254)

RECIPE #766

  • Date: Thursday, June 12, 2008 -- 9pm
  • Location: Somerville, MA
  • Kitchen: Matty's Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B

I am almost done with the Grains and Beans section of The Book, so it is very tempting to finish off the last few recipes in the section. It would be my first completed section (The Book is divided into 21 sections, and my progress varies considerably section by section. To get an idea of how the various sections are coming along, click on the Project Index link on the right and scroll to the bottom)! With the intention of finishing off the Grains and Beans section this month, I made this recipe (and another from the same section) before I left for Europe. However, I realized upon my return that the only two recipes I have left in the section now are both for cassoulet. I'm no stickler for tradition, and I am pretty flexible about eating "winter" foods in the "summer" months, but there does seem to be something more than a little bit wrong about cassoulet in July. So I am going to hold off for some chilly days in the fall. I guess that means I won't have a fully completed section of The Book any time soon, but so be it.

This "paella" was basically just fried rice with a bunch of stuff added in. That "stuff" included cumin seeds, red pepper flakes, onion, red bell pepper, chorizo, peas, pumpkin seeds, and cilantro, so there was a lot going on. In fact, this dish was like a textural wonderland. The flavors came together pretty well. I used some delicious mango chorizo from Whole Foods (man that stuff is good!), and Matty made fun of me throughout the meal for picking all the sausage out of the dish (it's a bad habit, I admit, but I love chorizo!). I would have preferred a higher ratio of chorizo to the other ingredients. Generally I would have preferred more add-ins and less rice. The rice had a good flavor to it -- a bit of spiciness from the sausage and the red pepper flakes -- but I found it to be too oily. I often have this problem with fried rice, so perhaps it is just personal preference, but I would have preferred the dish with 1/2 to 2/3 as much oil as it had. Overall though the flavors were good, and this dish held up well in the microwave the next day (which is a testimony to how much oil was in that rice -- usually rice reheats poorly). As written I probably wouldn't make it again, but with half as much oil, twice as much chorizo, some egg, and maybe even some shrimp thrown in, I think it could be a winner.

Here is the recipe.

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