Today I spent a few hours volunteering on a campaign for a tax levy to support the Pike Place Market. Most of you have never been there, I know, but it is the oldest continuously running farmers’ market in the US, and I live practically next door to it. I bundled up 18,000 pieces of literature today! Anyway, I walked home a different way, taking me past “The Spanish Table.” Spanish Table is a great store, carries Spanish and middle-eastern ingredients, wines, kitchenware, cheeses, sausages. I couldn’t resist poking my head in. While there I realized that if I picked up some dry Spanish chorizo and some special Spanish piquillo peppers, I’d have everything to make paella. So I discarded the notion of roasting fish on a bed of fennel fronds, making paella is fun and Dave loves it.
One of the things that’s cool about making paella is that once you’ve got all the ingredients prepped and lined up on the counter, it goes together quite quickly. I’m using a saffron-shellfish stock for the broth, and chorizo and calamari as the proteins. It also takes really big white beans, only need a couple of dozen of them so am cooking them this afternoon. I’ll also need to add some vegetable interest, and am assuming that the CSA bag that comes home with Dave today will have something useful in it. If not, I’ll peel and dice some carrots. I will literally have 8-10 little prep dishes of ingredients lined up by the stove.
The lineup will be: oil, onions, garlic, tomato, chorizo, rice, herbs, broth, beans, calamari (diced), piquillo peppers, chopped parsley. Not an incredibly fancy paella, but one more likely to be served to family in Valencia, though they might add snails because they are quite common (I can do without them!).