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Still chasing perfection for Paella. Did a simple scallop and shrimp paella for the superbowl last night. I was good but not perfect. Starting to dial in the process but next time...I will concentrate the stock a little more to give a stronger flavor, also want to experiment using my pizza stone in the last 20 minutes of the cook and lighten the rice crusting a little, I also kept the shells on the shrimp thinking it would help with the overall flavor of the dish but next time will shell and drop the shells in the stock. Still having fun trying to figure this one out.
I have really been looking forward to my first Paella on the BGE. First off, I borrowed my sisters Paellera. Sounds kinda crazy but it flooded me with thoughts as a child as the pan was actually from my parents and has probably not been used for 30+ years. I love it; it’s a Michael Lax Designs Copco and its all circa 1960’s.
I made to trip to the local Latin Grocery and got the short grain rice, saffron and fresh made Chorizos. So when I got ready to prep and cook I realized that I was missing a few ingredients so I made a few substitutions some worked some I will change. First off I had no fresh tomatoes so I used crushed canned (of all the things to not have jeez), I could not find Garbanzo beans so I substituted with habichuelas. All and all it made a nice Sofrito as you can see in the pic. I toasted the saffron and let it steep on my outside burner next to egg. It’s a fantastic aroma. Browned the chicken and combined the ingredients. Seemed to have everything on track
So popped a brew and enjoyed the moment. When I next checked I got a little worried as I got a little burning on the sides and thought it would be similar on the bottom. BTW- I was cooking direct and had the dome temp pegged at 350. Anyway I missed getting a perfect soccarat but ended up leaving a small layer crusted to the pan (sorry no pic). It did taste awesome and it did get devoured but between us here…felt like hitting a long fly ball…almost there…
What did I learn and what will I do differently. First off I wanted to follow a more traditional model but moving forward I think I will try to brown the chicken on the grate, I loved the Habichuelas and will use again. I think the smaller size works better as there are a lot of other ingredients competing for space and the flavor is finer (I know it’s a LATAM bean but…). I am also tempted to insert the plate setter and drop in a mild wood chunk in the last 30 minutes or so. I know the experts out there could help. I think part of this is also my paellera and just trying to make it work for me. Anyway, glad I did my first with chicken and will do a few more times before going with seafood. Also, down the road I will do a whole latin night with a 1905 salad, mojito’s & sangria and some Spanish cream. Love my green egg!
So as we all are getting bombarded with Windows 8 adds while watching football today I thought I would share some pics of an actual Surface. Super impressed so far. Not sure what to call it...a laptop...a tablet but really don't care. I love the keyboard that also works as a cover. Very thin and a nice improvement from a third party keyboard. Also, really like the kickstand which combined with the keyboard make a well thought out set of use options. The screen is excellent. The user interface is alive with tiles and it was easy to set up and so far...easy to use and navigate. I really like that office comes on the device and IE is surprisingly smoking fast. It has USB and various output choices for video. Please don't hate on me for going way off topic but thought its worth sharing.