Saturday, July 3, 2010

Dave's Gringote Paella

So I am going to publish my first original recipe. Don't bother to tell me that it is not authentic. I already know that the fully authentic Paella was invented in Alevanta, Valencia, Spain by rice farmers. I know it features chicken, rabbit and snails. I know it features a simpler soffritto. I know there is no Tumeric, Hot Sesame Oil, or Fish Sauce.

I have done the fully authentic thing several times, and I like it. I have done the even more authentic thing, which is to go off on a wild tangent and riff on this melody. I have come up with yet another distinct Paella type which I think is pretty sensational. Try it, if you like, for a little variety in life. Remember, variety is the spice of life.

All of these ingredients are scaled for a standard 15 inch paella. You can expand the ingredients to fit any pan by application of simple geometry. Yes, geometric logic does apply here,

The Oil Mixture
  1. 2 ounces of extra virgin olive oil, preferably from California
  2. 1 teaspoon of chili sesame oil
  3. 1 tablespoon (0.5 ounces) of Thai fish sauce
  4. 2 good shakes of Chipotle Tabasco sauce
  5. 1 teaspoon of Tumeric

You should have just under 3 oz of fluid there.

The Rice mixture
  1. 24 ounces (3 cups) of parboiled rice. Bomba would be better, but it is Goddamnably expensive.
  2. 1 tablespoon of sea salt (not Kosher salt). This is much better for you and tastes better also.
  3. 1 tablespoon of hot smoky Paprika. Accept no substitutes. Nobody beats the Spaniards in this game.
  4. The leaves of one moderately large fresh twig of Rosemary
  5. 20 threads of real Saffron

Soffritto Robusto
  1. 1 Large Red Onion, diced up
  2. 5 cloves of garlic, crushed
  3. 1 large fresh light green Anaheim Chili, cut into thin strips
  4. 1 Fresno Chili, chopped fine
  5. 2 Yellow bell peppers, cut into large strips
  6. 1 relatively small carrot, chopped fine
  7. 2 stalks of celery, chopped thin
  8. 1 large Portabella Mushroom, cut into large strips.
  9. 8 ounces of tomato paste
  1. 1 pound of custom ground veal (you can substitute chuck if you prefer.
  2. 1 pound of fresh ground pork sausage, no skins
  3. 13 oz of Aidell's Sun Dried Tomato Sausage

The Wet Stuff
  1. 2oz of dried Porchini mushrooms, reconstituted in hot water and red wine
  2. 72oz of beef broth (not stock).

The Wet Spices
  1. Sage (fresh or dried)
  2. Savory (fresh or dried)
  3. Basil (fresh or dried)
The Preperation

To prepare this Paella you will need two pieces of cookware (1) a 5 quart Lodge Dutch oven, and (2) a 15 inch Lodge Cast Iron Skillet. Everything tastes better when it is cooked in plain naked iron. Only a fool cooks with high carbon steel. You will get a better Maillard Reaction using naked iron, and your Socorrat with be priceless.

  1. Fill your dutch oven with the 72 ounces of beef broth. Throw in your dry spice. Begin heating. It need to be brought to a light bubbling boil.
  2. Spread you oil prep over the Skillet. Apply maximum heat for at least 5 minutes. Heat until the oil is popping.
  3. Throw in your meat. Stirr and brown the ground beef and sausage until you have a nice brown Maillard effect. You may season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Clear the meat to the outter edges of the skillet.
  5. Pour down the soffritto in the middle of the skillet. Stir and brown it for approximately 3 minutes until you have a gravy-ish consistency.
  6. Throw in your rice mixture. Brown your rice in the soffritto mixture for at least 3 minutes.
  7. Begin ladling in your beef broth. Just cover all the contents of the pan, which shouldn't take more than 2 or 3 cups of fluid.
  8. Allow that to boil off, then re-cover the contents with more fluid. Repeat this process until all fluid is gone.
  9. Turn your heat up full-blast for 1 minute to create a Socorrat.
  10. Kill the heat entirely, and let the Paella rest for 15 minutes. It will cool, dry and set in this time.

If you like, you may add peas or green beans to the surface of the Paella after adding the fluid. The veggies will be steamed by the broth as it boils off.

The main features of this Gringote Paella is
(1) The use of red meats and beef broth rather than white meats and chicken stock. This is accentuated with Porcini mushrooms
(2) A very robust soffritto with a lot of ingredients
(3) The use of exotic spices such as Tumeric, Chili Sesame Oil, and Fish Sauce.
(4) There are also more savory spices than mere Rosemary (which is great)

If you give it a shot, I think you will find it is a flavor explosion. It will blow your jock off. There are a lot of special glutamic acid compounds in here that will blow your frickin' brains out.

One key tip: If you prepare this outside on a hot grill, you are better off. In doors, your cooktop will be challenged severely by the need for heat. My Tappan range absolutely sucks. I need to position my Lodge Skillet over two burners and turn them both up to full blast to get sufficient heat to make this dish happen. This tip may help you.

Any grill will produce more heat than just about any stovetop. Remember: Paella should be cooked Al Freco! This means on a grill, outside.