Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Recipe 41: Mark Bittman's Paella with Poblanos, Corn, and Clams

I wasn't sure when I saw this recipe in my May 2011 Cooking Light, but wanted to branch out from soup.  I figured I'd give it the old college try and invited The Asphalt Kitchen to bring their thunder hunger.  And I am so so glad I did!  I learned several things while preparing to and subsequently cooking this recipe.  They are as follows:

1.  When you pay the small fortune it requires to travel to, say, Egypt, and sneeze your way through spice markets, it behooves you to take the advice of your host when they tell you that saffron is dirt cheap there.  Because chickpeas, holy macaroni and hay-zeus, it is NOT cheap in the United States of Supermarket Spice Piracy.  Twenty bones for like... an eighth of an ounce or something!    The jar weighs more!  It adds up, people.  You're better off sucking it up, buying the ticket, filling your suitcase with spices, and hoping the drug dogs at customs don't take a shine to you.  This recipe made me wish I'd stocked up at a place like this:
2.  When your landlord tells you he's getting you a new fridge, and then gets you a new one within 24 hours, that is a good landlord.  However, if you say, have only had mediocre landlords in the past, you'll probably not expect a new one sitting in your kitchen when you get home late from work and picking up the required clams, and are entertaining, can't find anything, and are subsequently buried under a freezer avalanche when you open the door.  Thank you Asphalt Kitchen for your unflappable patience!

3.  Follow this recipe exactly.  It is delish.  See?  (Well, sort of see.  My real camera was dead. But you love my crappy photos!)

 The Recipe For Deliciousness:

 Taken directly from the Cooking Light website (minor changes), because messing with a recipe this good is ill advised.  The only change of course, is to use a Le Creuset.  OBVI. Serve with some crusty old bread (or crusty fresh bread) and maybe a nice bitter salad?  Double OBVI, serve it with copious amounts of red wine.  DUH.  And cleanse your palatte with some delicious chocolate mousse. YUM.  You will not regret the indulgence. 

  • YIELD: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups rice mixture and about 7 clams)
  • COURSE: Main Dishes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 poblano chiles, seeded and chopped
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 3/4 cup uncooked short-grain brown rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 2 pounds littleneck clams
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 8 lemon wedges
  • 1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  • 2. Heat oil in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet Le Creuset over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, poblanos, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper; saut√© 3 minutes. Add rice and saffron. Cook 2 minutes; stir constantly. Add 2 cups water, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and red pepper; bring to a boil.
  • 3. Bake at 450° for 50 minutes or until rice is done. Stir in corn and tomatoes. Nestle clams into rice mixture. Bake at 450° for 12 minutes or until shells open, and discard unopened shells.
  • 4. Return the pan to medium-high heat, and cook without stirring 10 minutes or until liquid evaporates and rice browns. (It should smell toasty but not burned.) Top with parsley; serve with lemon wedges.

1 comment:

Bean said...

yum, yum, yum, yum, yum. THIS WAS DELICIOUS! well worth the wait.

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