Thursday, December 25, 2008

Mastering Paella

Mayan Riviera, Mexico is a popular vacation distination for my family and my Fiancé also. We always have paella and it's so delicious. One weekend night, when we had extra time to cook dinner, we decided to master Paella. Emeril has been a great help with Cajun recipes, so we went to him first (if you haven't figured out by now, I'm a big fan of FoodTV, the tv station and the website). A little tip about Emeril's recipes - the serving sizes are huge! We were eating on this paella for a whole week.

Tips for an easy paella:
  • Cut the recipe in half, or in third.
  • Find a big skillet with a lid.
  • Buy a roasted chicken, the meat is tender and it's so much easier than buying a 3-pound raw chicken and cutting it into small pieces. You can use the leftover bones to make chicken stock. Avoid the first step of searing the chicken.
  • Leave of saffron if you don't have it. It's pretty expensive.
  • Substitute Old Bay seasons (Lemon & Herb) for Creole seasoning.
  • Substitute crab legs for the lobster. I will probably leave out the crab legs because they're a little difficult to eat with paella all around it.
  • Mussels were delicious. Don't be afraid of cleaning them. If you squeeze them, they will begin to shut slowly. If they don't shut all the way, throw them out.
  • Peel the shrimp.
  • Watch the mussels and shrimp when they cook so they don't overcook.


Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse

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