Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Fiesta of Paella, followed by a Siesta in a Sombrero.

Before I started this site I spent about a week trying to think of a name for it. I made lists and tried them out on my mum and sister. Some of the names were based around cupcakes and im so glad none of them were successful in the end. A site purely dedicated to cupcakes never would have allowed me to share this amazing recipe with you all, and that would be downright silly. This chicken paella has to be one of my favourite mexican dishes, it has so much going for it, the best of all being the chorizo, my goodness the chorizo. It's making me super hungee just thinking about it, and these pictures definitely aren't helping! The recipe is from this book I got when i was working as a checkout chick at woolies. It came glued to the back of some magazine, then when the next issue of the magazine came out we had piles of this lovely recipe book lying round, so I made puppy eyes at the nicer supervisors and managed to score a couple of them. Ill be forever grateful to those supervisors, and my puppy eye making skills. It is half mexican dishes which is sponsored by Old El Paso, and then you flip it over and get Latina product inspired Italian dishes. Basically its a huge advertisement for both companies but I don't mind at all, the recipes are really good and you can always substitute the ingredients for any brand you like. I've never made anything from the Italian side, probably because every time i get the book out i ended up getting distracted by either this recipe or the Baked Tortilla Beef stack which is on the same oil spattered page. Poor rest of the book, I'm sure you're good, but you just have nothing on these two babies, swoon. (Putting the action 'swoon' in type makes me worried that people think i'm actually saying swoon outloud. I think this comes from when I was teaching english in japan and a student was reading a dialogue and actually said "gasp!" I learnt very early on there how to laugh on the inside.)
My beautiful Chorizo, just before I cooked it to near burnt-to-a-crisp levels. Im a huge fan of burnt, much less scary than undercooked. And so lovely and crunchyyyy.

The colourful dish getting it's serve of garlic, using the world's best garlic crusher. I don't care if saying this makes me sound old: They just don't make them like they used to.

Looking like its going to turn out slightly un-delicious.

Leave it a while and then BLAMMO, the best mexican rice dish in the history of man. Actually I think this may be the only mexican rice dish i've ever had so I really shouldn't be making claims like that, but it's just. so. good.

All served up with some avocado and sour cream. I should really add lime into that description because the avocado mix probably has more lime in it than avocado, I do love limey avocado...

Fiesta Paella with Chicken

From Modern Mexican (I couldn't find any reference for this book through google searching so you just get the link to the Old El Paso website, sorry.)

Serves 4-5

  • 200g chorizo sausage, cut into 1/2cm slices (When i buy this in the deli section of the supermarket it's always like, 150g per sausage so I just round up and get two, it's not too much, it's just right! Plus I like to slice the sausage a bit thinner because i like it crispy but it's all up to you.)
  • 500g chicken (i always just get already cut stir fry chicken but you can get whatever kind you like and slice it up yourself if you like)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 medium capsicum, finely chopped
  • 1tsp turmeric (thanks to spellcheck i just found out that i have been spelling (and saying) this wrong since, forever. Tumeric. Turmeric. I like the mispelled way...)
  • 1tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
  • 375g jar Old El Paso Enchilada Simmer Sauce (or any brand, doesnt matter if the size jar you get it a little bigger or smaller. Also if you cant get simmer sauce just get burrito or taco sauce or something, im sure it will work well too.)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 bunch flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped (I'm not a big fan of garnishes that do not add anything to the taste of the meal, it just seems silly to buy a bunch of parsley just so it can look pretty for to seconds before you mix it all up. So yeah, if you have parsley on hand and you are all about the parsley taste, go for it, but if not, it doesn't really make a difference)
  • Sour cream to serve
  • avocado and lime juice mixed together. (I use bottled lime juice and it does the trick.)

  1. Cook chorizo sausage in a dry frying pan for a few minutes until golden brown, then remove and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in pan, add chicken, cook until browned.
  3. Add onion, garlic and capsicum. Cook until softened.
  4. Add tumeric, cumin, rice, enchilada sauce and stock. Bring to the boil then cover, reduce the heat and simmer 15 minutes or until the rice is tender, stirring occasionally.
  5. Return chorizo to pan, add peas and stir until well combined. Cover, simmer for 5 minutes or until the chorizo is heated through and peas are cooked.
  6. Serve with avocado and sour cream.

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