Monday, June 23, 2014

One More Tip, and A Good Paella Recipe

First things first--- as I drove down Hwy 70 this morning I spied in my rear view mirror a guy on a motor scooter wearing a big helmet and sunglasses.  We stopped for a red light, and I noticed he had his regular glasses swinging from the neck hole of his sweatshirt.  I whipped out my sketchbook and pen, but the light changed.  It took five more lights before I finally caught a red one, and he was still behind me!  Since the book was out and the pen was ready, I used every second during the red light to sketch the motorcycle glasses hanging man.  So another action drawing tip:  when you think you might need to draw something fast, have sketchbook open to the right page and cap off of pen.  That way you won't miss a second!

While in the grocery yesterday I found a lovely cloth sack of paella rice.  I could already see that bag as a small art supply bag, so of course I bought the rice.  Tonight I was going to make my usual uninspired rice with vegetables and a few leftover shrimp;  but I noticed a paella recipe on the back of the cloth sack.  It was a sort of generic recipe that said you should vary the vegetables and seafood and sausage as you pleased.  It's not my style to deviate from a recipe since I've never really learned to cook, but this was written in such a friendly style that I tried it.

Here is what I did:  I poured about 1/4 cup of olive oil into a big frying pan and warmed it up while chopping about 1/3 of a yellow onion and four marzano or Roma (not sure which, but those pear-shaped tomatoes) tomatoes.  I stirred the onion for five minutes till it turned translucent, then dumped in the tomatoes, turned down the heat, covered the pan and let it all simmer for five minutes.  Meanwhile I warmed up 2 cups of water to which I had added 1/4 teaspoon of saffron and about 2 teaspoons of chicken bouillion paste (you could use cubes or the real stuff) in a saucepan. 

After the tomatoes and onions had tirned mushy, I poured 1 cup of the rinsed paella rice (it is short grained)  into the frying pan and stirred it into the tomato mush.  Then I poured the warm saffron bouillion water into the rice-tomato mix.  I covered the pot and let it simmer slowly for ten minutes.

After that I lifted the lid and placed twelve or so medium shrimp on top of the rice.  I replaced the cover and simmered it on low heat for ten more minutes.  Then I turned the heat off and let it sit for ten more minutes.  By then the liquid was all absorbed.  I served it with a little basil and lemon juice on top of a bed of arugula from the garden.  It was amazingly good!  I'm in search of squid ink to add to it the next time I make it.


  1. Hahaha! Maybe you could use squid ink in your journal! :) Loved the red light motorcycle guy story! I could just see you! Great sketches! ♥

    1. excellent idea! It is a lovely blue-black, at least the squid ink black rice I had in Barcelona was that color. Love your comments always, CC!