A Winter Picnic

This week we have been working with “Almejas Blancas”, or White Clams.

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These delicate Clams are from Galicia and were wrapped in marinated Daikon and served with Nori Crumbs and Trout Eggs.

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***

Los Reyes Magos“, otherwise known as the Three Wise Men or Three Kings are responsible for delivering the Christmas presents in Spain on the 6th January. Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, have been extremely kind this year and presented me with a brand new camera. 😉 .

450d

This is the Canon EOS 450D, also known as the Canon Rebel XSi.

Having been using the Sony T200 for the past two years, it is going to take a little time for me to get used to the functions. However, that didn’t stop me from taking it along to a Winter Picnic.

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A lakeside Picnic in the middle of the winter… only in Benalup, Cadiz, Spain…. 🙂 .

On the menu today was a lovely rice dish, named after the pan that it is cooked in. The Paella (pronounced Pie-eya).

Most Paella dishes that you see in restaurants nowadays looks Yellow, (aided by the addition of artificial food colouring). However, some authentic restaurants still use real Saffron, but seeing as Saffron, by weight is more expensive than Gold, it is more than likely that they are using Saffron Powder.

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There is no Saffron in our Paella. Instead it will be coloured and flavoured by using dried Spanish Red Peppers.

red-pepper

These Peppers are cooked in the Stock then blitzed and reduced. The resulting “sauce” is passed through a sieve.

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Rice is added followed by some more Stock.

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close-up

The deep rich colour is glorious and extremely aromatic.

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The rice will absorb the flavours of the stock. Rice takes its time. It cannot be rushed.

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When most of the stock has been absorbed, more stock is added, this process is repeated until the rice is “en su punto” or “al dente”. Never overcook rice!

To finish the cooking, the whole pan is covered with foil for a few minutes and the rice is allowed to rest.

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Wonderful rice, without a hint of artificial colouring!

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Taste test. Yummy. 😉 .

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🙂

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