Money rich, time poor, paella poor

By: roughseasinthemed

Feb 16 2012

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Blogging, Food, Photography, Spain


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Paella. Yes. I know it doesn’t have chicken and seafood and all the rest of it in, but vegetarians don’t eat those. There aren’t even any peas (the veg shop didn’t have any).

Anyway, paella is basically a sofrito with what else you want to add, some rice, and some stock or water, tomatoes (I add them later rather than frying them initially), herbs and olives. With lots of fresh lemon.

For whatever reason, because I’m not a big fan of weekly routines, we fell into the habit of paella for Sunday lunch. Apart from the fact that I didn’t have to think about what to cook, the long slow cooking of it fitted with the leisurely day. In fact a lot of the time, it’s turned off, just letting the rice absorb the water.

This is not a recipe blog, and I’ve posted paella recipes over on roughseas/itchyfeet so you aren’t getting one here.

If you want to know what’s in the pan though, it’s what I gleaned from the veg shop a few minutes earlier – habachuelas (runner beans), habas (broad beans) – tiny ones so I cooked some in the pods, and podded the larger ones, and setas (oyster ? mushrooms). And the wonderful azafran of course – saffron threads, you can see some of them dotted around, if threads can dot. I tend to be a bit indulgent in my use of it and probably use far too much.

Myth number one. Mixing saffron threads with boiling water/stock does not make it dissolve and magically colour the rice when you add it to the pan. Far better to add it at the beginning with everything else – you can see it’s already started to colour the setas.

Myth number two. It is not a good idea to add boiling water/stock to the rice. All that does is give you soggy goo. Add cold water, poco a poco. (little by little)

I am sure plenty of paella experts will argue, but this method works for me.

So this is a very simple regret. I regret that being money ‘rich’, time poor means I don’t have paella for Sunday lunch any more. It wouldn’t be the same in Gib – we eat totally differently here. The occasional Saturday in Spain will become the new Sunday – paella day.

Paella pan by Aga Rayburn.

Duotone note. I had to laugh when this came up – I thought I was going to get the wonderful green because of the beans 😀 It’s interesting that it’s actually picked up the tint of the setas and the azafran colouring.


15 comments on “Money rich, time poor, paella poor”

  1. oh wow, where’s the green, oh Duotone?
    i have had some odd colours, too. more of a mustard – on a pair of sox that also held blue, purple and lime green. and mustard on some november mums which were pink in colour with lots of green foliage, and only little bits of yellow/gold/mustard colour for the centres. i wonder if you were to add a frame in the brownish tone, if it would provide a green background?
    anyhow, dinner sounds delish. i am no cook, but my eyes have feasted.


    • Adding a frame is a bit much for a non-photoblog I think. If I even knew how to do it 😀 I noticed a couple of quirky colours on yours – and it often seemed to be this sludgy mustard brown that you wouldn’t expect at all. I think I shall do a post ranking the duotone colour variations !!


  2. Paella is a delicious and everyone sorta does it their own way. Although I do agree with you about the saffron threads myth, i have to say that I differ about the one of the boiling water; the reason why you should add boiling water is because by adding cold water you stop the cooking process of the rice, hence leaving a very long time and uneven cooked rice. Here in Italy it’s the same rule with Risotto, the water has to be hot so that you can continue the cooking process and a real risotto should only take about 20 minutes to make vs. the 40min -1hr rep that it has.
    It is one of those things that I think you have to go with what works for you, if cold water works for you then that is fantastic and I say stick to it. I find that I sometimes forget to heat the water when extremely busy and end up using warm water but I do find it cook better when I heat it up.
    However great post.


    • Thank you for that explanation which I found really interesting. On a couple of occasions when I used boiling water, the rice cooked before the veg (!!) and even so, it wasn’t evenly cooked. As you say, stick with what works best for each of us.

      When I lived in Torino we used to eat risotto regularly (not cooked by me), but back in the UK I failed to make it successfully. Or at least it didn’t taste like it did in Italy! I think like paella, the sort of rice that we use is also critical. Thanks for taking the time to comment, appreciated.


  3. That looks delicious……………and it’s lunchtime here too 😉


    • Lunchtime – the pleasures of the retired eh? Funny that, we always eat lunch when we are both off – but work means an evening meal, and maybe a sandwich grabbed at lunchtime. I really loved the ducks on your photos. Gorgeous.


      • Ducks & lunch in the same paragraph??????????? Most unlike you K 😉


        • Indeed. I nearly mentioned never wanting to eat duckling on your blog but I was amazingly restrained, courteous and respectful. I don’t think I had woken up 🙂 That was obviously what was on my mind when I mentioned it above 😀 I should just have thrown caution to the winds on yours!


  4. It looks very appetizing, as though not a Veggie do love my vegitables. Have never ever made paella, no idea why!
    It’s another pizza for me tonight – discovered today one of my new courtyards neighbours manages the deli counter @ nearby Morrisons. She was reducing prices on their ‘in store prepared’ ones and dropped a deal my basket 🙂 I will add a load of extra veggies as usual and have a meal for two days making it very cost effective [reference to you other post]


    • Thanks D. The veg were beautifully fresh which always makes such a difference. A bit like your new area, we are lucky in living in the middle of an agricultural region, and my local (newish) shop gets some great produce. Never mind Morrison’s dough! Buy some dried yeast and flour and make your own. Even cheaper. And better IMO.


      • Yes, Norfolk’s fresh produce is a huge plus – I buy all I need off Downham Market’s two weekly markets – it even has an Organic stall!
        And, you’re so right re the pizza dough but despite baking once for my living, yeast & I have never got on that well 😦 but I should try again. However, my family size thick crust pizza base was only 75p thanks to Tracy!


        • Market sounds great 🙂

          I decided I WOULD bake bread at some point (blog post no doubt around somewhere) and from there on – easy. Used to use fresh in the UK, but need to use dried here. Surprisingly just as good. Pretty cheap so a question of practice. Your pizza base was cheap but I reckon I could match it – or you could 🙂


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