Saturday morning I got in my car to head up to campus. All was fine, and then, then the “check engine’ light turned on. Panic set in: I’m a grad student, I’m in no way financially stable enough to pay for a huge car problem.
Poor Adele. Speaking of which, meet Adele:
(This isn’t my car, but it’s the same color and make. And no, I did not name my car after the singer, though I did just name her yesterday during my panic that I could lose her).
As I panicked, I called my mother (because mother’s know everything), went to the dealer, sat at the dealer, and was handed a piece of paper telling me “its not the end of the world. you car won’t be blowing up…but you need to fix X, Y, and Z.” I say X, Y, and Z because I don’t know what any of the codes/descriptions mean. I do know, however, its going to be very expensive, which may turn May/June into the “how to spend as little as possible” challenge months. Stay tuned
So, what do I do when I get stressed out with school, money, cars, life? Why, I cook of course! And tonight, I decided that what I really wanted was Mark Bittman’s Chicken & Chorizo Paella from How to Cook Everything. So I went and picked up fresh made chorizo and chicken thighs from Whole Foods, headed home and started cooking.
Then I had a major fail: I forgot to add in the chicken AND garlic. So what did I do? I added a ton of paprika, and made my own: Paprika Chorizo Paella. The delicious result of my current inability to follow directions.
I started by sautéing the chopped onion in olive oil, and heating the chicken broth + saffron on the stove.
If you’ve never seen, or worked with saffron, here’s a closer look:
You keep it in a sealed plastic bag, and its like red fibers. And, you only need very little of it. Just a ‘pinch.’
I then added the rice to the onions, and cooked for 2-3 minutes, before adding the broth. Then added in the tomato paste, chorizo, paprika (LOADS of paprika) and salt & peppa.
pooped popped it in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, until the rice was thoroughly cooked and the top/edges were starting to get crispy (my favorite part).
Then, I topped with a little more paprika (its hard to have too much after having eaten in Hungary), and dove in.
Paprika Chorizo Paella (6-8 servings)
2 pounds uncased pork chorizo (I get mine from the butcher at WF – I just ask em to ‘make’ it for me)
2 cups arborio rice (this is important…it makes the best paella in my opinion)
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 onion, chopped
1/2 can tomato paste
2-3 tbsp paprika (I’m not joking)
a pinch of saffron
salt & peppa to taste
3 tbsp olive oil
Heat oven to 450. Heat olive oil in a 12-inch sauté pan, with high edges and a METAL handle (you are sticking it in the oven…so this is important). Once hot, sauté the onion (you could add minced garlic if you like). Meanwhile, heat the 3 1/2 cups of chicken broth with the saffron in a sauce pot. After a few minutes, when the onion is starting to turn a ‘clear’ color, add the rice. Let simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until the rice looks ‘shiny.’
Then, add the chicken broth, chorizo, tomato paste, paprika, and salt & peppa. Stir, and let sit for about 2-3 minutes, then pop it in the oven (uncovered) for 15-20 minutes, or until the top is starting to brown, and the top/edges get crispy – and the rice is cooked through.
Plate, top with paprika (if you so please) and DIG IN!
I paired mine with a spinach salad, manchego cheese, tomato and raspberry balsamic vinaigrette. Mmmmm. Mmmm. Good
I had this portion…time 2 Soooo good.
What do you cook/bake or do when you’re stressed out? I tend to do a mixtuer of ridiculous cooking, baking and exercising. Those are the only activities in which I can really lose myself and forget about the world around me. I love to bake sweets. But then I eat them all…so I try not to