Saturday, 25 May 2013


   I found a new product at the supermarket today - a jar of sofrito. It was described as a Spanish style condiment. On a whim I decided to buy it as I seemed to remember having a recipe that called for it. I was right, the paella recipe I got at a cooking demonstration required half a cup of it. So, tonight I embarked on an experiment: to create my own version of paella, minus the chicken, shrimp, clams and mussels!

   It turned out well and as I had defrosted a salmon fillet, broiled that to make a delicious meal. Tomorrow I will toss in a few shrimp and, if there's any left on Monday, I will cook up some chicken thighs and add them to the leftovers. The only problem was that paella requires a particular kind of rice  - Bomba - which I didn't have. I substituted Arborio rice, the type used for risotto, but the recipe stressed strongly not to stir the paella or the starch would be released from the rice. So my version turned out to be more of a risotto with Spanish flavours. I was even able to use some saffron that I had brought back from Morocco a couple of years ago. 
    Today I also cooked up a batch of pickled beetroot - so easy and inexpensive and it will last me for a month or two.
   Cook beets until tender, remove ends and skin. Slice 1/4 inch thick and pack into pint jars, add 1 tbsp. sugar and 1/2 tsp. salt to each jar. Mix cider vinegar and water in the ratio of 2 parts vinegar to 1 part water, enough to cover the sliced beets. Boil together for 1 minute. Fill jars and seal. Keep in refrigerator.

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