Tag Archives: Rice

Paella Mixta~Learning to Prepare Paella

This was my first time testing out my new paella pan last summer….A fully loaded seafood paella, well somewhat, lol!….I am certainly no authority on preparing paella. But as I often say to my husband, “How will I know if I never try?”. Try to recreate my version of paella in my very own kitchen, that is. This was actually my fourth or fifth time preparing paella. The first couple of times, I used the widest and deepest pan that I had in my kitchen and cooked it on the stove top. I was very happy with the results, but my goal is to try it in a real paella pan on a wood-fired grill. I have this one friend Jose, who is from Spain, and the pictures of his paella creations are incredible. I will never reach his level of expertise, I just want to feel comfortable that I am somewhat knowledgeable about the basics of preparing a good paella recipe. 

Seafood Paella
Seafood Paella
Seafood Paella
Seafood Paella

Paella Mixta…Valencia Style

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium white onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 serrano pepper, minced
1 poblano pepper, minced
1 orange or red bell pepper, diced
2 Roma tomatoes, diced

4 ounces Spanish chorizo, sliced thin
3 1/2 cups chicken broth (or if possible seafood broth)
1 cup white wine (I used Pino Grigio)
2 cups Arborio rice
1 large pinch of saffron
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
8 ounces large shrimp, cleaned, tails on
6 ounces bay scallops
2 six ounce tilapia fillets, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 dozen mussels, because this was my first time using the mussels in paella, I got a little help from the store and bought frozen, already cooked.
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
6 to 8 Lemon wedges

Paella Pan
Paella Pan

 

Directions

1. Preheat 3 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the onions, garlic, and serrano chile. Season lightly with salt and pepper and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the poblanos, sweet peppers, and tomatoes and Spanish chorizo. Cook for another 2 to 4 minutes.

2. Add the broth, wine,saffron and paprika. Stir well to combine, taste for salt. Add in the rice and spread out evenly. Cover the pan with foil paper and cook for 14 to 16 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Layer the shrimp, scallops, and tilapia evenly over the top of rice, pushing it down slightly into the rice. Add the mussels, season lightly with fresh lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Cover with foil paper again and continue cooking until shrimp turns pink and mussels open up.

3. Remove from heat and let sit for a good 15 to 20 minutes. Before serving, fluff the rice with a large fork, folding in the seafood and vegetables. Garnish with cilantro and parsley, serve with lemon wedges and hot sauce. Yields 6 to 8 servings.

Tips~ When cooking paella, it is not custom to cover it. But because I was cooking it on an electric stove top instead of on a special made paella burner or wood fired grill, the pan does not heat evenly. While it was cooking, I gently moved the rice from the outer edges towards the center of pan to make sure it was cooking all the way through. My pan burns hotter in the center, creating a crusty layer of rice. No need to panic, this is a good thing when it comes to cooking paella.

Always a good idea to prep ahead...
Always a good idea to prep ahead…
Adding great flavors with a longer saute time for paella
Adding great flavors with a longer saute time for paella
Seafood Paella
Seafood Paella
Seafood Paella
Seafood Paella

 

Fideo with Shrimp and Mussels. Here is a variation or twist on preparing paella, but using fideo or vermicella style pasta. Click onto picture for the full recipe. 

Fideo with Shrimp and Mussels
Fideo with Shrimp and Mussels

 

Chicken and Shrimp Paella. My first time preparing paella I kept it pretty simple. I used bone in chicken and jumbo shrimp, alot of peas and carrots on top, lol! But it was so tasty! Click onto picture for full recipe. 

Chicken and Shrimp Paella
Chicken and Shrimp Paella

Stuck on Jasmine~ Learning to Cook Rice

After many years of cooking rice dishes, I have to admit that both my husband and I are hooked on jasmine rice. I will also admit that I have tried every boxed, pre- mixed, par boiled and rice o roni that was ever made, lol!! I am not sure why I was so intimidated when it came to preparing my Mom’s recipe for Mexican Red Rice. It may be that I knew my version would never be as wonderful as hers. Or so I thought…. I can finally say that I am happy with my rice making skills now. I don’t fuss too much when it come to preparing rice recipes. Every cook has a method that works for them, whether it’s soaking, rinsing, steaming or toasting the rice. This is a collection of some of my favorites I have experimented with. Most all prepared with jasmine rice and a few with brown rice or quinoa. The first recipe was from my most recent cooking class where we prepared a fresh batch of Mexican chorizo and added it to the rice! My new favorite…for now.

 

Homemade Mexican chorizo added to Mexican red Rice.
Homemade Mexican chorizo added to Mexican red Rice.

from the cooking class….. picture by Celeste

Mexican Red Rice with homemade chorizo and Chicken Tinga Tostada
Mexican Red Rice with homemade chorizo and Chicken Tinga Tostada

 

Chorizo Rice

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup of long-grain rice (I like to use Jasmine rice)
1 small white onion, diced
1 to cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup uncooked Mexican chorizo
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon black pepper
Salt to taste
2 cups of chicken broth
1/4 cup of tomato sauce or 2 fresh Roma tomatoes, blended
1/2 cup of peas and carrots mixed, fresh or frozen. We used a vegetable mix this time
Chopped cilantro, optional

Directions

1. In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil to medium heat. Add the rice and saute for a few minutes or until the rice becomes aromatic and slightly opaque. Add the onions and the garlic and cook for just 2 minutes. Move the rice mixture to the outer edges of the pan and add the chorizo to the center of the pan. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, breaking apart with wooden spoon until crumbly.

2. Add all the dry spices and stir well to combine. Add the tomato sauce and broth, stir well and taste for salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes without disturbing the rice.

3. Add the peas and carrots evenly to the top of the rice. Cover and continue cooking until all of the liquid has evaporated. Total cooking time is about 18 to 20 minutes or so. (If rice doesn’t look like it is cooking evenly, gently stir with a fork and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of broth or water, cover and continue cooking.)

4. Remove from heat once liquid has evaporated and let stand for 10 minutes. When ready to serve, fluff with a fork and fold in the fresh cilantro if using. Yields up to 6 servings.

 

Savory Chicken Rice with Toasted Cumin Seeds and Lime

Savory Chicken Rice with Toasted Cumin and Lime
Savory Chicken Rice with Toasted Cumin and Lime



2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup jasmine rice
1/3 cup red onion, diced
1/3 cup red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, crushed
1 packet of Knorr brand Sazon with annatto
1 packet of Goya brand chicken bouillon granules (always use homemade stock if available, but this works in a pinch)
2 cups water
1 red fresno pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup fresh green beans, chopped fine
1 medium carrot, diced
Zest and juice of 1 lime

 

Savory Chicken Rice with Toasted Cumin and Lime
Savory Chicken Rice with Toasted Cumin and Lime

 

Directions 

1. Add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a skillet. Heat to medium and add the rice. Toast the rice until it become aromatic and begins to brown slightly.

2. Add the onions, bell pepper, jalapeno and garlic and saute for another 5 minutes. Push the rice to the outer edges of the pan. Add the crushed cumin seeds to the center and toast for a few minutes.

3. Add the Sazon, chicken bouillon, water and fresno pepper. Stir gently and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to low, cover and continue cooking for 10 minutes.  Add the fresh veggies to the rice and spreed out evenly over the top. Cover and continue cooking for another 8 to 10 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Before serving, add the zest and juice of the lime and fluff with a fork. Yields 6 servings.

 

Mexican Style Red Rice with Quinoa

Mexican Style Red Rice with Quinoa
Mexican Style Red Rice with Quinoa



2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup red onion, diced
1 serrano pepper, sliced in half (lengthwise)
1/3 cup red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste or 1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt to taste
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 tabespoons lemon fresh juice
1/4 cup green onions, sliced

Directions

1. Preheat the olive oil on medium heat for a minute. Add the onions, serrano, bell pepper and garlic. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes.

2. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste or sauce. Season lightly with salt and pepper and let cook for 5 minutes.

3. Add in the broth, cumin, pepper, smoked paprika and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, add in the quinoa, making sure you spread it out evenly. Push it down slightly so it is covered with broth. Reduce heat, cover and continue cooking for 13 to 18 minutes or until most of the broth has evaporated. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Add fresh lemon juice, green onions and fluff with a fork before serving. Yields up to 6 servings.

 

Savory Mango Rice

A Savory Mango Rice Recipe I Developed for Hispanic Kitchen. Click Onto Picture to see Recipe
A Savory Mango Rice Recipe I Developed for Hispanic Kitchen. Click Onto Picture to see Recipe

 

Cilantro Chile Rice

Cilantro Chile Rice
Cilantro Chile Rice, click onto picture for recipe

 

Arroz Huerfano~ Orphan Rice, my Tia Minerva’s Recipe

Arroz Huerfano~Orphan Rice, my Tia Minerva's Recipe
Arroz Huerfano~Orphan Rice, my Tia Minerva’s Recipe, click onto picture for recipe

 

Mexican Brown Rice

Mexican Brown Rice Recipe Using Parboiled Rice
Mexican Brown Rice Recipe Using Parboiled Rice, click onto picture for recipe

 

Arroz Cremoso Poblano (Creamy/Cheesy Poblano Rice)

Arroz Cremoso (Creamy/Cheesy Poblano Rice)
Arroz Cremoso (Creamy/Cheesy Poblano Rice), click onto picture for recipe

 

And the last one….My Mom’s Mexican Red Rice. This is my best attempt at recreating my Mom’s recipe with my little twist of some added spices.

My Mom's Mexican Red Rice
My Mom’s Mexican Red Rice, click onto picture to see recipe

 

 

 

Spicy Creole-Mex Chicken Stew~ It’s a Fusion Thing!

Spicy Creole-Mex Chicken Stew. For many years I have been fascitnated with the whole New Orleans vibe. Ok, Ok, it’s the food that really sparked my interest, I must confess. The history is vibrant and colorful, much like that of Mexico. The trend today and for a while now is fusion cooking. Some of the most popular restaurants and food trucks out there are serving up the most wonderful, complex and flavorful dishes.  I have experimented with a few recipes in my own kitchen, usually pairing Asian and Mexican. For a couple of years I was teaching cooking classes and my good friend Suwanee, who is from Thailand was also one of the teachers. She taught and shared some of the most delicious Thai recipes I had ever had. They were so clean and simple, but so delicious! During our time there, I realized that there were many ingredients that were very similar in our recipe. Even though mine were Mexican and hers were Thai, there were many similarities. The Creole recipes caught my attention because I found them to be similar to the low and slow stewed recipes I love so much from Mexico. A tomato based sauce with aromatics, herbs and spicy cayenne. Right up my alley! I had a few chicken drumsticks and andouille sausage that I smoked on my charcoal grill. Instead of just eating as is, I decided to create this spicy stew with both Creole and Mexican flavors.   

 

My friends at the “Trupp Cooking School” are creating and developing beautiful and tasty dishes.  Check out their line up of cooking classes by clicking on the link below.

The Melbourne cooking classes are available in ‘sit-down’ and ‘hands-on’ formats, with intimate classes being the norm.
A fusion of Creole and Mexican flavors with the bonus of smoked chicken and andouille sausage.
A fusion of Creole and Mexican flavors with the bonus of smoked chicken and andouille sausage.



Olive oil
½ cup celery, diced
½ cup red bell pepper, diced
1 cup sweet onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red fresno pepper, minced
1 jalapeño, minced
2 cups fire roasted tomatoes, crushed
2 cups chicken broth
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
6 large basil leaves, chopped
1 ½ teaspoons oregano, crushed
1 teaspoon dry thyme
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
12 ounces andouille sausage, sliced
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 green onions, sliced thin
1 large lemon
Hot sauce

Prep ahead, prep ahead, prep ahead..I cannot say that enough...
Prep ahead, prep ahead, prep ahead..I cannot say that enough…
Fusion cooking is one of my favorite ways to creat and develop new recipe. Creole ans Mexican flavors make up this rich and tasty stew.
Fusion cooking is one of my favorite ways to creat and develop new recipe. Creole ans Mexican flavors make up this rich and tasty stew.

TIPS *I smoked and grilled 5 chicken drum sticks and the sausage before adding it to the recipe. I also grilled the tomatoes (6roma), hot peppers, sweet onion and garlic before adding them to the recipe. It added so much more flavor!

Directions

1. In a large heavy pot, preheat 3 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat. Add the celery, bell pepper, onion, garlic, fresno and jalapeño. Season lightly with salt and pepper and saute for 7 to 10 minutes.

2. Add the tomatoes, broth, cilantro, basil, oregano, thyme, cumin, worcestershire, cayenne, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Add the chicken and sausage and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning,

4. Add the butter, green onions and juice of half a lemon. Cook for another 5 minutes. Serve with rice. Garnish with hot sauce and lemon wedges.Yields up to 6 servings.

The perfect steamed rice with a touch of Sazon seasoning with annatto was perfect for this spicy stew.
The perfect steamed rice with a touch of Sazon seasoning with annatto was perfect for this spicy stew. Was not hot enough for me, so I had to add some of my quick pickled habanero slices.

 

It's a little Creole, it's a little Mexican...Spicy!
It’s a little Creole, it’s a little Mexican…Spicy!