Friday, March 20, 2009

Recipe Spanish Food - The Perfect Paella

Looking for a traditional Spanish recipe? Without doubt, the best-known is going to be the prodigious paella ... that tasty, adaptable, gregarious dish famed throughout Spain and the World.

And, what an impressive choice of recipes exist for a pleasurable paella: seafood, chicken, rabbit ... or a mixture of all three! Perhaps you are non-meat eating ... well, just opt for one of the several vegetarian paella recipes. Bit of a health fanatic? Then substitute white rice for whole-grain rice or wild rice.

Got a large family and not much money to feed them on? Use plenty of rice and imagination along with a tasty stock, plus whatever you can find in the cupboard! I have certainly enjoyed many paellas where there have been more bones/shells than meat/seafood! And, very tasty they have been too, the richness of the company more than compensating for any paucity in the ingredients.

So ... how do you go about making the perfect paella? First of all, you need to choose your rice. The short-grained rice from Valencia - where most Spanish rice originates - is fine for making paellas. However, the "bomba" rice grown in the neighboring region of Murcia, is the "king" of paella rice: again, short-grained, it has the ability to absorb the stock whilst remaining firm.

Another "must" is to use saffron ("azafrán") to create the gentle, yellow color for which this delectable dish is renowned. Yes, it is possible to buy cheaper, artificial colorings but ... go for the traditional - it will bestow a wonderful aroma and unique flavor.

Many Spaniards swear a perfect paella can only be achieved when using a tasty, home-made stock. Whatever you decide, allow at least double the amount of liquid to rice. If, during cooking, the dish becomes a little dry, just add a dash more water or stock.

Another tip I have been told, on more than one occasion, is to gently fry the rice for a few minutes before adding the stock, ensuring that it is well-coated in oil. I think all Spaniards would agree that, once cooked, it is best to leave your paella to stand for a good five minutes before serving.

Perhaps the most important ingredient for making that perfect paella, is to use lashings and lashings of love whilst preparing it - for surely, that is something we can all afford - and to enjoy to the full the marvellous company of those who will share it with you.

I shall now have to choose a paella recipe to offer you as an example! I think I will opt for a seafood paella, typical of the region of Valencia, where I live. The ingredients are for a hearty four servings. If you are not a hefty eater, or on a diet, then reduce the amount of rice/stock slightly.

Paella Valenciana - Paella From Valencia

Ingrediants:

- 4 cups rice.
- 8 cups fish stock.
- 8 king-sized prawns/langoustines.
- 8 mussels.
- 200 gr shrimps.
- 200 gr peas (fresh or frozen).
- 2 tomatoes, skinned and chopped.
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced.
- 3 strands saffron, crumbled.
- Olive oil for frying.

Method:

1. Sauté garlic in a paella-type pan.

2. Add tomatoes, peas, shrimps and saffron.

3. Cook for a few minutes.

4. Add rice and stock.

5. Simmer for approximately 20 minutes.

6. Decorate with prawns and mussels.

7. Cover paella with a lid.

8. Poach the seafood for a few minutes.

9. Decorate paella with lemon quarters.

10. Enjoy!

Linda Plummer is English, and has lived on the Costa Blanca in Spain for 20 years. She is webmistress of the information- rich site: http://www.top-tour-of-spain.com with its FREE monthly newsletter, "The Magic of Spain"

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Christmas Cookie Recipes

The Germans adorn the indoor as well as the outdoors of their house with the help of lights, crafts and other décor items at Christmas season.

The time from 1st December to Christmas Eve is called Adventszeit( ‘the time of advent’).

Baking of cookies is cherished custom in this country. They are prepared by whole families, friends and relatives.

Some of the Christmas Cookie Easy Recipes are:

Basic Cookie Dough Recipe

You will need:
1/2-cup of butter
1/2 cup of brown sugar, lightly packed
2 tablespoons of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1 large egg
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

Method of Preparation:
Stir all the ingredients but the flour. Beat using an electric mixer; scrap the sides of the bowl some times, until it light and fluffy. Use a low speed, add the flour and beat until all the ingredients Aare well- blended.
Put the mixture on a baking sheet with a tablespoon measure pressing down with a spoon to flatten a bit or roll out. Cut into shapes using a cookie cutter. It should be baked at 350 degree for 15 minutes, until it becomes golden brown.

Breakfast Cookies

You will need:
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
10 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
2 cups cornflakes
1/2 cup raisins

Method of Preparation:
Cream butter and sugar, beating in egg. Add flour along with baking soda, mixing well. Stir in bacon, cornflakes and raisins. Drop by rounded tablespoons 2″ apart onto cookie sheets without grease.
The cookies should be baked at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes until it is light brown color. Prior taking out it to wire racks, let it cool for two minutes. Keep the cookies in the fridge.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Halloween Recipes - Bloody Bug Juice, Fluffy ghosts, Spooky Cups And More..

Halloween Recipes : It's Halloween ! The spooks are flying 'n the ghouls are haunting everyone to a frightful fun time . Have some bloody Halloween recipes on the eve of Halloween.

BLOODY BUG JUICE

24 oz Frozen strawberries -- thawed
6 oz Lemonade, frozen concentrate
1 qt Ginger ale
1 c Raisins
1 c Blueberries -- fresh or frozen
Place the strawberries in a bowl and mash with a fork. In a large pitcher, mix the strawberry mash, lemonade and ginger ale. Place handfuls of raisins and blueberries (bugs) into tall glasses. Pour the liquid over the bugs, then sit back and watch the bugs and scum rise to the top of each glass. To quench a creepy crowd's thirst, double or triple this recipe and serve in a punch bowl. Drape some gummy worms over the rim of your bowl for a particularly swampy-looking effect!

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FLUFFY GHOSTS

4 egg whites
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla or lemon extract
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup raisins or currants
Line two lightly greased baking sheets with parchment or brown papers; set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat until mixture forms small peaks. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating constantly at high speed until stiff but still glossy. Beat in vanilla or lemon extract. Sift powdered sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, over top and fold in by hand.
In pastry bag fitted with decorator tip, spoon in meringue and fold over end to enclose. Squeeze slowly onto paper-lined baking sheets to make short, thick shapes (to avoid breakage) of ghosts, bats and other scary creatures. Decorate with raisins or currants for eyes and teeth.
Bake at 200F for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until dry. Remove from pan with metal spatula and place on flat surface to cool. Store in an airtight container.
Makes 25 3-inch shapes.

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Spooky Cups

4 cups cold milk
1 package (4 serving size) chocolate fudge instant pudding mix
10 to 12 7 oz. plastic cups
1 package (4 serving size) vanilla instant pudding mix
12 chocolate sandwich cookies
Red and Yellow food coloring
Halloween sprinkles
Pour 2 cups of the milk into a large bowl. Add chocolate fudge flavor pudding, beat with wire whisk for 2 minutes. Fill glasses about 1/2 full with pudding mixture.
Pour remaining 2 cups of milk into another large bowl. Add vanilla pudding mix, beat with wire whisk for 2 minutes. Stir in a few drops of red and yellow food color to make orange. Spoon mixture evenly over chocolate mixture. Top with crushed cookies.
Refrigerate until ready to serve. garnish with Halloween sprinkles

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Peanut Butter Popcorn Balls

6 cups popped corn
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup crunch-style peanut butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Lightly salt popcorn; keep warm. In medium saucepan, combine sugar and corn syrup; cook and stir over medium heat, just 'til mixture comes to a full rolling boil, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in peanut butter and vanilla until all is combined. Immediately pour over warm popcorn, mixing gently 'til all is coated. With well buttered hands, form into balls using about 1/2 cup mixture for each. Wrap individually in clear plastic.

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Halloween Snack Mix

1/2 Cup blood drops (red hots)
1/2 Cup cats eyes (blanched almonds) or (gum drops)
1/2 Cup cats claws (sunflower seeds)
1 Cup chicken toenails (candy corn)
1 Cup colored flies (M & M's)
1 Cup butterfly wings (corn chips)
1 Cup ants (raisins)
1 Cup earthworms (cheese curls)
1 Cup cobwebs (Triscuits) or (Golden Grahams)
1 Cup snakes eyes (peanuts)
1 Cup bats bones (shoestring potatoes)
Mix together in a large bowl. Serve with several pints of blood (cherry punch).

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ICKY STICKY SUGAR SNAKES

To make dough:
8 tb Unsalted butter -- at room
3 tb Honey
1 t Vanilla extract
1 c All-purpose flour
1/2 ts Salt
1/2 ts Vegetable oil
1/2 c Chocolate chips
To make sticky sauce:
1/2 c Honey
2 tb Sugar
2 tb Ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
In a medium bowl, mash the butter and honey with a fork until well blended. Gradually stir in the vanilla extract, flour and salt. The mixture should have a doughy consistency. Wrap the dough in a plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Grease cookie sheets with the vegetable oil. After an hour, remove the dough from the refrigerator and separate it into pieces the size of golf balls. If the dough sticks to your hands, dip them in flour. Roll out balls between your hands into snake like shapes, about the length and thickness of your pinky.
Separate each ball into 4 smaller sections and roll each section into a snake. Place snakes 1 inch apart on cookie sheets. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the snakes begin to turn light brown.
Carefully remove the cookie sheets from the oven and immediately remove the snakes from the sheets to a platter. Allow snakes to cool slightly and press 2 chocolate chip eyes into the head of each snake. Set aside until completely cooled.
To prepare sticky sauce, mix honey, sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Drizzle over the cooled snakes and serve.