Monday, December 18, 2006

Party With Paella

A couple of years ago I spent Christmas with my sister. For Christmas eve, we had the traditional dinner with turkey and the trimmings. But for Christmas day, I suggested we make a paella instead of having leftovers or cooking another elaborate meal.

What I love about this Spanish dish is that it really gives off a family feel because everyone gathers around the table and take a share from the paella pan. For the recipe below, I've made the proportion work out for singles who might be cooking for themselves or maybe just a couple of other friends who aren't with their families for Christmas.

Whether you're having a big dinner for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, consider making the one-pan paella for the other night so that you have less dishes to make but still get a festive feel. Paella, like risotto, can be made with a variety of ingredients. My recipe calls for a combination of meats and seafood and looks very Christmas like with the red bell pepper and green peas.

You can make paella in a large skillet, but why not go all the way and get a paella pan? They're often quite cheap and handy. In the Bay Area, the best store for your paella needs is The Spanish Table in Berkeley on San Pablo Avenue. It's a fun store just to transport yourself to Spain whenever you feel like it -- even for the holidays. Enjoy!

No comments: