Last Saturday night, the plan was to cook paella for the family and just curl up in bed and watch TV after. I successfully cooked the paella but I ended up in Makati afterwards for a drink with some friends. It was actually a very quiet evening which I found very enjoyable. And I was glad that we were heading home by midnight with everyone still walking in a straight line. That’s when this list occurred to me and I thought of how I am bidding farewell to frequent late nights, because seriously, those mean hangovers are just not worth the trouble.
So here’s some light and hopefully humorous reading for your Sunday afternoon. 🙂
You Know You’re Old When…
Your idea of fun does not involve loud music and a crowded bar.
You wake up early even after a late night out.
Teenagers start answering you with “po” or “opo.”
Your knees start to hurt after prolonged hours of standing or walking.
The kids that you taught in pre-school are now almost as tall as you.
Sleep is more precious than anything.
You forget what you said or did just a moment ago.
White hair is not a novelty anymore.
You’d rather spend your Saturday night cooking at home.
What makes you feel old?
2 cups of rice
3 cups of broth
1/2 cups home made tomato sauce
1/2 chicken, cut into small portions
1/4 k. shrimp
1 medium chorizo
3 strips of bacon
2 red bell peppers
1/2 cup green peas
1/4 cup olive oil
3 hard boiled eggs
Begin with making your home made tomato sauce. I prefer home made rather than store bought because this way, you can alter the taste to your liking. I also realized that your tomato sauce can make or break your paella so you should really take your time in preparing this. The recipe that I used for my sauce was inspired by Marketman’s sofrito and I have to say that it made a lot of difference with the paella. It gave it a deeply-infused tomato and saffron flavor that permeated all throughout the dish.
Next, heat some olive oil on the paellera and lightly brown your chicken for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. In the same pan, saute’ bacon and chorizos until fat has rendered, about 5 minutes. Pour in rice and mix with all the bacon, chorizo and oils for a deeper flavor. Make sure to mix quickly as they could stick to the pan and burn. Pour in 1 1/2 cups of tomato sauce and coat the rice. Add in 2 cups of broth, saving some for later. Make sure that the rice is spread evenly on the paellera. Add in chicken and cover paellera with foil for 15 minutes, on low heat. Check the pealla once in a while to see if it needs more stock. Add if needed. After 15 minutes, add in shrimp, bell peppers and peas. Leave on for another 10 minutes then remove from heat. Leave the foil on as the steam will still cook the shrimp and the rice. Top with hard boiled eggs and garnish with lemon wedges.
I found that seasoning my paella was quite tricky. Since there are so many layers of flavors, you have to be careful in remembering what you did or didn’t add salt to. Just remember that everything except for the bacon and chorizo need to be seasoned. And also, if you’ve already put salt on your stock and tomato sauce, hold back on the rice. I made the mistake of under-seasoning but I suppose that’s better than over doing it.
I was very happy with this dish, although my mom still had a lot to say. For one, she thought that maybe it would have been better to put the paellera in an oven rather than cooking it on a stove top. You really can’t please everybody. 😛