Archive for April, 2012
If you are a traditionalist and feel that Paella should only be cooked in a special paella pan… look away and find another recipe, because this cooking technique is definitely different from the one you are familiar with. On the other hand, all of you who would like to embark once again on an Aroma rice cooker adventure keep reading, because you already know that besides rice it cooks up some pretty amazing chicken also, moist, tender and full of flavor. This was my thought as well when I craved chicken and tomatoes and saffron rice the other day, and so why not try to combine these ingredients, some seafood and some spices, and do a little variation on the traditional Spanish paella dish with all the same flavor but in a different vessel. This dish does have a few steps in stages, but they are all simple and quick and the end result is sure to please… you will end up with a succulent dish that reminds you of the Spanish vacation you took.
1 (3-pound) frying chicken, cut into 10 pieces
1 package of paella seasoning ( paprika, garlic, saffron)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Spanish chorizo sausages, thickly sliced
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 Spanish onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped, reserve some for garnish
1 (15-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained and hand-crushed
4 cups short grain Spanish rice
6 cups clam juice
generous pinch saffron threads
1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1/2 cup sweet peas, frozen and thawed
lemon wedges, for serving
Rub the chicken with salt and pepper. Brown your chorizo on medium heat in olive oil until browned and set aside. Add chicken skin-side down and brown on all sides, turning with tongs and set aside. (If you have a rice cooker with a Sauté-Then-Simmer function you can do all sautéing in your rice cooker).
In the same pan saute the onions, garlic, and parsley. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes on a medium heat, add tomatoes and cook until the mixture caramelizes a bit and the flavors meld. Add in the rice and coat the grains. Pour in the rice cooker and add your clam juice. Set your rice cooker on the White Rice setting and add chorizo, chicken and paella spice and mix to combine.
10 minutes before the rice is finished cooking, add the shrimp, tucking them into the rice. Before serving garnish with peas, parsley and lemon wedges.
A rainy day and nothing to do…We get rain in San Diego so seldom and therefore are not prepared to plan for days like this. The weather that keeps us from the beach, parks and pool is a surprise every time and today is no different. I was well aware of the weather forecast and still had nothing prepared for us to do… until the thought of the Aroma ice cream maker, that still needed to be tested, came to me. What better day to make ice cream than a cloudy and drizzly one?
A promise of homemade ice cream gets my kids moving and the bickering takes a back seat to excitement, as we shop for large bags of ice and rock salt. I can hear suggestions of flavors for ice cream (chocolate, caramel, peanut butter, Nutella, etc…) coming from my kids mouths as I gather half and half, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract in order to stick with the plan of basic vanilla flavored ice cream.
10 cups half and half
16 oz sweetened condensed milk
5 tbls vanilla extract
Add all ingredients in the inner canister and close the lid. Insert into the wooden barrel and lock the motor in place. Turn the on switch and add ice and rock salt alternating into the wood container. Let the ice cream machine churn until it automatically stops… your ice cream is ready for tasting.
Even on a day like today or maybe because of a day like today…the ice cream tastes amazing and for once my children are speechless aside from a few sounds of pure enjoyment.
“Mom, There are no special days to prepare ice cream because every day with ice cream is special,” -Ian, 11 years old.
Running a household of five has made me the latest case of adult ADHD and I tend to over think the simplest tasks only to realize at 5pm that an entire day has gone by and I am still in need of dinner. Last night was no different, and as I was struggling to come up with something cool and unusual for dinner and at the same time for my blog today, I stayed up half the night in that weird space between sleep and awake, only to wake up to… nothing that would revolutionize the use of the rice cooker.
Now at 6 in the morning, still half asleep, I stare into my fridge, before heading to the store for some dinner ingredients, (at least I am way ahead of schedule today) and as I saw all the Tupperware containers filled with ingredients like fragrant basmati rice, frittata cups, last night’s risotto leftovers, steamed vegetables, quinoa and cooked black beans, I realized how important my rice cooker is… it didn’t need to perform miracles, it just needed to help me navigate through daily nutritious meals for my family (although every meal in my family is a result of some sort of miracle, either in the planning phase or at the execution level). I would like to think that I am the only scatterbrained mom out there scrambling for dinner at the last minute, but I have enough friends to know that it is not the case, and therefore to all the moms out there I don’t know… GO GET YOURSELF AN AROMA RICE COOKER! All the above mentioned leftovers in my fridge are a result of a meal that was cooked in the rice cooker, and usually I can doctor these things together and make a delicious meal for a few nights.
Tonight I will take the leftover quinoa, steamed mixed vegetables and the cooked black beans and make fresh black bean burgers using the Aroma Super Pot™ 3-in-1 Grill.
2 cups cooked black beans
1 cup cooked rice of your choice or cooked quinoa
1 cup steamed vegetables of your choice (don’t worry they all work and your kids will eat things they don’t even know are good for them!)
1 cup bread crumbs
salt and pepper and optional red pepper flakes, if you like a little heat in your life
lettuce, tomato, pickles, cheese and all other hamburger toppings of your choice
In a food processor pulse all ingredients together for 10 seconds or so, except save 1 cup of beans whole to add afterwards to give some texture to your patties. Form your patties like you would normally and cook them on the Super Pot at 400F. Grill on both sides, turning after 3-4 minutes. Serve with buns and all the fixings, just like you would a regular burger.
My children now prefer these healthy vegetarian burgers to their beefy counterparts! If your family is trying to transition into more vegetables in their diets you can make these burgers half and half, use half beef of turkey and the other half with the above recipe… sure to be a hit!