Friday, December 20, 2013

December 20, 2013

A Thought for Today


“A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor.”


                      Victor Hugo

A Piece of My Work

My son and daughter in law, Daniel and Berenice, were expecting a baby. In fact, they had  two little twin girls. I wanted to make something for this occasion. I called the piece "Awaiting our Granddaughters", in anticipation of their birth on October 17, 2013.

I gave this piece to Daniel and Berenice on the day they had a baby shower. It shows two babies in a heart-shaped basket under the protective hands of the mother and father.


A Recipe for Today

                                         Paella, Valencia style

Active work time: 35 min. Total preparation time: 1 hour. Makes 4-6 servings. 
1 cup of fresh or frozen lima beans or dried butter beans, soaked overnight.
2 cups green beans cut in 2” pieces
2 chicken thighs (10 oz. total)
4 pieces of rabbit (10 oz. total)
1 (10 oz.) boneless duck breast, cut into 4 pieces
¼ cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tomato grated (1/2 cup pulp)
2 tbsp. annatto oil
¼ tsp. saffron, crushed
½ tsp. pimentón
41/2 cups chicken broth
1 dz. cooked snails, optional
Fresh rosemary sprig
2 cups Spanish short-grain rice
Lemon wedges for garnish 
Soak butter beans overnight, cook in boiling water for 5 min. Drain and refresh under cold water. Set aside.
Blanch green beans in boiling water for 1 min. Drain, refresh in cold water and set aside.
Cut the chicken thighs in half along the bone, making 4 pieces. Lightly salt the chicken, rabbit, and duck.
Place a 14”-paella pan on the fire and heat the oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle 1 tsp. of salt into the oil then add the chicken, rabbit, and duck and let them brown slowly, about 10 min. Add the limas or parboiled butter beans and the blanched green beans and cook and stir 1 min. Add the garlic and when it begins turning yellow, add the tomato pulp.
In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup of water, the annatto oil, saffron, and pimentón. Stir until the spices are dissolved. Dribble the mixture into the pan.
Add 4 cups of broth and return the heat to high. Add the snails and sprig of rosemary. Reduce the heat to medium. Cook 14 min. more without stirring. Add liquid if necessary. The liquid should be absorbed and the rice al dente. 
Allow the paella to sit 5-10min. before serving, then garnish with lemon edges.