Spanish rice holds a lot of memories from my childhood. It was a staple at family gatherings, along with the deliciously greasy chorizo sausage. It was a dish my full-blooded Spanish grandmother and great-grandmother made and had many variants. Sometimes it would just be chicken breasts with saffron rice, sometimes chorizo was added, but no matter how it was made, it was always delicious.
I can vividly recall my great-grandmother cooking in her kitchen, the smell of chicken and saffron powerful and permeable, the very walls soaking it in. Even now, when I get a whiff of the spice, I think of her in the kitchen, of my grandmother pulling out a special birthday rice dish.
It’s a tradition I have carried on and brought into my home. I have made quite a few alterations to the recipe, however. Somehow, I don’t think Mrs. Dash is an authentic Spanish spice….
Is there a certain traditional dish that has been passed down in your family? Did you do anything to modify it?
The following recipe makes A LOT. It’s enough to feed a small party of guests. If you have a small-ish family, be sure to halve it. There will be plenty of left overs. It would make a great New Year’s party dish. You can find saffron at most grocery stores these days. The chorizo sausage I use is imported from Spain and there is only one place in town I can find it. However, most co-op/ grocery stores carry at least one brand of it. This site is a good place to grab some.
4 1/2 c. chicken broth
2 additional cups water
big pinch saffron
1 tsp paprika
1 large onion
1/2 cup parsley, preferably fresh
2 Large tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, chopped
6 cloves garlic
4 chicken thighs/breasts
1/2 lb. or more chorizo
3 cups rice, dry
Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Salt and rub chicken with paprika. Put in oven and bake until done. Cut into pieces and remove to platter.
Prepare chicken broth from bouillon paste per directions. Add saffron and 1 tsp paprika. stir till boils. Set aside.
Brown chorizo in olive oil in large skillet or paella pan for 5-10 minutes. Remove to platter. Leave chorizo grease in pan.
Add onion, parsley and chopped garlic to skillet. Cook 5 min. Add dry rice to pan along with tomatoes. Cook till rice starts to brown.
Pour broth into skillet. Stir until it boils.
Transfer to dutch oven or a 5 qt casserole dish, scattering half of chopped chicken on bottom of pan, the rest of chicken and chorizo stirred in rice. Scatter garlic cloves on top.
Add additional 1 1/2-2 cups water if needed.
Cover and bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. When rice is done, remove from oven and let cool. Serve with sour cream. Serves 6-8.
It never fails: fall comes and I get the cooking bug.
The pumpkins start coming in and the crisp apples. Pumpkin soup, pumpkin muffins, quick breads. All kinds of squash, cider.
And! – The crockpot! I’m loving it. It’s just so dang easy. You can put anything in there- forget about it for a few hours, come back and you have a most delicious meal. I’ve been visiting A Year of Slow Cooking pretty regularly.
A few days ago, I thought maybe I’d make some sweet potato muffins (which were super yummy) and sneak the sweet potato in so my daughter would never know. She caught me putting those things in and promptly declared: I am not having any! Sweet potatoes are yucky!!
You don’t know what you’re missing kid!
Kind of puts a damper on your enthusiasm for cooking when your kid is the pickiest eater on the planet. At least, it seems so.
Delicious three cheese broccoli soup?
Even with the yummy cheese? Pretty please?
Mo-om, what are these green things in the muffins? Zucchini?
No, no. They’re apples, baby, apples.
It’s always a challenge to get the girl to eat actual, healthy food. What are some of your tips and tricks to get the kids to eat their veggies and just healthier in general?
Main focus of the show? To get Oliver’s biggest foe, the radio DJ, on his side. This guy has been talking down on Jamie and his project from the get-go. If there is one person you want on your side, it’s the radio DJ, who has the opportunity to reach and influence hundreds and hundreds of people.
Oliver heads into the radio station to duke it out a bit with the DJ. It is a little painful to watch-the amount of sheer resistance coming from Mr. DJ is amazing. He keeps proclaiming the citizens of Huntington “…don’t want to sit around and eat lettuce all day!” Well, eating healthy is more than just “eating lettuce”.
Oliver has opened a kitchen in town and, of course, DJ is opposed to it-doesn’t think it’s going to work. All this leads to a bet between the two-if Oliver can get 1,000 people in the kitchen to cook in 5 days, Rod (the DJ) will buy him a beer.
So, he gets out on the town and starts to recruit….starting at Marshall University (of We Are Marshall movie fame) doing some sort of “flash mob” thing. Has to be seen to believed, really. Students gather in the square and….what?! They start dancing with spoons and woks and stuff….Oh my god! That’s one way to get the word out…and hey-it worked.
Three days and 1,000 people to go….everyone starts showing up! Even pastor Steve! It’s a stir fry lesson in the street!
Two days left and over 500 people to go…..and oh my god! It’s Alice the lunch lady and the rest of the elementary lunch crew! Still, Rod is blasting Jamie and his show.
One day left and 200 people to go….so, to get Rod on his side, Oliver tries something a little drastic. They first head to a mortuary, where they get to see a normal sized coffin and one that is twice as large. “This is what has happened to American society”, says one of the morticians. He also informs us that to bury a person of that size, the cemetery will require you to purchase two plots and that cremation is not an option because of the way the body burns-it would be like a candle burning, leaving the wax behind. You begin to see Rod soften a little.
Next: Oliver takes Rod to see a few people that have been on the show previously. Mr. DJ gets taken down a notch when he hears their stories-real people with real problems concerning eating habits and health. He just about breaks down when he hears Brittany quite possibly only has a few years left to live if she doesn’t change how she eats.
Has Rod become a changed man? Or, has he changed his mind, at least?
Final Day, 100 people to go……Rod is at the kitchen, live on radio! Looks as if he has jumped on board. Everybody’s at the kitchen, the local fire department, Good Morning America, even the Mayor. Holy cow! The Governor and his wife! Oliver meets his goal-1,000 people through the kitchen in 5 days.
Despite all this big-name support for the project, though, where is the money going to come from?
Check out full videos of Food Revolution here
The premise of the show:
Renowned chef, Jamie Oliver, travels to Huntington, West Virginia (slapped with the unsavory title of “fattest city in America”) with the aim of getting the citizens to eat healthier, to change their eating habits, particularly in the school lunch system. He is met with much resistance from the whole town, it seems-his biggest foes being rabid lunch ladies and radio DJ’s. The only person on his side? The town pastor who is tired of seeing his congregation die an early death from various maladies.
There were a couple things I found a bit shocking and unbelievable. While at the elementary school, Oliver gathers a group of kids and does an experiment with chicken. He takes a whole chicken, chops off all the desirable parts, asks the kids if they would eat it. A resounding yes. He then shows the kids the not-so-desirable parts of the chicken-pretty much what you would use to make stock. He asks if they would eat that part. They get all grossed out and say, no! Of course not!
Then, the experiment.
He took the chicken carcass, bones and all, and put it in a food processor, then proceeded to fry it up in chicken nugget form. The kids looked at it again, were asked if they would eat the chicken nuggets and all raised their hands.
One thing I just could not understand is the lack of utensils! The kids weren’t allowed to use a fork or a knife, only a spoon, for eating their food. Too ‘dangerous’, I guess. You know, poking each other’s eyes out or something. So, we have a bunch of kids using their hands and a spoon to feed themselves. Oliver is about as dumbstruck as any sane chef would be and insists the kids use the proper utensils. Get the teachers and principal in the luchroom to supervise and teach them how to do it. Insane!
Another thing I found incredible is these kids didn’t know what a potato was. Oliver made a game of naming the vegetable he held up. There was a deafening silence. The kids had trouble naming most vegetables.
What the hell are we teaching our kids in school??
He also visits the local high school, which wasn’t as troubling as the elementary, but the food (and the almighty “guidelines”-french fries considered as a vegetable???) was still appalling.
It’s apparent that our schools in America need a change on many different levels. Oliver did it in the UK,(scroll down to ‘school dinners’) but can he change the way American schools feed our kids?
You can watch full episodes of the show here.
I didn’t think things could get much more weirder than they already are, but I am consistently and constantly proven wrong.
The latest, if you haven’t already heard, is the campaign to brand food with labels warning against children choking.
The whole thing sort of reminds me of that person who spilled hot coffee on themselves and sued McDonald’s because they got burned even though there was a warning right on the cup stating, Caution: HOT!
Which is to say, we are a nation who has lost their common sense.
The group [The American Academy of Pediatrics] is issuing a new policy statement calling on the government and manufacturers to implement a food labeling system warning parents of these risks.
“This is a call to action,” said Dr. Gary Smith, a pediatrician and immediate past chairman of the Committee on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
“For many years, the U.S. has protected children from choking on toys. We have legislation. We have regulation. We have voluntary standards. We have labeling. We have recall programs,” said Smith, also director of the Center for Injury, Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
They want to go so far as to recall foods that pose a risk of choking if necessary.
The American Academy of Pediatrics lists hot dogs as the highest risk food for young kids. Grapes, raw carrots, apples and peanuts are also dangerous.
So…..common sense should tell you to cut these foods up in smaller pieces. Seems logical. Or, don’t give these foods to your child.
This article sites this fact:
Choking kills more than 100 U.S. children 14 years or younger each year and thousands more — 15,000 in 2001 — are treated in emergency rooms.
While this fact is disheartening, AAP shouldn’t have to go so far as mandating choking warning labels for food. It seems overkill to me. There should be awareness, but not legislation.
…the American Academy of Pediatrics lists a few tips on its Web site to help parents with problem foods. It suggests parents:
• Cut hot dogs lengthwise and grapes in quarters. This changes the dangerous shape of the food, which can block throats of young children and even teenagers.
• Avoid giving toddlers other high-risk foods such as hard candy, nuts, seeds and raw carrots.
• Never let small children run, play or lie down while eating.
Okay. The above-it’s common sense. Why is it necessary for them to post this on their site? Are Americans really that incompetent? Or are companies making us think we are?
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