Beach Paella

At a recent beach gathering, instead of bringing the common potato or pasta salad to accompany burgers and hot dogs, we decided to really go for the wow factor with a one-dish meal: Paella.

We used a recipe that we adapted from an old friend from Spain. The dish is a burst of colors, flavors, and textures that can be made ahead of time, enjoyed at room temperature, or thrown on the grill to add a bit of heat. If you have the paella pan, it is quite the display and the handles on the pan allow for an easy transport. Because you can eat it at room temperature (it does not have to be super hot), you can place it on a picnic blanket or table for people to dig in!

Seated in beach chairs and covered in blankets, with a fork in one hand and a glass of sangria in the other, we dig in.

Beach Paella

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Feed Us Back: Comments of the Week

pb

– Wow. Ya’ll mofos have some crazy ideas for how to make a peanut butter sandwich. And we like ’em. Thresher:

It sounds nasty, but try mixing a little mayo (or veganaise!) into the peanut butter. If your PB is on the sweet side, remedy that by adding in a little extra salt. If you’re fancy, do all this in a food processor so the PBayo is fully blended. Totally delicious by itself or with jellies.

Slawhead:

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Friday Fuck Up: How Bobby Flay Ruined Thanksgiving

tgiving 010

For Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims mixed European and Native traditions.  Captain Smith, Squanto – how about a little love for the Asians? This year, my parents’ multinational crew of grad students promised to represent.  On the menu for our T-giving feast was Szechuan beef, Korean pancakes and short rib stew.

“You should cook something, too,” my mom said.

Determined to transcend my lowly status as gastronomic afterthought, I plotted to steal the show.  I would take Thanksgiving tradition to new heights by weaving in the culinary tricks I picked up during my recent hero’s voyage to Spain.

“HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH turkey paella???”  My Spanish friend Isabel, emailing me from Girona, needed 11 “HA”s and three question marks to communicate just how freakish it was to throw gobbler into my paella.

When I was in Barcelona and Madrid, though, I had paellas with all kinds of stuff – snails, rabbit, you name it.  I was further reassured after learning that Bobby Flay had the same idea; his recipe for turkey paella is all over the Web.  Turkey wasn’t the only unusual detail – the recipe also called for a “lemon-smoked paprika aioli” with mayo, lemon juice, and lemon peel.

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The World Cup of Food

S. Africa FIFA World Cup Mascot

Image Courtesy of Nestor Cerami

We couldn’t let soccer’s 2010 FIFA World Cup go by without throwing in our two cents — which as you might expect, has less to do with our feet than with our mouths. So while serious sports fans spend this week debating which squads got the crap draw and which teams are most likely to make the second round, foodies can put all that aside and take a look at our 2010 World Cup Food and Drink Rankings, in which we’ve ranked the 32 participating nations from worst to best, based not on soccer skills but on the appeal of each country’s most iconic dish.

For the record, I offer no apologies for the dishes or the order in which they are ranked—I had many discussions with my international friends when researching these and they have disagreed with me on many—for that, you can leave your opinions in the comments.

#32. Australia – Vegemite on Toast

Australia - Vegimite on Toast

Usually when there is a petition on Facebook in support of something, you know it’s a desperate plea, and Vegemite on Toast is no exception. This isn’t one of those love-it-or-hate-it kind of foods, this is simply a hate it kind of food. Yes, there are nearly 111,000 facebook users on the record as supporting it, but I’m pretty sure that’s roughly the population of Australia, right? Let’s hope for their sake that the Aussie lads find something better to chow on before their matches in South Africa.

#31. Ivory Coast – Kedjenou

Ivory Coast - Kedjenou

Factoid: the current coach of the Ivory Coast team is former England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson. I’m sure old Sven has some tricks up his sleeves planned for the field, but you’ve got to admire the Ivory Coast’s cooking tricks, too. Kedjenou, like many other West African dishes, starts with some tough old chickens and basically cooks the shit out of them ’til they’re edible. It may not be the quickest way to make a meal taste good, but it sure as hell beats Vegemite.

#30. Slovenia – Buckwheat

Slovenia - Wilted Greens with Buckwheat Noodles

I task you with something — Google “Slovenia” and “food.” Whatever the result is it’ll surely include buckwheat. Buckwheat, buckwheat and more buckwheat. Could you be any more boring, Slovenian cooks? If you must have a Slovenian soccer dish, I sifted through the ES archives and stumbled upon this tasty dish, vegetarian too — Wilted Greens with Buckwheat Noodles (and an egg).

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