white trash paella

Editor’s note: Am I the only one who writes part of a blog post, doesn’t publish it and then has to go back through the next day and change everything to past tense? Yeah? So if you see verb tense errors, that’s why. On with the show.

Long, long ago, somebody in Spain threw a bunch of leftover shit into a pan, added rice and saffron, and called it paella. Last night in Indiana, I pretended all the shit I was throwing into a pan was something remotely close to paella.

The recipe usually calls for any combination of: chicken, pork, shellfish, eel, squid, beans, peas, artichokes or peppers. Now, I know all you GOMI-ites hate it when somebody calls a dish something that it’s not (“THAT’S NOT RISOTTO!” ringing a bell?) but I really did create this in the spirit of paella. I just forgot to buy eel at the market this week.

But that’s the great thing about paella: you pretty much can’t screw it up. For instance, I subbed basil for saffron (because do I really look like I can afford saffron?) and used green, red and lilac bells (free! from from the back yard!), tomatoes, onions, corn, some packaged Caribbean rice, and some bottom feeders and some chicken. Fine. Whatever.

At least there’s no oatmeal in it.

I did make my first sofrito, or rather my first intentional sofrito, since I have been accidentally burning diced up shit in a pan ever since I moved into my first apartment.

I also tossed in one of our back yard habaneros, which turned out to be considerably hotter than they were only a week ago.  (And I made the rookie mistake of picking my nose after slicing the pepper, and it is still burning.)

I also cracked open this trendy new Cupcake Pinot Noir. I’ve never had any kind of talent for picking out wines, but I do love a good pinot and it was somewhat reasonably priced and also it says Cupcake on it and I am not above choosing a wine for its label rather than making a well-informed purchase. It was a smart move: the wine helped kill the burn from the habanero, so it was not only tasty but absolutely necessary.

“Necessary? Is it necessary for me to drink my own urine? No, but I do it anyway because it’s sterile and I like the taste.”

I didn’t run yesterday. And here’s something I thought I would never say: I resisted the urge to not take a rest day.

I ran 22 miles last week, my highest mileage week since April of 2011 (I know, shut up), and my new-found motivation for running feels nice, but precarious: at this point in my training, something always happens. I get sick or hurt or apathetic and my ambition takes a dump. So while ambition is nice, it’s much less dangerous when your only ambition is to lay in bed and drink wine while spooning with the cats. Which is what I did last night instead of finishing this blog post.

Recipe adapted (LOL) from Food Network’s Ultimate Paella.

Read other installments of Food for real people.


12 thoughts on “white trash paella

  1. 1. Just start writing them in the past tense…it is just being prepared. Like taking a birth control pill instead of the Morning After one instead. It’ll just clear your conscious.

    2. Are you a mommy/food blogger now? Get back to moving the drinking and sleeping with cats to the top of the post.

    3. Nice job on the 22 miles.


    • YES! I thought I’d try my hand at fashion blogging also. Just need to, ahh, cram these–oof–bunions into these wedge sandals…and…I’m gold.

  2. Where is all this motivation coming from? Do share! Is it the wine? I need to put that kind on the list…

  3. I’ve liked all the Cupcake wines I’ve tried, except for the “Red Velvet” but it was way too sweet for my taste. I like my wine like I like my sense of humor.

    • I’ve been trying to get more creative! I feel like I make the same three things all the time. Also we are on a very tight schedule to accommodate Miss Princess Baby’s new sleep routine so I can’t lollygag around the kitchen drinking wine and cooking dinner for 3 hours.

  4. Well, whatever it is, it looks good. First fish tacos, then PAELLA…what is happening with you? Are you having delayed onset nesting? (Um, and yeah I do the whole “write half, get distracted, have to change the tenses” thing more often than I’d like to admit)

    • Ha, more like delayed onset writer’s block! I actually like to cook, it’s just not one of my strengths and I’m terrified I’ll do something idiotic and everyone will mock me. But I have nothing else going on, so…

  5. Rest assured, even in Spain, most people don’t make “authentic” paella because they put seafood in it. The real paella, supposedly, does not have any seafood. It does, however, have rabbit, which I see at all my local grocery stores!

    Yours looks good, though! I say any dish with rice, meat/seafood, and vegetables is hard to screw up.

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