Saturday, May 20, 2006

variations on a theme, prawns and garbonzo bean paella

no, i haven't gone nuts. i've been there a long time! i've been exploring different ways to make paella. and guess what? there are as many different paellas as there are cooks. and really, anything with saffron rice can kind of be classified paella, can't it? i have made chicken/chorizo/prawns/clams paella on the stove/oven for 4, and i've done a variation for 8 on the grill. so last night, i thought i'd try one a little simpler, no chicken, no sausage. i'd seen a recipe titled garbonzos and prawns while first figuring out paella, so i took what i knew about making paella, and modified it to have just those ingredients.
i also tried something a little different. a fusion recipe, if you will, since i'm a dyed in the wool american mutt, and i love most cuisines i've tried. since i love vietnamese and thai food, A LOT, i decided to use a Thai fish sauce rather than clam juicea as one of the ingredients. if you have never had fish sauce, it's pungent and a bit sweet.

Prawns, Clams, and Garbonzo Bean Paella for 2 (and a half)

NOTE: i went with as little fuss and muss as possible, so i used a few canned products. i know, i know, the horror.... but it made prep time a lot faster, and i don't think i lost a whole lot in the final flavor. the seafood and fish sauce are such strong flavors that you loose the subtle nuances (fancy word) in the background.


  • 1 cup paella or arborio (rissotto) rice
  • pinch of saffron. the books all say around 5 threads per serving. too picky for me. i just used a nice pinch. don't use too much because it can overpower the dish.
  • 2 cups liquid, including around a Tbs of fish sauce, a can of chicken stock, and the rest water or white wine. i skipped the wine in this dish. if you can't get fish sauce, or don't like it (hey, i know it happens) use an 8 oz. bottle of clam juice and make the remainder of the 2 cups with either chicken stock or plain water

as always, if you try this recipe, or it inspires you to try something different, please let me know how it turned out. i'm always looking for fresh and clever ideas to improve my own cooking skills and recipes.

for a complete list of my online recipes, follow the link here



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