Did I carb load with a paella?

A few weeks back, I posted about how Boyfriend’s stepfather was sick and we were canceling our trip to Phoenix, thus resulting in me canceling my marathon in Albuquerque. However, with no other Labor Day weekend plans on the horizon and Boyfriend in the midst of that crazy deck for work (that would probably keep him tied up until Saturday at least), I came up with a great gameplan. Since there was a routing to go through Vegas to get to Albuquerque, I booked that for a roundtrip, leaving early Saturday morning and arriving in Albuquerque late afternoon. I’ll be staying with a marathon friend of mine and going to the pasta dinner, running the race early Sunday morning, then almost immediately hopping back on the plane to Vegas.

Meanwhile, Boyfriend will stay in New York on Saturday to finish work and hopefully relax a little bit. Once he’s properly rested, he’ll leave Sunday morning for Vegas to arrive at about the same time as me on Sunday afternoon. And then? Party time! We found a fantastic deal at Planet Hollywood – $60 gets you an upgraded room, $40 in casino credit, and a top shelf bottle of alcohol to get the night started. We don’t have specific plans yet for when we’re coming back on Monday – maybe early afternoon, maybe late night to take the red eye back for Tuesday morning. Either way, I’m psyched! And it means I get to make it up to Boyfriend for that silly Running With the Devil race that took so long and wore me out and cut into our Vegas enjoyment the last time.

So that means today is carb load day. Last night, while getting ready to go out to celebrate a friend’s birthday, I made a basic seafood paella to bring for lunch today. I don’t think I’ve ever had paella before, though I’ve often craved it after seeing the delicious variations that often crop up on Top Chef, so I was excited to try it. I used shrimp and bay scallops for mine, though the recipe I used called for a whole bunch of other stuff that I omitted (including chicken and sausage). However, it definitely made the whole apartment smell deliciously spicy and seafood-y. I couldn’t wait to eat it! I was good though, and resisted temptation until today’s lunch.

But the verdict? I really don’t know. I thought it was delicious, but somehow I always thought paella had some sort of magical special thing to it. I thought it would be kind of the creamy consistency of risotto or something (which makes no sense because I made it and I didn’t use a touch of cream). It was delicious, but it was just spicy rice with some seafood and veggies mixed in. What am I missing here? I did some Wikipedia-ing and Googling for the characteristics that make a paella a paella, but didn’t really come up with much (other than some silly antiquated rules about it being cooked outdoors by a man and using only very specific meats/fish). I could care less if my dish would pass some sort of “paella review,” and I knew it was delicious, but I didn’t know if I had made it properly enough to say I had had paella. Had I cooked too much of the liquid out? Was I supposed to get the rice get crunchy? I have no idea. Any paella experts out there, please advise!

One last thing of note: while trying to figure out the proper characteristics of paella, I came across this fabulous article about wine pairings for paella. Darn it, I want a drink! Perhaps tonight…

Comments

  1. My favorite Vegas buffet is the Spice Market Buffet at Planet Hollywood. Shrimp are pre-peeled and crab legs pre-cracked so you can get to the eating faster. Have a great time this weekend!

  2. Yeah, the bottom of the rice should get crisp-crunchy :) — also adds another flavor dimension. But it definitely is not risotto!!!

  3. Aha, I think if I had cooked it just another minute or two I would have gotten that crispy consistency. Next time!

  4. Oooh VEGAS, you’re going to have a BLAST! Way to work it in!

  5. Long time since I’ve had paella …

    One typical paella ingredient is saffron, which has its own unmistakable flavor and might be easy to omit when making it at home, due to the small amount needed, its high cost and the fact that few people keep it on hand.

    Still sounded like a tasty meal!

  6. Believe it or not, I did include the saffron! However, I’m not sure I really know what the flavor is, other than that the dish was delicious. Maybe I should taste a thread on its own…

  7. Sounds like a great trip! My fingers are crossed that all the travel works out just perfect.

  8. Have a great weekend. Sounds fun!

  9. Congrats on getting to run Boston! It lets you check another state of your list which totally rocks! How many states do you have left yet?

  10. How the crap did you find such a good deal to vegas!? That is awesome.

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