Saturday, 24 May 2014
Yesterday was just one of those days... It all started out well and good with light traffic so I made good time on the commute to work, got some unfinished business finished, our study donors both showed up and everything went well. I headed home early to avoid the bank holiday weekend rush hour traffic... Or so I thought. And then I was stuck on the A14 standing still in a massive congestion due to a three car accident a few exits up the road. People, be carful out there! I don't understand why everyone gets so aggressive when driving a car, it's all about speeding and making risky manoeuvres to overtake and then boom! And no-one can get anywhere. And there I sat for an hour on the road, wishing to get home.
But when I finally got home (after passing another accident in one of the accident-prone big roundabouts), I get home to the water softener leaking water all over the place due to a worn down pipe that was leaking. The cupboard under the kitchen sink was full of water and it had leaked onto the floor under the kitchen cupboards... So we had to pull out the skirting board under the cupboards and blast the heating to get it to start to dry. I guess our kitchen will look like a construction zone for the next week or so until it has all dried out. Thankfully we detected the problem quite soon, so I am hoping there is no major damage and we can get it all to dry out, but this miserable cold and wet weather is doing nothing to help.
So currently we only have water in the kitchen tap, and I'm waiting for the Culinary Consultant to make it out of bed, head off to get a new pipe and install it so I can get a shower, flush the toilets (ewwwww!!) and clean the house before our weekend guests arrive. Oh the joys of owning your own house. Although I have to admit, having a very handy boyfriend is... well... very handy, as I would have had no idea what to do about this whole business of a geysir under my sink. And I'm so worried it won't dry out properly and then we get all sorts of problems with mould and whatnot. Here is to hoping that was the last domestic crisis for a while. And could someone please do something about this miserable weather! I know it's tropical summer in Finland while it's monsoon season here. How unfair is that? It is just literally pouring down right now, here is to the bank holiday weekend...
A day like this calls for some good food. Maybe food from a more sunny place. As I have been posting nothing but brunch recipes for quite a while (and expect a few more to come), I thought I would interrupt the theme for one post by posting this paella we made a while ago. And as I'm on the theme of complaining, let me do one more. Why, oh why, is the paella rice not with all the other rice in our grocery store, but in a completely different isle? I would think if you want rice, you would go look for it in the rice section. But hey, that would be too easy wouldn't it? Ok, I'm all done now, I hope you all are having a better weekend out there!!
Paella (serves 4):
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves of garlic
1 green pepper
2 tbsp paella spice
2 tbsp smoked paprika (I used a mix of spicy and mild)
300 g paella rice
1.2 l vegetable broth
3 tbsp marsala wine (should have been sherry, but we didn't have any)
150 g sliced chorizo (the one I used was smoked paprika and garlic)
350 g cooked seafood mix (the one I used had mussels, squid and prawns)
1/2 cup sweetcorn (or peas, but we didn't have any peas)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
To serve: lemon wedges and parsley
Slice the onions, chop the garlic and green pepper. In a large frying pan, cook the onion in the oil until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and green pepper and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the paella spice, smoked paprika and black pepper. Add the rice and cook for a few minutes. Add the vegetable stock and let cook until the rice is cooked, about 30-40 minutes. Add the marsala, chorizo, seafood mix, sweetcorn and parsley and let cook for a few more minutes to make sure everything is heated through. Serve with a sprinkling of parsley and a lemon wedge on top.
I thought making paella would be time consuming but it turned out to be rather easy. Unlike risotto, you can add all the liquid into the rice at once and just leave it to slowly cook, just stirring every once in a while to make sure it doesn't stick to the pan. The paella spice we bought on our trip to Tenerife last year was nice, it had a lot of flavour, as did the marsala wine. Don't skip the marsala wine! I really enjoyed the paella, with a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice on top it was a great dinner with very different flavours to what we usually eat. It was also still good to re-heat for lunch the next day, although the mussels do tend to get a bit chewy when re-heated.