Friday, June 24, 2011
Fannie Farmer's Vegetable Paella
My brother is wasting away to nothing.
He has sat on the couch in my parents' basement since Tuesday. And my mother has not bought him even a single milkshake.
I'm not sure what she's thinking because he doesn't even have any pounds to spare.
I tried to offer him some of mine. "See this bit in the right lower quadrant?" I said. "It's all yours. Totally free of charge. And because we're related, I'll even through in some left lower quadrant for free."
I really am such a thoughtful sister sometimes.
He must be too hopped up on Vicodin to understand. Because he refused.
This is why I'm keeping all my wisdom teeth.
There's no point in getting oral surgery if you're not going to overindulge your milkshake dreams and desires. (Of which, mine are vivid.)
No. Point. At. All.
Although I guess you could just sit around and eat peanut butter out of the jar.
On that note. I might reconsider.
Or if I could convince my mother to make me paella every day. This paella, to be precise.
It's definitely soft enough for post-wisdom teeth eats. And it's so chock full of anti-oxidants, vitamins, and minerals, that I'm sure my surgical wounds would be healed in no time.
She'll whine and moan and try to say things like, "But I don't know how to cook!"
I'll say, "I know." And then I'll throw the Fannie Farmer Cookbook at her head.
Because, thanks to Miss Farmer, there is nothing to "know" other than where your measuring spoons and cups are. Awesome.
You see, before Fannie Farmer came along and standardized measurements everywhere, people used things like pinches and handfuls and fingertip-lengths in order to dole out ingredients.
Cooking was an art.
And now it's a science, at least if you want or need it to be. You can pick up a cookbook, follow it's instructions to the letter, and come out with nearly the same results that I would if I did the same. It's perfect for those who are unsteady and unsure in the kitchen (mom, I'm talking to you) and made life easier for home cooks everywhere.
So thank you Fannie Farmer, not only for this absolutely delicious recipe, but also for making it so that my brother, and countless other wisdom tooth extraction survivors, will be able to endure and persevere through their swollen oral cavity experience. No milkshake required.
This is my entry to Week Three of the 50 Most Influential Women in Food Cook-A-Thon. Check out Mary of One Perfect Bite, Val of More Than Burnt Toast, Susan of The Spice Garden, Heather of Girlichef, Claudia of A Seasonal Cook in Turkey, and one of my med school friends, Taryn of Have Kitchen, Will Feed for some more Fannie Farmer inspiration.
Serves 6, adapted from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook
2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 lb tomatoes, chopped
6 medium artichoke hearts, sliced
2 red bell peppers, sliced
2 cups green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup peas
5 1/2 cups veggie broth
zest of 1 lemon, cut into strips
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 cup parsley, minced
salt to taste
1 lb arborio rice
1. In a large, wide flat-bottomed pan or paella pan (or pot), heat the oil on medium-high. Add in the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes.
2. Add the artichokes, peppers, string beans, peas, and 2 cups of the veggie broth. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Add the lemon zest, paprika, turmeric, saffron, parsley, salt, rice and the remainder of the veggie broth. Mix well. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the rice is done and the liquid has evaporated.