I was looking for a pealla recipe and have always liked everything I have tried using her recipes...but...(hers called for cooked lobster which was not an option..shrimp will be just fine.) Saffron I have not used it (I know it is expensive) and ordered fron Penzeys $15, liquior Pernod (two stores to find it and they had to order, does not taste too good to me to drink but will see in recipe) $35. Even the rice balsmati 2# almost $5. Any thoughts and recomendations on saffron?
Tumeric is a decent and cost-effective substitute for saffron; it gives rice a nice golden color and a lovely elusive and earthy taste. I use it all the time in my paella or arroz con pollo recipes.
It just takes a pinch, and I've subbed some other licorice flavored liqueurs for the Pernod -- some of which you can get in the airplane bottles which is really cost effective. But the Pernod will last "forever" so you'll never had to buy it again as little as you use in that recipe.
I grow my own saffron but also buy it at Penzeys and yes, it is expensive.
I've never substituted tumeric for saffron but I know it does produce a nice golden color.
Did she do a chicken paella? I've made that (and chicken is very economical) but not sure if it was hers. Still called for the saffron, however!
Martha, I made paella a long time ago with a recipe from the frugal gormet (if you are old enough to remember him) his had chicken, sausage, shrimp and if I remember correctly clams or mussles. I probably used tumeric then and I am sure it did not call for any liquor. Was very good. I am going to add some chicken legs to mine. Birthday dinner for DS and DDIL this Fri. Thought I would make a salad and bread with just sherbert for dessert, unless you have other suggestions? Last year it was steak Diane and bananas foster, thought a heavy dessert was too much with this dish.
I think your menu sounds good. The paella should be the "star" of the meal. And I think ice cream would be a good dessert.
Oh! I just did a search for the Frugal Gourmet's name, Jeff Smith, and Sandy O you mentioned him. LOL (Found stuff in the search I didn't know about...)
I thought his ingredients were sometimes 'off-the-wall' - not what a home cook would have in her home and not necessarily frugal.
Does this hat make my butt look big?
well barefoot contessa is surely named well. I love her shows but would like her to never use the term "use really good" whatever again!! lol
I'm going to defend good cooks who prefer to not waste their time in the kitchen by using inferior ingredients when they could afford some better!
Purchase the best you can afford.
If you substitute, expect the dish will reflect this.
If a particular chef is beyond your abilities or wallet, find another who fits the bill better.
Personally, I love Barefoot Contessa and have all her books. There has never been a failure, unless I goofed up, cut steps or made substitutions.
I create events for many non profits and line up volunteers to bake and cook. Most would request my recipe or a suggestion if they didn't have their own favorite.
One event in the fall we chose BC's Pecan Bars knowing the guest of honor was a fan.
I selectively chose who I asked to make that recipe carefully as it is large, rich and loaded with expensive nuts.
At the next meeting after the event when we had to give a quick synopsis of our reception, which had been lovely, Millie quipped,"there was nothing of my dish left, and I had to rob a bank first to make the Pecan Bars."
We all still have a good laugh years later!
He once explained the meaning of the term "frugal" as he applied it to himself. He said that he used the primary meaning of the term, "not wasteful" rather than the secondary meaning of "on the cheap". His goal was to teach others to be frugal by not wasting time, effort, or ingredients.
Yes, I do remember the frugal gourmet and like you, I thought he was not "frugal" but then I read somewhere his explanation as "not wasteful" which makes sense to me.
Which may explain why, with the trimmings of the puff pastry for the King's Cake, I made palmiers -- not perfect but perfectly fine for tea!
And you can make some substitutions -- i.e. Ina uses a lot of Cognac but you can sub brandy with no ill effects. And she uses a lot of Grand Marnier and I often sub a less expensive orange liqueur. Orange after all is orange!
Lurah, I've made those pecan bars and they are sinful . . . and expensive . . . but what a treat! Obviously, they're for special occasions -- not just to whip up because you want something sweet!
I like the Barefoot Contessa's recipes because they are easy to follow and produce great food. If something seems too expensive, I pick another recipe. I have made some substitutions for Pernod and other liqueurs but saffron really is a must for paella, I've been told that it's not the same without it. I've never made it. Her brownies are simply wonderful. Unlike other tv chefs, she has well thought out recipes which home cooks can follow. I really dislike seeing programs where they minimize the actual work involved and don't show all the details. Even though I like America's test kitchen on PBS and Martha, I still feel that the Barefoot Contessa has easier recipes that produce good results.
lurah, I find your reply to be rude and condescending. I thought the spirit of this board was to share cooking ideas.
I remember J Smith explaining his idea of frugal, but forgot what it was. Thanks nettijay for remembering.
I'm not on cable or satellite so do not get a lot of the cooking shows y'all mention here. But I do have three PBS stations. One of them is Create and has many cooking and crafting shows but primarily travel shows.
I definitely agree with Lurah...Purchase the best ingredients you can afford!
Does this hat make my butt look big?
Gosh, thanks for reminding me the next time to be RUDE and CONDESCENDING!
I don't think Lurah was particularly rude, just blunt.
Some substitutions won't make a difference (I'm not a fan of anything licorice flavored so I would be looking at different versions) and others will. One of the ingredients mentioned - basamati rice. You could very easily use a medium grain or long grain rice but the basamati has such a lovely fragrance it would definitely be missed. If you've never tried paella - then using tumeric for safron might not be a problem for you. You won't be comparing your version to the original. A better option would be to find a different version of the recipe.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Charming,
Sandy, while saffron is probably the best choice for paella, I do know that a teeny pinch of turmeric or even annatto to get that golden color is OK, where or when saffron is not available. Will the taste differ?
The rich taste of paella is not solely a function of saffron. It comes from the chicken, the seafood or chicken stock, the wine, the garlic, seafood or rabbit or chorizo. All meld together to give paella its distinctive taste.
I come from a Spanish background and can tell you there are countless versions of paella: those who claim to have the absolute authentic recipe are fooling themselves. The Valencianos (who claim to have invented it in its most modern form)eat it one way. The Sevillanos another. Some add Serrano ham and lobster. Others add mussels and shrimp. The dish has undergone numerous iterations over the centuries, since the days of Moorish Spain.
You'll find disagreements about which type of rice to use: the short grain bomba from Spain; the Arborio from Italy. Yes, some use long grain and/or Basmati.
The point is: paella is a very forgiving dish, with lots of regional differences. If you can find the saffron, use it. If you cannot, remember to use very little of the turmeric or not at all, and trust me, the recipe will be delicious.This message has been edited. Last edited by: aychihuahua,
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