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Bittman's Tomato Paella from 9/5 Times


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Bittman's Tomato Paella from 9/5 Times

veryveryrosalind | | Sep 9, 2007 06:56 PM

Has anyone else tried Mark Bittman's tomato paella from this past week's Wednesday food section in the Times? Having a ton of tomatoes coming into my garden right now, I leapt upon it, and made it exactly as described, but I was kind of disappointed. It did come out looking spectacularly beautiful, just as promised, vibrant yellow-orange rice dotted with vivid-red tomato wedges, and the rice was moist and tender, but it tasted dull to me. My enacting of the prescribed "large pinch of saffron" was clearly much too large; all I could taste was saffron, which tasted oddly reminiscent of fish (probably because when I have had saffron before, it's often been in shellfish paella). I was glad I had used chicken broth (Swanson Organic) instead of the optional water, since the flavor of the dish was faint enough as it was. I served it alongside some grilled chorizo and sauteed chard (also from the garden). On the second day (the recipe makes 6 generous main-course servings) I reheated it with the chard and chorizo sliced up and mixed in, and with some more broth for the reheating, and it was much tastier as a one-dish meal with the protein and greens combined with the rice. But the point of the recipe was that paella can just be tomatoes and rice and that there were pleasures peculiar to this minimalist approach. I didn't find them.

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