Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Spanish Food - The Perfect Paella

By Linda Plummer

Looking for a traditional Spanish recipe? Without doubt, the best-known is going to be the prodigious paella ... that tasty, adaptable, gregarious dish famed throughout Spain and the World.

And, what an impressive choice of recipes exist for a pleasurable paella: seafood, chicken, rabbit ... or a mixture of all three! Perhaps you are non-meat eating ... well, just opt for one of the several vegetarian paella recipes. Bit of a health fanatic? Then substitute white rice for whole-grain rice or wild rice.

Got a large family and not much money to feed them on? Use plenty of rice and imagination along with a tasty stock, plus whatever you can find in the cupboard! I have certainly enjoyed many paellas where there have been more bones/shells than meat/seafood! And, very tasty they have been too, the richness of the company more than compensating for any paucity in the ingredients.
So ... how do you go about making the perfect paella? First of all, you need to choose your rice. The short-grained rice from Valencia - where most Spanish rice originates - is fine for making paellas. However, the "bomba" rice grown in the neighboring region of Murcia, is the "king" of paella rice: again, short-grained, it has the ability to absorb the stock whilst remaining firm.
Another "must" is to use saffron ("azafrán") to create the gentle, yellow color for which this delectable dish is renowned. Yes, it is possible to buy cheaper, artificial colorings but ... go for the traditional - it will bestow a wonderful aroma and unique flavor.

Many Spaniards swear a perfect paella can only be achieved when using a tasty, home-made stock. Whatever you decide, allow at least double the amount of liquid to rice. If, during cooking, the dish becomes a little dry, just add a dash more water or stock.

Another tip I have been told, on more than one occasion, is to gently fry the rice for a few minutes before adding the stock, ensuring that it is well-coated in oil. I think all Spaniards would agree that, once cooked, it is best to leave your paella to stand for a good five minutes before serving.
Perhaps the most important ingredient for making that perfect paella, is to use lashings and lashings of love whilst preparing it - for surely, that is something we can all afford - and to enjoy to the full the marvellous company of those who will share it with you.

I shall now have to choose a paella recipe to offer you as an example! I think I will opt for a seafood paella, typical of the region of Valencia, where I live. The ingredients are for a hearty four servings. If you are not a hefty eater, or on a diet, then reduce the amount of rice/stock slightly.

Paella Valenciana - Paella From Valencia


- 4 cups rice. - 8 cups fish stock. - 8 king-sized prawns/langoustines. - 8 mussels. - 200 gr shrimps. - 200 gr peas (fresh or frozen). - 2 tomatoes, skinned and chopped. - 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced. - 3 strands saffron, crumbled. - Olive oil for frying.


1. Sauté garlic in a paella-type pan.
2. Add tomatoes, peas, shrimps and saffron.
3. Cook for a few minutes.
4. Add rice and stock.
5. Simmer for approximately 20 minutes.
6. Decorate with prawns and mussels.
7. Cover paella with a lid.
8. Poach the seafood for a few minutes.
9. Decorate paella with lemon quarters.
10. Enjoy!

Linda Plummer is English, and has lived on the Costa Blanca in Spain for 20 years. She is webmistress of the information- rich site: http://www.top-tour-of-spain.com/ with its FREE monthly newsletter, "The Magic of Spain".
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Linda_Plummer

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Dr Oz's Juice Diet For Weight Loss - Dr Oz Advises Natural Juice & Green Drink to Lose Weight

By Jenny Myers

Dr. Mehmet Oz, the known heart surgeon recently featured in the Best Life Series with Oprah Winfrey. This show is focused on health and weight loss diets. Besides several other tips, Dr. Oz stresses on certain factors that would help you lose weight:
1. Stop taking caffeine in all forms - may it be smoking, tea or coffee.
2. Replace your tea & coffee with green tea.
3. Take lots of natural juices.
4. Add fiber content to your diet.
5. Take a lot of raw foods in the diet.
6. Take your meals on time.
7. Avoid sugar & fried stuff.
8. Make sure to take 2 fruits daily.
9. Drink lots of water. 10. Exercise regularly.

In order to help you follow these tips, the expert has also given a few recipes of some interesting juices. One of those is given below:

Green Drink
• Cored apples - 2 • Spinach - 2 big handfuls • Chopped parsley - 1/2 cup • Celery stick (chopped) - 1 • Ginger root (peeled) - 1 thumbnail length • Lemon (juice) - 1 • Cucumber - 1

1. Place all the ingredients in the blender.
2. Now add 4 oz. of spring water. Or you may also all a handful of the ice cubes. 3. Make a puree out of it in say one minute.
4. This would make around 2 glasses of the green drink.

Some suggestions:
1. It tastes quite strong. So some people might choose to add a little sweetener to the drink.
2. Always use fresh greens & vegetables.
3. The beginners may also like to add apples to the drink. This works like a healthy sweetener.
4. The optional ingredients you might choose to add are:

i. One more cucumber ii. Raw carrot iii. Unsweetened fruit juice iv. Banana
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