Friday, July 12, 2013

Baked Curried Paella with Turnips

paella outside the box.
Baked Curried Paella with Turnips and Greens
This might just be the prettiest thing I've ever made. Except for pie.
Nothing's prettier than pie.

Yes, the curry is a little on the non traditional side. As is the cooking method. And a few of the ingredients. The whole thing is outside the box, really. But when something tastes and looks this good, who cares? Aside from a wee bit of chopping and stirring, the labor on this dish is minimal. And the wow factor? Absolutely through the roof. Crack open a bottle of wine, bring this beautiful sizzling plate to the table and your dinner guests will be begging for their next invite. There you go.
 I crown thee Dinner Party Master.
Wield your newfound power carefully, my friend. 

Recipe notes:
The cooking process moves from stove top, to oven and back to stove top.
Make sure you use a pan that is both stove top and oven safe.
This could be as simple as a large saute pan or, my preferred method,
a shallow enameled cast iron pot.
You can use bomba, traditional Spanish paella rice, but arborio is significantly cheaper and works just as well.
You can, of course, roast the red peppers yourself, but for convenience sake,
the jarred ones work beautifully.
I have used young red turnips, which do not need to be peeled, for this recipe.
If using the tougher, more traditional turnips be sure to peel them before cooking.
If your turnips do not come with greens attached another cooking green can be used; arugula and spinach both work well with the flavor profiles in this dish.
This paella keeps and reheats spectacularly well.
Simply store it covered in the pan it was cooked in and reheat on the stove top, adding a couple teaspoons of water.

Baked and crisped to perfection, ready to serve.

Baked Curried Paella
(serves 4)

1c arborio rice
3c unsalted vegetable stock
2tsp curry powder
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2tbsp olive oil
1c cooked chickpeas,
canned or dried
1c roasted red peppers, sliced into 1/4" strips
3 small red turnips, skin on, scrubbed and diced
1 bunch turnip greens, washed, stems removed and chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Over medium heat, add olive oil to a large saucepan or enameled cast iron pot.
Add onions and garlic, saute for 1-2 minutes.
Sprinkle in curry powder and salt, stir and cook for 30 seconds more.
Add rice, chickpeas, red peppers and turnips, cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
Pour in broth slowly and bring to a gentle boil.

Now that's an impressive plate of food.

Reduce heat to low and cook for 8-10 minutes.
The rice should be slightly swelled and the mixture still slightly liquid-y.
Taste liquid and salt as needed.
Transfer pan to the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
Rice should be al dente when done.
Remove from oven, scatter greens over the top and cover, with foil or a pot lid.
Allow to sit for 10 minutes.
Remove cover and return to stove top.
Cook over medium high heat for 1-2 minutes to crisp the bottom.
Serve straight out of the pan, making sure to scrape up the crisp bits from the bottom-
it's one of the best parts.

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