After setting my eyes on Joy the Baker’s Homemade Churros (thanks to fellow intern Alyssa), I found myself longing for the flavors of Spain. My obsession with Spanish cuisine began last summer during a six-week-long stay in Madrid. It was easy adjusting to the fresh ingredients used in Spanish cooking, but adjusting to their meal schedule was another story. On a typical weekday, most Spaniards take a leisurely lunch break, starting at roughly 2 PM and ending at around 3 or 4 PM. By this hour, I was always ravenous and would take my growling stomach into the heart of Madrid to scope out an affordable menú del día, or menu of the day. This set lunch consists of a starter, an entrée, and a dessert, with several options for each, all for about nine or ten euros, depending on the restaurant.
Seafood Paella is the perfect dish to satisfy an empty stomach, and luckily, it was offered on nearly every menú del día I encountered. If you love tender clams or mussels, and smoky chorizo simmered in savory saffron rice, then I have no doubt you’ll love paella. It seems to me that Eva, creator of Adventures in Cooking, shares my affinity for this traditional Spanish dish. I’m intrigued by her own recipe for Seafood Paella, which is loaded with hearty chunks of clam and tomato. Eva reports difficulty locating Spanish chorizo in her local markets, so she used Italian salami as a last-minute substitute, along with some smoked paprika to make up for any loss in tanginess. Nevertheless, I’m intrigued by Eva’s use of crafty back-up ingredients and can’t wait to try the recipe myself.