Paella has long been a favorite dish of the hubby and me. For years, we enjoyed it at a local restaurant that made it with generous amounts of seafood, chicken and pork. When it closed, it was a real blow to our tummies as we found nowhere else that compared.
We couldn’t imagine being paella deprived, and that led to my efforts which started with this book that introduced me to a new world of paella. All are of Spanish origin and represent different parts of the country. What fun it has been to try a number of different ones, some with meats and seafood, others vegetarian. So far there has not been a single one we didn’t like, and to my surprise, paella is not that difficult to prepare.
As good as paella is, it is even better when followed by Crema Catalana, a creamy dessert introduced to me in Spain. It is similar to Creme Brûlée but not as rich. If you aren’t familiar with it, it is a must to try. This recipe makes about 4 servings.
2 cups whole milk
1 cinnamon stick
Rind of one lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar
In a saucepan, bring milk, cinnamon stick , lemon rind and vanilla to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for several minutes. Set the milk aside and remove the cinnamon stick and lemon rind.
Whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch and sugar until the mixture is creamy. Gradually pour into the milk, mixing continuously. Heat the mixture slowly until it begins to thicken. Do not let it come to a boil!
Pour the mixture into serving dishes and refrigerate for several hours. To serve, top it with fruit or you can sprinkle the top generously with sugar and broil it until the sugar is browned.
I like it best with the fruit, maybe because it seems healthier. No matter your preference, you won’t be disappointed in its tasty goodness.