Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Last Supper...

Paella over Saffron Noodles...

...Before my colonoscopy on Monday.

No food for me tomorrow. If you're over 50 as I am and haven't had a colonoscopy yet, please do. I should have had my first one 6 years ago at age 50, but I was always too busy. It's good to remember that if you're diagnosed with cancer, all that "too busy" stuff becomes pretty irrelevant.

The best and funniest essay ever written on this topic is by Dave Barry. I just re-read it and laughed so hard I cried. I may have to read it a couple more times in the next day or two. I thought everyone had read it, but Bill hadn't and enjoyed it, so if you've not read it, check it out.

Anyway, before I move on to a one-day diet of clear liquids and gosh-awful prescription concoctions, I wanted a nice dinner, so what we're having is quick & easy faux paella. I was inspired to make this after we attended the holiday open house on Friday night at Avanti Savoia, a wonderful international web-based food business located in Halls. Yes, you read that right. It's on the way to Maynardville, just after you pass the tractor supply place.

I came home with lots of goodies. Here is just a small selection:

I also spotted this saffron-flavored pasta and decided it'd be perfect with the faux paella (which I usually serve over rice.)

The faux paella calls for saffron in the broth, but I ran out a couple of months ago--and a replacement vial will set me back around $20. Now, admittedly, you don't use much at a time or use it often, but still...there's something wrong about a few strands of saffron being the most expensive item in your grocery basket. (Note: The best price I ever found on saffron was at a market in London. The air fare cancels the good deal, but if you happen to find yourself in London, you might want to stock up on saffron.)

Easy Simple Faux Paella

6-8 oz. andouille sausage, cut into 1/4 in. dice
1 1/2 lbs. shrimp, peeled, deveined
1 T. olive oil
2 scallions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 c. frozen peas, thawed
1 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. saffron threads, crumbled
1 bottle clam juice + water to make 1 1/2 c.
1/4 c. dry white wine
Red pepper flakes to taste
2 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt

Cook chorizo with 2-3 tablespoons water over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until water evaporates and chorizo is lightly browned. Remove with slotted spoon. Add shrimp to drippings and cook just until pink and firm. Remove. Add oil and add scallions, red pepper, and garlic. Reduce heat to medium low and cook until vegetables soften. Stir in peas, oregano, and saffron. In a bowl, combine clam juice/water mixture, wine, and red pepper flakes. Whisk in cornstarch to dissolve. Stir into skillet and bring to simmer. Add chorizo and cook until sauce thickens and chorizo is heated through. Add shrimp and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve over rice.

Note: For my version, cook pasta. Before you drain the pasta, reserve some pasta water. Put it and cooked pasta in pan. Add faux paella, toss, and serve.

Here's what it looked like in the pan:

On the plate:

Quick & Easy Faux Paella over Saffron Noodles--that's what we're having.

The less said about what I'm having and not having for the next couple of days, the better. But Dave Barry is right; I'd be a weinie if I didn't do it. And we are not having that!


  1. Sounds delicious. I'll try it with gluten-free pasta.

  2. If you're on a gluten-free diet, this is delicious over rice (which is how we usually have it), but you'd need to invest in some saffron. Funny--I don't think I'd ever advise "investing" in tarragon or whatever. Saffron is an investment--and you need to use it before it loses its potency. Maybe we need an investment group to pool resources and purchase saffron?

  3. When you fed the crowd on Sunday a few years back we had white trash egg pie. I must say I enjoyed it with great passion.
    love you
    wabu(bad daddy)

  4. Wabu--I will cook white trash egg pies for you and the other crazy kids from ole St. A. any time--whether or not you provide the trailer. Are you coming to the reunion in June??? We missed you last year.

  5. You go, Gay! Glad you are getting that colonoscopy. You have inspired me to do the same. Might wait til January, though. Don't want to miss any holiday dining!

  6. Party season is definitely not the best time. It will definitely take you out of circulation for a day or so.