Good lord, we are well into Spring already! Fishing season is about to ramp up, and I still need clear some of last season’s catch out of my freezer.
As I begin writing this, it’s national Paella Day. And it’s the perfect time of year to focus on this classic Spanish dish. The beauty of this recipe, aside from the taste, is that whether you’re a fisherman, a hunter, or both, you can use your freezer stores, in combination in this dish, to delicious effect.
Like many great ethnic dishes, Paella began as peasant food, regular folk cooking up whatever they had available with rice and maybe some vegetables. And that is what makes this a perfect dish for using what you have in the freezer. Fish, fowl, meat, shellfish… it all works in Paella. And I’m not saying to select just one, this is an any and all situation. Of course, that does make it tricky to give you a precise recipe, as we all have different proteins that we will want to use, and different amounts of it to use up. No worries though, I’ll give you a solid, basic recipe, and you will just need to adjust a little depending on what you want to put in it.
There are a number of ingredients, as far as protein goes, that are pretty standard for Paella. You can make an all seafood Paella, which is awesome and of course, very Bait 2 Plate. Still, traditional Paella usually includes sausage and poultry, as well as shellfish. If you have ground venison or other game you want to use, I suggest seasoning it with garlic, sage, black pepper, and chili powder, before adding it to the Paella. Chicken is a standard in many Paella recipes, but for our purposes, duck, goose, pheasant, quail, et al. are all excellent options. I had some whole duck that I used this time around.