One of my goals this year was to make some Spanish friends. Last year it was a bit difficult for me to establish many connections with Spaniards my age since many were still at university. This year, my roommate Clarisse was lucky enough to have many student teachers, practicos/as, at her school. Even luckier, these practicos are pretty awesome!
As we were hanging out, it became very clear that they all were confused and intrigued by the idea of Thanksgiving. SO it became clear, as AMBASSADORS OF THE UNITED STATES, we had to create the best Thanksgiving dinner (maybe even including a reenactment of the first original Thanksgiving dinner…). I should preface this with this: I don’t enjoy cooking AT ALL…and more importantly neither Clarisse and I have cooked any part of a Thanksgiving meal.
With that said, you all are probably waiting for the “failed Pinterest” food pictures…
HA, we actually did it! This is where I am going to brag about HOW AWESOME it turned out:
Enough beer, vodka, rum, tequila, wine and fanta limòn to satisfy a whole army
Appetizers of 50/50 bacon and ground beef burgers with guacamole and a fried egg on top (along with picos-little bread sticks and potato chips)
1 twenty pound turkey with sides of mash potatoes, sweet potatoes, homemade stuffing, and salad (which no one ate…lets be real)
1 Funfetti cake
13 Spaniards who literally thought they were going to die. Seriously one of our friends had the worse stomach pains for a week, and only ate crackers and drank tea.
2 Americans who couldn’t have been more surprise about our cooking abilities.
Once the Spaniards had recovered from the meal of the year, it was decided that for christmas we would eat paella. YES, we were now going to attempt to cook paella, well our friends were going to and I would watch.
It turns out paella isn’t as hard as it looks (again, honestly I didn’t do much besides cutting veggies and peeling shrimp). So, I just googled paella a la Valenciana (Valenician paella) and the recipes are crap. Do not fret though my wonderful friend Jenny gave me her mother’s recipe, or receta.
Paella para 6 personas:
2 o 3 pimientos/2 or 3 peppers (red or green)
una cabeza de ajos (mas o menos 8)/ 1 head of garlic with 8 pieces
2 tomates/ 2 tomatoes
2 zanahorias/ 2 carrots
medio pollo, calamares, almejas, y gambas/ chicken, squid, clams, and shrimp
arroz (un puñado por persona)/ handful of rice per person
sal y pimienta/ salt and pepper
avecrem/ no idea what this is in English but you get is specifically for paella in the supermarket
un poquito de pimentón/ a little bit of a green spicy pepper
y tambien un poquito de vino blanco/ WHITE WINE
1. Cut all of the veggies into bite sized pieces and cook them in olive oil.
2. Peel shrimp from its shells and place the heads and shells into a separate pot with water. Put said pot (yes, with the shells and guts) on the stove at a low boil).
3. Clean and cut all the meat and seafood and put aside for later.
4. Now in the special paella pan start cooking the meat, garlic, pepper, squid, carrots, and tomatoes with white wine and water.
5. Once there is no water left put in the rice the pan. Go back to the pot with the shrimp shells and heads, drain the water from the shrimpy parts and add the water to the paella. Then add salt, pepper, avecrem and saffron and then add the shrimp to cook!
7. Once all the water is cooked away and the rice is cooked, you can add lemon juice to it for extra flavoring. THEN ENJOY IT!