Please tell me that you've at least heard of this famed Spanish rice dish.
My mum was really intrigued about this dish ever since she saw the famous traveller/chef, Keith Floyd cooking this during his trip to Spain.
The previous times she cooked this, I was NEVER around. Either I'm diving in Tioman or gallivanting in Bali. And when I come back, my dad and bro will rave and rave about it. Sheesh!
Maybe they assumed that I would have my fair share of seafood wherever I was. Which is quite true, by the way but I still wanna try out what my mum prepared! *sulks*
So yesterday morning, before I left for work, she had asked what I would like for the evening. So I dropped subtle hints about her previous intention to cook paella.
And yet, when I came back home, I saw something else on the table. Oh well....
Early this morning, before 5am to be exact, I woke up fo sahur (customary morning meal during fasting month) and was greeted with THIS.
Ok, fine. So this wasn't the pic I took. Hello, I was all groggy from having to wake up so early. Would I EVEN think of grabbing my camera and take a pic?
But this picture of the paella was closest I can find to what my mum had prepared. With the exception of that boiled egg. And the rice I had wasn't as soggy as the one in the pic.
prawns - check!
littleneck clams - check!
mussels - check!
(we managed to get the black variant at NTUC. the meat was definitely sweeter. those sold at markets here are the green type)
chicken meat - check!
and the bonus..
flower crabs - check!
My mum managed to find this delectable crab species which our family preferred over the ones served at local seafood restaurants (Sri Lankan crabs). Since it's full-moon, you can just imagine how luscious and abundant the soft meat is.
Oh man, the best part had been digging out the rice from inside the shellfish (and burning our tongue tip in the process). And I eventually took a mussel shell to use as a makeshift spoon because the rice was pretty hot to the touch (lazy to get the spoon, la).
That reminds me. The paella had been freshly cooked very, very early this morning. Though easy to prepare, it does take sometime to cook because of the rice.
I wonder what time my mum woke up to cook this? Ahh... such is a mother's sacrifice.
Now I recall why my mum had not prepared this last evening. My family have never eaten rice when breaking fast in the evening. It's always stuff like noodles, breads or other things we don't usually eat for dinner on regular days.
And we need to eat rice for sahur to fill us up all the way till evening. Thus, the paella.
PROBLEM is... Eating the crabs!
Early hours of the morning just ain't the right time for crabs, la. Even my dad, the family's designated 'crab specialist' refused to help us dig out the crab meat and simply pass us the pincers and scissors for us to do it on our own.
Guess my old man is a lil' cranky in the morning...
Not surprisingly, I was the only one left at the table, stubbornly fishing out the nitty, gritty bits of crab meat from every nook and cranny. Heh.