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Rants: OT & OTT > ICU Paella

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message 1: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
Newer intensive care units have a kitchen so that the nurses can make the newly awake patient something to eat, at least warm milk over his wheaties. The hospital I was in is just over the road from a big mall, and one of the nurses remembered me cooking paella on television, so I sent out a porter for ingredients, and cooked with what he could find on my list. I give the subs here, for instance Chorizo rather than pepperoni, because that's what I cooked with. The entire dish is fraudulent, of course; it had to be planned around the available pots and grill etc, besides with what was available from the supermarket.

Chuck some olive oil in a frypan. Toss brown rice in it until it is nutted. Pour in orange juice in lieu of saffron and wine, enough to cover. Check occasionally that it doesn't boil dry. Grate over some nutmeg, use a heavy hand with herbes de Provence.

Slice the Chorizo diagonally but thinly, arrange on a grill with the lean bacon, king prawns and cook-from-frozen salmon cutlets. While all this is grilling, lightly scrape and grate the carrots, and clean and slice the spring onions.

Two minutes before you want to serve, throw the frozen peas on top of the rice, the sweet corn from the tin too, and the cooked prawns, salmon bacon and chorizo on top of that, grated carrot and sliced spring onion on top of that, and put the lid back on for only a couple of minutes. The food is ready when a pea tastes crisp and warm. A quick stir, a good shake of paprika for taste and colour, and serve straight into bowls.

If any fresh fish is available, that can be grilled too, and flaked in. with the salmon. But the fish counter was closed when we sent a porter on a shopping expedition. If you have really nothing else, I suppose you can put in some sliced capsicum, but sweet red pepper is a good deal more distinguished; I had neither because the porter said what was on offer was "wrinkly".

At home you would put the mix in a bowl, sprinkle over the paprika, throw on a good knob of butter and put the concoction in a hot oven or under the grill for a few minutes with the lid off just to set it a bit. With so many skinny hungry folk standing around, I just served straight away and avoided the inevitable argument about a big knob of butter in a cardiac unit...

message 2: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (patriciasierra) | 2388 comments Of course you would cook a meal in intensive care. Doesn't everyone?

message 3: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
Mmm, that didn't occur to me. If it had, I wouldn't have, I would have sat on my tush waiting to be offered what someone else cooked. It could have been exciting.

message 4: by Claudine (new)

Claudine | 1110 comments Mod
Paella's not my thing. Too many healthy things in it.

I prefer cholestrol clogging Jack Daniels sauce over a bloody steak with slap chips slathered in salt and vinegar. Or cheesecake. Lots and lots of cheesecake.

I do like how you cook though. Chuck this in, toss that in, throw the next thing in, stir, shake and serve. My kinda food.

message 5: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
I didn't eat any of the paella either. I'm allergic to rice. I just made paella because that's what they asked for. A pack of egg noodles came in the shopping, and some light soy sauce, so I added some of the cooked protein and veg to the cooked noodles. Super it was too. You get a good quality of frozen king prawn here, and tiger prawns too.

Forgot to say, I melted a stock cube in the oil before I nutted the rice in it.

But the chorizo you get here, wherever it comes from, is fatty rubbish; I much prefer German sausages. And I'm perfectly happy to cook with the plain or fancy sausages our prize-winning local butcher makes, great big meaty things that always make me think of a Toulouse hotpot the mother of a girl I once knew used to make.

You're right, I don't like overly fussy recipes. I like fresh food, not overcooked, definitely not over-processed. Any time I hear of some mushroom soup that takes three days to prepare, I wonder who the cook is trying to impress.

message 6: by Claudine (new)

Claudine | 1110 comments Mod
Huh. My chicken noodle soup is a case of chucking chicken pieces in a pot, browning then removing, chucking lots of veg in with tons of water and leaving to boil away for about 2 hours then tossing the chicken back in with some noodles. Soup doesn't have to boil for 3 days to be good. The best foods are those prepared without fuss.

message 7: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (patriciasierra) | 2388 comments Best chocolate cake I ever tasted was one you make one day, wrap, hide away for two weeks, then eat.

message 8: by Claudine (new)

Claudine | 1110 comments Mod
No sorry can't hide chocolate cake. The microwave mug chicolate cake I make doesn't even make it out the microwave before its gone.

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