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Dance With the One Who Brung You: Two-Thirds-Assed Paella & Pistachio Biscotti

14 Mar

Hi. I'm Two-Thirds-Assed Paella

Do you ever show up at the grocery store with a super-detailed list of items that you simply must have to make the recipe you’ve been anticipating making (and eating!) all week long?

Do show up at the grocery first thing on the morning you’re cooking it, ready to spend the next 45 minutes or so running up and down the aisles, scouring the produce section for the perfect leeks, talking sustainable cockles with the fish mongers, debating the pros and cons of picante vs. dulce chorizo with the sausage dudes, delighting over the pupu platter of culinary choices?

Only to find that your favorite grocery store — the only one guaranteed to have all of the organic, sustainable yummies you need within reasonable spitting distance of your abode — is missing half of the items on your list?

If you’re anything like me, you become filled with livid, quaking rage, that no quantity of perky and viable substitutes will qualm. Your sputtering disdain for the capriciousness of the grocery store gods will cloud your brain in an impenetrable fog of IQ-plummeting vexation, causing you to forget even more items than you normally forget on the shelves.

When you arrive at home, with your grocery bag most definitely half-empty, you unpack and discover — d’oh! — you’re missing at least two-thirds of the items nominally required to make the perfect recipe.

The key word here, ladies and gentleman: nominally.

Because no number — no matter how daunting — of missing / essential ingredients, tools and skills with which I should be armed tackle a dish with anything approaching proficiency, I choose to take no prisoners and flail about the kitchen like some sort of dementia-addled, smack-addicted geriatric former linebacker having a panic attack. The alternative course, of sensibly making something else, is never even considered.

My mom calls it “Dance With the One Who Brung You” mode — an Emily Willcox-approved method of stoicism that has stiffened my spine and pasted a polite smile on my face through countless grueling teas, strained meetings and grim get togethers over the years.

A failed grocery store trip is how I ended up making my very first batch of Two-Thirds Assed Paella, a recipe that Stephen and I have come to love, it’s original, gaping holes still intact when we make it today. (Which is actually quite apt; there are as many ways to make “classic” Spanish paella as there are to make our national dishes, like Apple Pie and … Chili.) Below, check out recipe for Two-Thirds-Assed Paella, oh and a recipe for Pistachio Biscotti, just because it’s awesome.

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