During a recent visit to my Mom's she gave us a couple magazines that she was finished with.
One was a cooking magazine and reading the cover got me a little excited: Step by Step to Authentic Paella.
I don't know what it is about paella. I've never cooked it, never even eaten it. But any dish with paella's ingredients just has to be wonderful and I'm absolutely fascinated by it. I imagine I'll have to try making it pretty soon.
You'll notice that I haven't mentioned the name of the magazine. There's a reason for that.
Reading the article I saw a section on "making the shrimp-mussel broth." In this section the shrimp shells and some mussels are used to make... you guessed it... a broth. Here's an excerpt:
Add the remaining mussels to the boiling water. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the broth into a 2-quart liquid measure, discarding the shells and mussels.
Wait... do what? Discard the mussels?
I was horrified!
Mussels aren't cheap and I'm supposed to throw these away? This author is nuts!
I do my best to not waste food. If I've got chopped pieces of something in a container so I can introduce them into a pan, they all go in. There isn't a chunk of carrot or sliver of chicken thigh that gets washed down the drain. To simply throw these mussels away with callous abandon is a sin against Mother Nature and goes completely against my principles (and wallet).
You want a seafood-type stock or broth for the dish, use fish scraps. Don't have any? Get some clam juice and make it work. But don't waste food.
You want a good recipe for paella? Don't get it from this magazine. Get it from a site like The Spanish Table. While you're there check out their paella pans. I'm lusting after one of their carbon steel models.
You know what would be even better? Make up your own recipe. Take a look at a recipe like the one linked above and then have fun from there. Paella is a country dish that should use what you've got available. Have clams but not mussels? Ok! Have rabbit but not a shred of chicken? Ok!
Sorry, Nike. I have to do this...
Just make it!