By Popular Demand: Food Pics

Of all my food & fitness postings it seems like people are most enthusiastic about the food. At least that's the sense I get from some of the feedback I get in email, as well as comments.

While I've been lax in photographing most of what I make, I've taken a few over the weeks and months, and so I guess I'll post them over the next few days. Let's start with some of the more recent, and for this, I've a couple of photos and also a video.

Here's the video, which I call: This is Camping. It's the stir-fry I blogged on our recent trip to Hat Creek, but here's the video version just as I'm finishing it off with the meat added back in. You also get a look at some of the serious cooking gear gear my family takes camping. I did a UTube version, as well, but the res was so crappy that I redid it on my .Mac Gallery.

I wish I'd taken more pics of the stuff my brothers, mom, and I fixed, but I didn't, so that's that. I did, however, get some shots of my brother's Paella. This was just about prior to putting in the seafood, saffron, rice and stock. As you can see, it's done in a traditional Spanish paella pan, over the coals. You can see the seafood in the pan alongside just getting ready to go in. There were prawns, clams, mussels and maybe another thing or two.


And now for the close up, with flash enabled.


No pic of the finished product. It was gone too fast. But stay tuned for more food photos in the days to follow.

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  1. Richard Nikoley on August 28, 2008 at 09:34

    Actually, James, that's just makeshift. The pan is just a pan, then there's the stand it sits on (a big ring with legs). The pot for the coals is from the bottom end of one of those cylindrical smokers and we just bent the legs of the stand in order to fit inside.

    Not sure where you can get a true paella pot and stand, but I imagine Google can be of help.

  2. James Pruitt on August 28, 2008 at 06:59

    Beautiful! I've always wanted to try a paella, but never had the nerve.

    Curious about your grill setup…the pot for the coals with the stand for the dish. Where might I find one of those?

    Again, beautiful!!

  3. James Pruitt on August 28, 2008 at 12:58

    Thanks Rich. I'll have to give some thought and see what I can do to make my own as well.

    About the Paella, I'd love to know how you put it together. Looks awesome! Hard to keep myself from licking the screen!

    Thanks again!

  4. Richard Nikoley on September 5, 2008 at 08:43

    Finally got the recipe from my brother:

    Here's a recipe for making Spanish Paella. (*If you ever travel to Spain, purchase a seasoning mix calledpaella preparada, which will cover the following ingredients: tumeric, fennel and paprika.) Here goes:

    Ingredients to make paella for 4-6 people:

    One medium-sized pot, large enough to hold eight cups

    One large frying pan

    3/4 cup of olive oil

    Three garlic cloves, finely chopped

    One yellow onion, chopped

    One green pepper, chopped

    One red pepper, chopped

    Two chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces, more or less

    Ten to fifteen shrimp

    Three cups of white rice

    Eight cups of chicken broth. (*You may only need six, but it is always good to have extra in case the rice is still hard.)

    Two tomatoes, chopped

    1/3 of a gram of saffron. (*You can purchase this at Trader Joe’s. I think it comes in a 1 gram container, and you will want to use roughly a third.)

    Tumeric, 1 tablespoon

    Fennel, ½ a teaspoon (You need to crush the seeds)

    Paprika, ½ a teaspoon

    Salt, garlic powder and pepper to taste


    Calamari rings (you can get these in the frozen section at Trader Joe's.) Use as much or as little as you like. Fresh mussels…as many as you like. Clams, other shellfish…ditto.

    Preparing the paella:

    Warm the chicken broth in a pot. Once it is warm, you can turn it off and put a lid on it.

    Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil over medium/medium high heat. Be sure the entire surface of the frying pan is getting heated.

    Add garlic, onions, green and red peppers. Sauté them for a few minutes. Move them to the sides of the frying pan.

    Add a little more olive oil, then add the chicken. Cook until it is no longer pink. Move to the side of the pan.

    Cook the shrimp until it DOES become pink.

    Spread all these ingredients all over the pan. (*If you wanted to do calamari rings, you could add them now.)

    Pour the rice over the ingredients.

    Add the remaining olive oil over the rice.

    Add six (6) cups of the chicken broth. *Save the remaining two (2) cups. You may need them later!

    Add all the seasonings.

    Add the tomatoes.

    Cooking time, once all the ingredients have been added: approx. 30-45 minutes.


    Prepare everything before you turn the stove on.

    You want the paella to bubble as it is cooking. That will give you an idea of the amount of heat you need. You don't want a rapid boil – that will make the broth evaporate too quickly and the rice won't cook.

    Stir the paella VERY SLIGHTLY as it cooks, but not too much. You basically want to make sure that the rice is cooking evenly.

    If you notice the broth is almost all gone, and yet the rice is still hard, add a little more broth.

    Feel free to change the ingredients, depending upon your tastes. Some people have added chorizo, artichoke hearts, filet mignon, carrots, peas, rabbit, etc…

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