TODAY

TODAY   |  April 10, 2013

Dinner tonight: Cook up a hearty, one-pot paella

New York Times columnist Mark Bittman shows how to whip up Spain’s most famous dish, flavorful paella, which can be served with rice or noodles.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> this morning in "tooled's kitchen" spain's most famous dish, paella a one-pot dish. mark bittman is a "new york times" columnist and author of "how to cook everything, the basics." welcome back.

>> good morning, matt.

>> you say paella is rice and a liquid. what you add to it is what makes it fun.

>> paella is rice and liquid and other stuff.

>> let's talk about how you cook paella . you have different pans. why are these good?

>> this is the classic or similar to the classic paella pan so it's broad and shallow own the idea is the liquid cooks quickly because you've got a wide pan and you develop a little bit of a crust on the bottom but any of these, this is perfect. these are really good even if you're making a small cast iron pan will work. we have three kinds of rice here, almost any rice will do. this is a sort of classic paella rice but this is borio from italy or brown rice will work, too.

>> you said all it takes is rice and liquid but yet you start with olive oil and onions.

>> i said rice and liquid.

>> that's what you're starting with.

>> olive oil and onions and you cook the rice until it becomes glossy and shiny.

>> when it comes to the liquid, water, stock? is it kind of interchangeable?

>> water is the most traditional liquid, obviously the ease ye to come by. stock is, will give you more flavor. we have a beautiful chicken stock here and you'll notice that it's gorgeous, bright yellow because there's saffron in it.

>> the consistency is important so how much liquid do you want to add to that rice as it's cooking?

>> about twice as much liquid as rice and here's some saffron and i thought you might just like to take it home because it's very expensive.

>> oh, withal thank you very much. you're giving me a to go bag?

>> there you go.

>> great, thanks very much. i'll probably get stopped at the airport with that. all right. so now you've done that.

>> we would do that and now this is really about the most basic you can get.

>> i'm going to stir for you while you're doing that.

>> since we're both left-handed.

>> there you go. once do you that, at what point do you add the shrimp which is what you're using in this paella ?

>> we can add it now because we want it to look nice but really i'd keep it to almost the end because shrimp cooks so quickly.

>> we want to move on to other things. this is what it looks like when it's done, that's the consistency you want.

>> and not only will it look like this but if we do it right, it will have this lovely sort of brown crust on the bottom.

>> now you're going to change things up, first of all another risotto and added chorizo and peas.

>> this is chorizo, peas, tomatoes, red peppers . no seafood. you could put seafood or chicken in here, whatever.

>> talk to me about pasta paella .

>> called fidaios, same technique, cook onions and break up pasta so it's like this and you cook it and we can do it, cook it in some oil, broken pasta.

>> is that a whole wheat pasta?

>> same thing, cook it until it's glossy and add your vegetables, your stock or water and at the end your seafood and that's really beautiful.

>> let's bring our gang in here.

>> we have to feed the gang.

>> serve it up.

>> i know where i'm going.

>> you want the rice paella ?

>> i want this right here.

>> i want the chorizo one.

>> you could eat out of the pan and fight over it.

>> a communal pan? of course.