I’m not resolving to try new recipes this year. That resolution has never taken hold.
Instead, I tried something new tonight, and I may do so again. It’s not a resolution. It’s just a thing I might do now and then.
This afternoon, I checked out good old Becky at America’s Test Kitchen on YouTube and watched her prepare vegetarian paella, combining (see this post’s title?) cauliflower, green beans, and butter beans. Paella, as you may know, is a Spanish rice dish traditionally cooked in a wide frying pan called a paellera, out of which the diners eat. You don’t need a special pan, however. A large skillet works, and you should feel free to offer diners their own plates.
Saffron and chorizo are frequent additions, and the bottom layer of rice is supposed to brown. My rice browned a little too much but wasn’t crispy, just too brown. I didn’t want to run to the store, so I substituted some ingredients, like black beans. My paella was less authentic, but it tasted okay and was fun to make.
It’s your lucky Monday, because you don’t have to wait until the Wednesday Word post to learn the derivation of paella. (This post is itself a combo!) The Romans called a plate or shallow dish a patera. The diminutive, or small version, of this word is patella. The Latin root of these words is the verb pateo, meaning “to lie open,” like a shallow plate. This verb also gave rise to our words patent and patently, as in, “She was patently (openly, obviously) lying.”
One more etymology for you. Doctors call your kneecap the patella, because it’s shaped like a cute little plate. Remember to share this with the waiter the next time you order paella at a restaurant. I’m sure he will be interested.