In Spain, special noodles are used to make this paella-like party dish, but angel hair pasta fragments work too. Break pasta strands 30 or so at a time to keep them from scattering. Broiling the dish is key to getting its crunchy texture. Serve with Quick Aïoli.
Cooked with water or broth, amaranth releases a starch that creates a "sauce" similar to grits. It makes an excellent stuffing for a variety of vegetables, particularly when combined with the sweet flavoring of raisins and pine nuts.
Mushrooms in Mexican food? You bet. Wild mushrooms are a popular ingredient all over Mexico. Use a young manchego cheese (labeled curado), which is nutty, and melts nicely. Monterey Jack also works well.
Wheat berries, also called hard wheat berries, are wheat grains from which the inedible hull has been removed. Toasting the grains before cooking enhances their nutty, chewy quality. Serve this salad warm, at room temperature, or chilled.
Traditional paella pans are round, shallow metal pans that let the rice and vegetables cook evenly without getting mushy. A wok will do the job just as well; the wide mouth lets liquid evaporate, so the rice cooks and the other ingredients steam rather than boil.
Roasting vegetables in the oven takes fewer than 20 minutes and yields hearty sandwich fillings.
Using a steamer to cook vegetable flans keeps them soft and creamy.
Two shortcut ingredients—instant rice and frozen veggies—turn an all-day event into a quick weeknight entrée. Any frozen vegetable medley works well in this paella.
A trip to Spain inspired Kevin West to come up with these savory patties, which won 2nd place in our 2005 Reader Recipe Contest. If the burgers don’t hold together well—various brands of whole grain bread tested differently—simply process another piece of bread into crumbs, and fold it into the mixture.
Ripe plantains have a starchy consistency like potatoes, but with more fiber.