Saturday, January 01, 2011

Product Evaluation - Vigo Pallea Valenciana

Paella by Vigo
A Yellow Rice and Seafood Dinner

Although dining out is perhaps the most pleasurable night out I can have, often times I find that circumstances require a fast homemade meal. Often times when one chooses a pre packaged “fast” meal you get speed but most sacrifice taste. Living in Idaho has it high points but in culinary standards I find choices few and far between both in restaurants and variety in the grocery store. My brother lives in Florida and came across a packaged Paella dinner by a Spanish company, Vigo. He sent it to me to try. Here is my critique on Paella Valenciana.
The directions could not be simpler or easier and all you need is a measuring cup, large spoon and a 2 quart pot. Add your water to the pot and bring to a boil, stir in the rice packet and the entire contents of the seafood can, juice and all. Stir the mixture for 1 minute, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 25 minutes (Almost identical instructions for Vigo’s popular Yellow Rice).
Uncover and you find a nice looking dish of rice and assorted seafood and vegetables with a rather pleasant taste. A hint of saffron lingers in the background while the combined flavor of the mussels, squid and cockles gives you a nice flavor combination. Vigo Paella is both fast and indeed flavorful. While the prepared dish is not the picture presented on the box, it gave the diner a good tasting dish of paella.
The cook in me wanted to experiment with this dish and the next few ingredients came into play; clams and mussels in the shells, shrimp and lobster tail to round it out. (It was an interesting trip to my favorite fish monger: I asked for just 7 cherry stone clams, 6 mussels, 2 langostino tails, 6 medium shrimp and 2 lemons. “What was I making?” he wondered.) I simmered them in a combination of butter, olive oil and white wine and then introduced the mixture into the already cooked paella. I put the contents into a cast iron pan and heated a bit more on the stove top, of course one could put into the oven too.
Garnished with capers and wedges of lemon I got a dish of paella I would proudly present to guests and I don’t think any would be the wiser it came from a box. From start to finish while cooking the rice mixture and sautéing the fish you could have this made in about 40 minutes, truly a pre packaged “fast” meal without the box taste. I would highly recommend this dish to anyone who likes paella or as an introduction to those who have yet to savor the unique taste of one Spain’s national dishes.

1 comment:

purrna said...

If you go to Fooducate, it shows MSG as an ingredient. Also artificial food colors. I'm preparing this now with added salmon and greens.