We had a lot of fun this weekend- although I do love hitting the town, sometimes a weekend in staying cozy and casual is just what the love doctor orders. Saturday night I attempted a Steakhouse recipe I saw on "Giada at Home"- boy that was an epic fail. The cornstarch flash frozen chops done on the brand new indoor grill came out looking like Uncle Fester. Ya know... white, fleshy and with a chilling sense of humor.
To make up for that culinary stroke of genius gone wrong- I went for a more intermediate dish that never fails in the "ohhh and ahhhh" department. Paella is a traditional Spanish dish, which was taught to me by a dear friend Jose, a Sous Chef at Fish. Restaurant. One day, we were bored in the kitchen and I asked him to share with me, his secret family paella recipe. Knowing that he thought of me like another daughter, I could see how happy he was to share and pass this legendary knowledge down. He got out his spiral notebook and wrote down everything his madre taught him. Immediately after work I crossed off my list and loaded my cart with a plethora of amazing bites. Thanks Jose!
- Arboria short grain Italian rice
- Tomato paste
- Paella spice mix (Best ever can be found at http://www.spanishtable.com)
-Red Bell Pepper
- Bread crumbs
-2 organic eggs
- Chicken stock
- Spicy chorizo
- Diver scallops
- Medium shrimp
- Black mussels
- Little neck clams
- Soft shell crab
- Fresh parsley/cilantro
Alright- Let's get to work!
1) Fill a pan with 4 cups of chicken broth, cover and simmer near by your paella pan. Also, at this time preheat your oven to 425. Sear off scallops- simply to brown- and set aside.
2) Cut sausage and begin to saute in an oiled paella pan set to a medium heat. Next add 1 yellow onion diced with one red bell pepper diced as well. Saute for about three minutes and add 4 cloves chopped garlic. Let everything combine for another minute or two and then add in two cups of rice. Coat the rice so the fats allow the grain to become translucent. Stir everyone around to make sure nothing gets stuck on the bottom. Add in a pinch of saffron and a nice squirt of tomato paste and stir. Add in 1/4 cup white wine and notice how your kitchen begins to fill with an exotic scent. Next, paddle in about a cup of broth. Continue to check in every few minutes and when you see the stock is becoming absorbed, add in another 1/2 to full ladle. Continue this process until the liquid is 85% absorbed. Turn off the heat and arrange the scallops, shrimp, mussels and clams to your liking.
2.5) Coat a large frying pan with a generous coating of vegetable oil- get it heated to a med/high temp. Coat the soft shell crab in an egg wash, careful they are DELICATE, and dredge in a flour and bread crumb mixture. Fry roughly 3 minutes on each side. Lay on paper towels and set aside.
3) Pop into the oven for about 12 minutes under a foil wrap. Use a timer and when the lovely mechanism goes off- your all set to enjoy! But first, garnish with lemon wedges, parsley and cilantro mix and your fabulous fried soft shell crab!
4) This may be my most favorite step- open a bottle of your most favorite Spanish wine. Cheers!