Tonight lobster and I had a few friends over for dinner. I was especially excited b/c I had new guinea pigs to exeriment on :D I tried a couple new dishes and they were both a hit!! I made paella using my dutch oven and served a jicama mango slaw on the side. I love paella and have always wanted to re-create it at home. While searching for a recipe, there were so many on the Internet that it was difficult to choose just one. But, since I'm a hard-core Cook's Illustrated fan, I decided to try theirs and was satisfied with the results. Although, next time I make it I'm going to have to tweak it a bit. Since I was more concered with how the dish presented when I brought it to the table...I wanted to get some ooohs and aahs, I wasn't able to adjust the seasonings with any salt and pepper. Therefore, although the dish was good, I thought it could use a little more POP. However, the dish could have been lacking in flavor b/c I used a different sausage then what the recipe called for. Since my friends don't eat red meat or pork, I used a spicy green chile turkey and chicken sausage from Ralphs which I thought would be a good substitute for the chorizo. Even though it had a nice kick to it, nothing beats the flavor or spicy, smoky, yummy, fattening chorizo. Also, next time I'll have to forgo presentation and mix all the ingredients in the end together and adjust with some S&P. Anyway, this dish was still a winner and everyone left with full bellies and smiles on their faces. It was an entertaining night of glutinous eating and drinking...and now it's 2 a.m. and I'm blogging instead of sleeping. Geek! The following recipe is from cook's Illustrated but altered a bit to my liking.
Paella - 6 servings
2-hours cooking time from start to finish
3/4 pound extra-large shrimp (about 15), peeled and deveined
8-9 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 tablespoons)
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 red bell pepper , seeded and cut pole to pole into 1/2-inch-wide strips
8 ounces Spanish chorizo , sliced 1/2 inch thick on the bias (see note)
1 medium onion , chopped fine (about 1 cup)
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes , drained, minced, and drained again (I used Hunt's petite diced tomatoes)
2 cups Valencia rice or Arborio
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads , crumbled
1 bay leaf
1 6 oz lobster tail, split tail in half and cut into 1/2 inch slices
1/2 cup frozen green peas
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 lemon , cut into wedges, for serving
1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Toss shrimp and lobster, 1/4 teaspoon table salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon oil, and 1 teaspoon garlic in medium bowl; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed. Season chicken with salt and pepper; set aside.
2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until skin begins to blister and turn spotty black, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer peppers to small plate and set aside. Cut into 1-inch pieces when they have cooled
3. Add 1 teaspoon oil to now-empty Dutch oven; heat oil until shimmering but not smoking. Add chicken pieces in single layer; cook, without moving pieces, until browned, about 3 minutes. Turn pieces and brown on second side, about 3 minutes longer; transfer chicken to medium bowl. Reduce heat to medium and add chorizo to pot; cook, stirring frequently, until deeply browned and fat begins to render, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer chorizo to bowl with chicken and set aside.
4. Add enough oil to fat in Dutch oven to equal 2 tablespoons; heat over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 3 minutes; stir in remaining garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes; cook until mixture begins to darken and thicken slightly, about 3 minutes. Stir in rice and cook until grains are well coated with tomato mixture, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, wine, saffron, bay, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Return chicken and chorizo to pot, increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Cover pot and transfer to oven; cook until rice absorbs almost all liquid, about 15 minutes. Remove pot from oven (close oven door to retain heat). Uncover pot; scatter shrimp and lobster over rice, arrange bell pepper strips in pinwheel pattern, and scatter peas over top. Cover and return to oven; cook until shrimp are lobster opaque, 15-20 minutes.
6. Let paella stand, covered, about 5 minutes. Discard bay leaf if it can be easily removed. Sprinkle with parsley and serve, passing lemon wedges separately.
Labels: Seafood - Saturday, February 20, 2010