Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Beautiful weather this past Sunday inspired me to invite a few friends over for a casual Sunday night dinner. I wanted to make it simple but sophisticated so I decided on a seafood paella.  Loaded with fresh shrimp, clams and mussels, this one pot wonder can be prepped before guests arrive, leaving just the cooking for later.  I decided I would try using my outdoor grill to cook the dish so that I could enjoy cocktails in the garden with my guests.

 I set the table with a mix of hand painted blue fish plates I brought back from a trip to Italy and used large periwinkle napkins that complimented the linen place mats. A sunny yellow Tiffany vase held the last of the summer's blue and purple hydrangea-pretty and simple!

The paella was a huge success. Spicy chorizo  complimented the delicate seafood and the rice was rich and delicious. Everyone went for seconds! I served  pitchers of fruity sangria, the perfect cocktail to celebrate the end of summer.

The last blooms of end of summer hydrangea.

Recipe for Paella adapted from Emeril Lagasse recipe-

1/2 cup olive oil divided
16 chicken thigh
2 pound chorizo, cut into 1/4 half moons
1 medium onion diced
2 cups diced red peppers
2 cups diced green peppers
4 tablespoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons saffron threads
2 quarts chicken stock
4 cups of medium grain rice
2 pounds jumbo shrimp, split shell on
1 pound mussels, scrubbed
1 pound manila clams, scrubbed
10 ounces frozen green peas, thawed
salt and pepper to taste

Set the paella pan on the grill over medium high heat and add 1/4 cup olive oil to the pan. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and once the oil is hot add to pan and sear until lightly browned, about 4 minutes for each side. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Add the rest of the oil to the pan and add the chorizo and cook for seven minutes or until caramelized. Add the onion, peppers to the pan and saute until softened, about four minutes. Add the garlic and saffron to the pan and return the chicken to the pan. Pour the stock into the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for ten minutes. Add the rice to the pan and carefully stir to incorporate. Continue to cook the rice for 15 minutes. Add the shrimp, mussels and clams to the pan tucking them under the rice to cook. Cook until the mussels and clams open and the shrimp turns pink, abut five minutes. Add the peas and turn the heat to low.  Cook for an additional five minutes until a golden crust begins to form on the bottom of the pan.  Serves 6

No comments: