Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Seafood Paella

One of the best Christmas presents Jason received (and I'm not just saying that because I gave it to him) was a paella pan!  We also gave our good friend with whom we cook quite a bit a paella pan and rice of her own.  So it was fitting that last week we had our inaugural paella making party.  Ironically, the evening we purchased the paella pan, we caught an episode of Avec Eric on Hulu where Eric Ripert prepared a simple seafood paella in his home.  We used his recipe as the primary inspiration for our own, with the omission of the fish filets and slightly less saffron (I think professional chefs have easier access to this exotic spice than us mere mortals!).

On a side note, I have become a great fan of Eric Ripert.  His show, Avec Eric, is a delight to watch as he visits chefs and friends in locations all over the world, gives us a glimpse into the inner workings of the kitchen at Le Bernardin, and then prepares a simple (for Eric Ripert) and always beautiful dish for us in his own kitchen.  Most of all, he seems like a lovely, thoughtful and creative person.  The show is on PBS, but we watch episodes on Hulu. 

The quantities listed in this recipe are perfect for a 12 inch paella pan.


1 chorizo link, sliced into 1/4 inches
2/3 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves chopped
1 pinch saffron
2/3 tsp turmeric
2 cups short grain rice
5 cups chicken stock (approximately)
1 cup frozen green peas
12 large peeled and deveined shrimp
12 mussles
12 cockles
1 roasted red pepper sliced
1/4 cup parsley
lemon wedges

--Place the 12 inch paella pan on the stove on medium heat

--Add a little olive oil and cook the chorizo

--Add the onion, garlic, saffron and turmeric and cook until onions are just softened

--Add the rice and stir to coat the rice for about 3 minutes

--Add a cup or so of chicken stock to the rice and stir.  Continue cooking for about 15 minutes, adding stock as needed to get the rice cooked

--When the rice seems to be getting close stir in the peas then nestle the shrimp tail up in the rice and cook for about 5 minutes

--Place the mussels and cockels hinge side down in the rice so they can easily open and lay the pepper slices around the pan like spokes

--Cook for another 4 minutes or so until the mussels and cockles open

--Sprinkle with the parsley and serve with lemon wedges

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