Monday, August 16, 2010

Paella Party

After each progressive dinner we choose the type of food for the next one. So after our last dinner we chose Mediterranean cuisine for the next dinner. M decided she wanted to make a Spanish paella, but she had never cooked one before and didn't have the pan, spices, or anything else. So, thank goodness for international trade and the Internet, M found La Tienda, a store in Williamsburg, VA that imports such wonderful items directly from Spain. She immediately ordered the giant pan (it's too large to fit in an oven and has to be used outdoors over a fire), the chorizo sausage, the Spanish rice and spices and has been waiting for the heat to break so she could do a practice run with friends prior to the progressive dinner. So M's opportunity came yesterday, even though it was hit and miss with rain during the early afternoon.

So M had to buy a new grill to cook this over because the grill we had wasn't big enough to hold the pan. Here she is out back just getting started. She had just started browning the chicken to get a broth of sorts going in the pan before adding the next ingredients.

onions and a smoky chorizo sausage.

Stir them all together, mmmm, look at that color, you can almost smell the aromas.

While inside there was a pot of chicken broth simmering with all

the Spanish spices thrown in.

While M was outside slowly adding in all the ingredients, I was playing sous chef and bathing the mussels,

clams, and

getting other things ready for the dinner. Here's my attempt at a Caprese salad (tomatoes, mozzarella, basil).

So here's M and L stirring all the ingredients in together: rice, chicken, chorizo, clams, mussels, shrimp, spices, peppers, onions, garlic, and I'm sure there were other things, but I lost track. I can testify that they tasted fantastic together!

Here's the finished product. It took two people to carry that pan of food inside, big, heavy and unwieldy!

Is this a thing of beauty or what?

Just prior to the digging in chaos and mass consumption of food, served with crusty buttered bread, and numerous bottles of wine.

For those who didn't completely overdo it at dinner, homemade coconut cupcakes to take care of the sweet tooth after dinner. Ahhhhh, what a meal! Wish you all could have been here!


OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

This looks FABULOUS! Though I must admit, it is NOT one of my favorite dishes, at all.....I wish I DID like it better, because it looks so incredibly delicious....I LOVED you showing us the whole process....You have such a wonderful time "creating" together...!

Anonymous said...

Ok, looks real interesting, was it a spicy dish? Am not sure I would have ruined good steamed clams, by mixing them with spicy, but hey Not my dinner. :) Clams are only to be served with butter and vinegar or maybe a little lemon juice. :) OH and cupcakes. Nice job M...

Vancouver Voyeur said...

Hi Naomi, my first experience with Paella was over an open fire in the back yard of a Spanish guy many years ago. It was phenomenal! For years afterward, I would try the dish at various restaurants and never liked it. When M did her paella, I enjoyed it. It was not the same as my first experience, but much closer than the restaurants ever got.

Pat, it was not a spicy dish. I think she could have cranked up the spicy peppers a little with no ill effect. The most prominent flavors were saffron, smoked chorizo, and chicken. Overall, I'd say most of the flavors were very subtle and layered. I think you would have enjoyed this dish.

Anonymous said...

But for shame the poor clams:)

Larena said...

it makes me hungry !

tweetey30 said...

Gosh damned word Verification.. lol.. I had a nice little comment again and it wasnt there when i went to publish my

glad you guys liked it.. I have never had a clam in my life so I don know if I would like them.. I dont care for Sea food so i would probably sit this one out..

P I would be afraid of a dish like this one to be tooo hot and spicy too. You think spicy when you think of a meal like this one..

PENolan said...

Let me know the next time y'all are cooking

tshsmom said...

That looks amazing!!
I've always wanted to make paella, but I could never afford all the ingredients.

Vancouver Voyeur said...

Trish & Kathy, consider yourselves officially invited the next time you find yourselves in Maryland.

tshsmom said...

That's one of my goals!