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,
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!