Mi Paella

Paella (Valencia) or (Dallas)

8 chicken thighs
1 kielbasa  14 oz slice on a diagonal or angle 1 “ wide (roughly)
2 onions diced
2 red peppers cut in strips
2 pinches toasted saffron
smoked paprika sprinkled generously or not on chicken thighs
3 garlic  cloves
2 Tbs canola/olive oil
3/4 cup frozen peas
6 lemons wedges
splash white wine
2 1/4 cups paella rice or short grain rice  2 1/4 cups
32 oz chicken stock

 

My love affair  with paella started when I lived in NYC. After having the he best paella I have ever had is in Bayonne NJ, I became obsessed. I kept trying different restaurants over and over trying to find some as good as what I had in NJ. Even when I was in Spain, I found it hard to find a dish as good as the one in the Spanish restaurant in NJ. My quest did lead me to my second favorite version of paella– in Amsterdam.. This recipe is closest to the Amsterdam paella that I had several years back. After several attempts and various recipes. I settled on this one. It is very much a comfort food dish!

Steps:

-Sprinkle smoked paprika on chicken thighs. Sprinkle lightly for a touch of smokiness and coat somewhat generously for more smokey flavor, let sit for an hour at least before browning.

-Brown chicken thighs, skin side down first in canola or olive oil. Brown each side. Remove from pan.

-Saute 2 chopped onions, 2 red bell peppers cut into strips, and garlic smashed and chopped until softened.

-Place browned chicken on top of sauteed vegetables.

-Add paella or short grain rice place around the chicken (not on top of chicken) but on top of veggies. Try to get each grain to touch the oil.

-Lightly toast the saffron  and add it to the warmed chicken stock.

-Add stock a little as you go. Use about 16 oz first. Once it appears to be absorbed, add the additional stock. You may not need all of the stock but you will probably use most of it, if not all.
-Once the rice starts cooking, add the kielbasa. I like the sausage cut at an angle in about 1 inch increments.

NOTE: I rotate my paella pan because I cook it in the paella pan over 2 gas burners. With my sister, we cooked it over 2 burners too on your glass top stove. Traditionally, paella is cooked over open flames much like an outdoor grill. This method works indoors if you don’t have the fancy 6 burner stove where each burner is side by side.

Let cook (while rotating, if necessary) for about 1 hour.

-The carmelizaation on the sides and bottom of the pan that happens is what to strive for.

-DO NOT stir this dish while it is cooking with the rice.

About 15 minutes before it is done, add frozen peas on top and lightly press into the rice.

-Serve with sangria! (see other post for that recipe)

Jalepeno Corn Dip

This came in an email to me and some friends from my sister.

Okay– this one is so good and so easy, I thought I would share with everyone!

Jalapeno Corn Dip (warm)
8 oz. cream cheese
1/3 -1/2 cup frozen organic corn
1/4 cup chopped jalapenos (jar) with some juice (to make it a less thick and spicier)

Add all ingredients to one bowl and Microwave until heated through. Stir. (may need to do this a few times– heat, stir, heat, stir)

Serve warm with with tortilla chips!  YUM!!
I bet someone will ask for the complicated recipe!!

Merry Christmas all!
Julie

Need ideas for your Christmas celebrations?

My sister rocks at this. This is her list. Did I mention she trained at the French Culinary Institute? My girl knows food!. I would love your comments for ideas. For some reason, my mind always goes blank when I try to think of things to serve. Gratefully, I can easily refer to this list now!
Appetizers

–Sushi (only veggie or California rolls– don’t want seafood sitting out)—- always a hit!
— Olive tampenade with goat cheese on crustini.  (very easy, make tampenade ahead of time.  Toast just before party.  Spread tampenade on sliced french bread top with goat cheese and bake for  few minutes, until cheese looks like it is melting.  (Bring tampenade to room temp– take out of frig morning of party).  YUMMY– always a crowd pleaser
–Mini crab cakes — always a hit
–Crab dip– the real stuff
–Pizza dip, serve with pita points
–Brie with pesto and toasted almonds serve with crackers
–Pimento cheese with crackers, on sliced half (lengthwise) jalapeno, or with celery
–Candied/Spiced Pecans——– yummy (any left overs — save them for a salad!)
–Deviled eggs– a must.  For those who are on a low carb diet   (Fun twist– cut eggs in half at the fat part, not the length.  You may want to cut a little off the bottom, so the don’t slide on plate.  Makes them look more elegant to me!)   Top with caviar on some if you like.
–Veggies with ranch.  Seems dull, but I still love it.  Plus it is very colorful  (Cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, carrots….. )
–Smoked Salmon with crackers/bread  (chopped red onion, boiled eggs, capers, lemon, cream cheese)
-Meatballs
-Dates with bacon—– VERY easy and good.  Dates (seedless) dried.  Wrap with bacon– bake until bacon is done.
–Warm goat cheese with marinara served with bread
–Warm goat cheese spread with thyme.  served with bread
–Guacamole with chips– YUM
–Goat cheese on puff pastry squares or circles with sliced apples on top, garnish with thyme
–Spanakopita   Phyllo /spinach/red onion/feta/dill/salt/pepper/butter—– a little time consuming
–Texas Caviar  with blue chips (Salsa with either black-eyed peas or black beans– dress it up a bit– cilantro, garlic,  etc….)
–Canapés
–9 layer bean dip
–Hummus with pita
— Caprese’  Tomato/fresh mozz/fresh basil (or pesto) salad– with balsamic drizzle
–Mini quesadillas– black bean and goat cheese/  shrimp/cheddar
–Shrimp cocktail with cocktail (only with good shrimp)
–Chicken salad with bread/crackers (Chicken, candied pecans, blue cheese (if you want), mayo, grapes, salt/pepper)——– again, if someone is on low carb

Dessert
-Truffles
-Chocolate dipped strawberries
-carrot cake cupcakes

Drinks
–Sangria (yummy– drinks for the masses at very little cost!)
–Champagne drinks–  Royal Kir with fresh berries or I like to use frozen (keeps drink cold)  — put Chambord in with frozen berries, put into bottom of wine glass, then pour champagne.
–Mojitos
–Margaritas

Enchiladas Ole !

Do you love to sample new products in grocery stores? I admit, I just love it. It’s fun and FREE!

For a host of reasons, I get really excited about local products—not just with food but for nearly everything. So when I asked “Mary” if this enchilada sauce I was about to try was local, she said “yes, we are based in Fort Worth”. I said, “Oh, so this is your sauce?”. Yes, she said.

Our conversation continued about her launch of a new product and getting into stores. As she is talking — I am thinking about how I have to convince her to come and speak at a Think Tank Society meeting…. as I WATCH her magically take a corn tortilla, whip it around in some sauce, and roll it with cheese and onions into this amazing looking and SMELLING snack that I am about to sink my chompers into.

It left me spinning. The sauce is amazing. I don’t use that term lightly and I really don’t want to do reviews of products unless they are stellar. As Mary told me, this is restaurant quality available at the supermarket. Truly, the sauce is BETTER than even some of the great Tex-Mex restaurants around here.

With everything on my “plate”, I still try to have a   meat less each week—not  always on Monday. This is a great Meat less Monday option. You won’t feel deprived! Although my husband loved it so much, he did say—“wow…what would it be like if it had meat in it?”…(somethings are SLOW to change)

If you need a little help using her sauce, she has instructional videos on her site. Talk about a value add!

Enchiladas Ole is available in Central Market and Whole Foods….. and coming soon to everywhere else. Not only is Mary a rockstar in the kitchen she’s got some business savvy too.  Watch out world!

‘Tis pumpkin season!

Curry Pumpkin Soup!

The crunch of the pumpkin seeds, the contrast of hot soup with a dollop of cool sour cream covers all of the sensational bases!

Find it in Colorado Colore  page 64.

http://www.amazon.com/Colorado-Colore-Celebrating-Culinary-Artistry/dp/0960394672/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1317747828&sr=1-1

Winging it buffalo style

 For the oven friend Chicken Wings

-2 Tablespoons salt

-2 cups warm water

-2 cups four

-2 teaspoons of salt

-1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)

Buffalo Sauce:

– 3 Table Spoons Cayenne Pepper sauce (Texas Pete is best! and it is made in NC)

-2 Table Spoons Melted Butter

Blue Cheese Dressing ( I make this to taste)

Crumbled Blue Cheese ( approx. 1/2 cup)
Sour Cream (approx. 1/2 cup)
Mayonaise (approx. 1/2 cup)
Italian Dressing (approx. 1 TBS bottled or powdered mix)
Half and Half (approx. 1 TBS)
Dashes of Pepper Sauce
Salt and Pepper

Accompaniments:

-Celery and/or Carrots

Directions:

Combine 2 TBS of Salt with warm water in a large bowl (large enough to hold chicken wings). After salt dissolves, add chicken. Add cold water to cover the chicken and top off with ice. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Drain chicken and pat dry. Place salt and flour in brown or plastic bag. Place a few wings in at a time to coat. Shake off excess flour. Repeat with all pieces.

Put butter on a sheet pan and put into oven until it melts. Place chicken skin side down onto the pan with melted butter. Cook up to 40 minutes. Flip and bake for about another 20 minutes (based on wing size).

Once chicken is done, take out and douse into the Buffalo Sauce mixture.

Directions for Buffalo Sauce:

Microwave pepper sauce and butter together

Directions Blue Cheese Dressing:

Mix all ingredients and taste—adjust accoringly.

Favorite Salad

When I was a road warrior, I had this similar salad at the Mall of America. I don’t remember the name of the restaurant, but I can’t forget my experience of all of these ingredients together in a salad.– Yummers!

Ingredients:
Baby greens
Kalamata olives
Crumbled Blue Cheese
Tomatoes
Toasted Pine Nuts

Toss with my new favorite dressing–mix to taste:
Zinfandel vinegar
Olive Oil
Touch of Maple Syrup

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