Seafood Paella

The following recipe was made and shared at my Tapas party. You can read about the event and view links to the other recipes shared HERE.

Seafood Paella
shared at the event by Joelen
recipe adapted from here

3 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil

1 large head garlic (or 12 cloves), peeled and chopped
1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers
1/4 cup chopped roasted tomatoes
1/4 cup julienned carrots (matchstick)
2 cups frozen green peas, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 pound shrimp
1/2 pound calamari rings
1/2 pound sea scallops, halved
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley, to garnish

Ingredient Options: If you don’t care for mussels or any of the other seafood ingredients, simply substitute more of your favorite.

In a paella pan or large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté garlic until soft, about 3 minutes. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes. Add rice and sauté for about 4 minutes or until rice becomes translucent, stirring frequently. Add 3 cups of the broth and 1 cup wine, saffron, paprika, marjoram, red pepper flakes and flakes and salt. Cover pan and reduce heat to simmer. Cook 15 minutes. Check occasionally, keeping moist with broth if needed. Add all seafood, peas, red peppers, carrots, roasted tomatoes and the remaining broth and wine. Squeeze lemon over entire dish and sprinkle with parsley. Serve straight from the pan.

Cold Paella Salad

The following recipe was shared during my Chef Spotlight Dinner highlighting recipes of Chef Wolfgang Puck. You can view other recipes and pictures of the event HERE.

Cold Paella Salad
shared at the event by Robert
Original recipe here

1 small whole chicken (about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds), cut into 8 pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1/2 red onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, de-veined, and diced
1 green bell pepper, cored, de-veined, and diced
1/2 teaspoon saffron
1/2 pound chorizo, sliced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups rice
4 cups chicken stock or water
1 pound mussels, cleaned and de-bearded
3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
Fresh Herb Vinaigrette, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Season chicken pieces generously with salt and pepper. Add oil to a large, heavy, oven-safe skillet and heat over high heat. When oil is almost smoking, carefully add chicken to pan and sear until almost cooked through; remove chicken from pan and set aside. Add shrimp to oil and sear until almost done; remove shrimp from pan and set aside.

Add more oil if needed, reduce the heat to medium, and then saute the onions and garlic until translucent, about 5 minutes; do not let onions and garlic brown. Add bell peppers and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add saffron and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chorizo and brown for 2 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook for about 5 minutes. Add rice, and stir until the rice is well coated, about 1 minute. Add stock, return the chicken and shrimp to the pan, and add mussels and peas.

Transfer skillet to the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle vinaigrette over. Refrigerate and serve chilled or at room temperature. If serving at room temperature, refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving and then bring to room temperature.

Fresh Herb Vinaigrette: 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves 1/4 cup minced chives 1 tablespoon minced garlic 1/4 cup sherry vinegar Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Put chopped herbs in a medium bowl. Add garlic and vinegar. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Whisk in olive oil until combined. Set aside until paella is ready.

Braisin’ Beef

Tonight I was in the mood for a rich fall meal… and had some leftover port wine to use. So to hit the spot, I made braised beef shanks in a port wine sauce. Here’s my recipe for port braised beef shanks

4 beef shanks
salt, pepper, italian seasoning to taste
olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
miripoix: 1/2 cup each carrots, celery, onions diced fine
1 cup port wine (I used Jonesy)
1 cup beef broth
2 springs fresh rosemary
4 springs thyme leaves
1/2 cup frozen peas

In a dutch oven, brown beef shanks in olive oil on both sides.; remove from pot.
In the same pot, add the miripoix and garlic. Stir until softened.
Return the browned beef in the pot.
Add port wine & beef broth.
Stir in fresh thyme & rosemary leaves.
Reduce heat, cover and let it simmer for 2 hours.
Just before serving, add frozen peas and stir.

I served this over steamed brown rice.

8 Layer Salad

8 Layer Salad
Combine your preferred amounts of the following building from bottom to top in a trifle bowl. Allow salad to chill at least 2 hours or even overnight before serving.

Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Salad Dressing seasoned with garlic powder
Chopped Bacon

Fragrant Korma Curry

Our palattes were in the mood for something exotic tonight. One of my favorite ethnic cuisines is Indian and the fragrant spices seemed to be just what we needed. Tonight I made a lamb korma curry.
Korma is a type of mild curry dish from Indian and is often made with a yogurt sauce, cream or peanuts. The flavor is based on a mixture of spices, combined with yogurt and/or cream kept below curdling temperature and incorporated slowly and carefully.

Here is my recipe for Lamb Korma Curry. Note there are a few traditional Indian ingredients, which I purchased from an Indian market:

1.5 lb lamb chops
1 large onion, chopped
2oz ghee
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek
2 cardamom pods, crushed
1 teaspoon hot chilli powder
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups water or beef broth
1-2 baking potatoes, chopped
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup plain yogurt
salt & pepper, to taste

In a dutch oven, heat ghee and saute onions, garlic.
When onions have softened, add lamb and brown.
Add the remaining ingredients except the potatoes, peas and yogurt.
Stir and cover, allowing the lamb to simmer on low.
Simmer for about 30-45 minutes to ensure the lamb is tender.
After 30 minutes, add chopped potatoes. Cover & simmer.
After 45 minutes, add frozen peas and stir.
Remove from heat and stir in yogurt.
Allow it to rest covered for 5-10 minutes before serving.

I served this over couscous cooked in beef broth and a side of garlic naan.

The Union of Curry & Rice

Often times, I’ll have leftover rice after cooking dinner for a family event. Usually my first instinct is to make fried rice. However this time I decided to make a different version with a Thai twist. It’s a little creamy, a little spicy and so good… its my green chicken curry fried rice.

In Thai cuisine green curry is one of the spicier variations of curry. The thickness of the sauce varies with the amount of coconut milk used. The main ingredients are coconut milk, green curry paste, sugar, fish sauce, kaffir lime leavees and thai basil leaves. Typically, green curry paste is made by pounding in a mortar ingredients including: shallots, green chillies, garlic, galangal, fresh turmeric, shrimp paste and salt.
Here is my recipe for green chicken curry fried rice:
6 chicken thighs
3 eggs, scrambled
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large “thumb” of fresh ginger, julienned
2 tablespoons green curry paste
2-3 cups cold leftover white rice
1 cup frozen green peas
1 can baby corn, drained
1 handful extra fine green beans
1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk
cooking oil
In a pot, place chicken thighs and cover with water.
Boil chicken until fully cooked.
Allow chicken to cool and debone.
Chop chicken and set aside.
In a large saute pan, add cooking oil and fry eggs.
When scrambled and completely cooked, remove from pan and set aside.
In the same pan, add cooking oil, garlic, onion and ginger.
When onions have softened, add cooked chicken.
Stir and then add green curry paste.
Stir chicken until fully coated.
Add and fold in cold rice.
If needed, add a little cooking oil to prevent rice from sticking to pan.
Add peas, baby corn and beans; stirring to combine.
Slowly pour in coconut milk, a little at a time and fold in.
When fully heated through and combined, serve.
This is a meal on its own, but can accompany garlic spinach if you’d like.

Paella, paella!

Finally… a cool down in the weather! With the cool rain falling, I thought some comforting food would be fitting. Tonight, it was paella that graced the table!Paella is a rice dish, originally from Spain, where it is traditionally eaten on Sundays. The name paella is the word for “frying pan” in Catalan/Valencian. This dish is usually garnished with various vegetables and meat or seafood. The three main ingredients are rice, saffron and olive oil.Here’s my recipe for a home-style seafood paella, although a traditional dish would have been made in a more authentic paella pan:

1 tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large finely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups uncooked short grain white rice
1 1/2 cups seafood stock
1 cup dry white wine
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. saffron
1 large tomato, diced
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
jar(8 oz) roasted red peppers drained, thinly sliced, divided
1 lb seafood mix w/scallops, shrimp, crab, calamari, mussels
1/2 cup frozen peas

Heat large shallow pan over medium-low heat until hot.
Add bacon and allow it to crisp.
Add garlic and cook just until garlic sizzles.
Add onions and rice, cook and stir 10 minutes or until onions are soft.
Stir in clam juice, wine, lemon juice, and paprika; mix well.
Combine saffron and boiling water in small bowl; stir until saffron is dissolved.
Stir into onion mixture.
Stir in tomatoes, parsley, and half the bell peppers.
Bring to a boil, then turn down to low heat.
Stir in seafood mix and peas.
Cook until rice is al dente.

Casserole Cookin’

Well, in my efforts of using what I have in my pantry for the next month, I thought it would be fun to introduce tuna casserole to my hubby. He’s never had it and automatically, he conjured up a nasty mess on a plate. But alas, I showed him that tuna casserole is a good meal and doesn’t always have to involve a lot of canned goods to make.
Casserole, as we Americans know it today, is an economical meal. Food historians confirm *modern* casseroles were known in the 19th century. They became popular in the 1930s when the Great Depression forced cooks to seek economical solutions to family meals. This cooking genre was continued in the 1940s (economic reasons) and 1950s-1970s (convenience reasons).

So when did tuna noodle casserole debut? Some food historians credit the Campbell Soup Company for setting the table. This company’s Cream of Mushroom Soup was actively promoted to American consumers in the 1930 as an quick and economical alternative to homemade sauces. Corporate advertisements, cooking brochures and cookbooks promoted casserole dishes. Tuna noodle casserole was among them. The company did not invent the recipe but it did, however, make it famous. The oldest Tuna Noodle Casserole recipe on file was published by Campbell’s in 1941!
Here’s my Tuna Noodle Casserole recipe without the use of canned cream soups:

2 tablespoons butter
1 small chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
8 ounces thinly sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 1/2 cups frozen peas & carrots mix
3 (6oz) cans tuna, drained
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
garlic powder
onion powder
salt and pepper
2 cups croutons, crushed
1 cup shredded cheese, divided
2 cups dried elbow macaroni, cooked

In a large saucepan, melt butter.
Add onions, garlic and mushroom & brown.
Add flour & cook for 1-2 mins.
Slowly add milk and stir.
Add boullion cube & dissolve.
Add peas/carrots, tuna, mayo & mustard.
Add seasonings to taste.
Fold in cooked macaroni.
Stir in 1/2 of cheese.
Place in greased casserole dish.
Top with crushed croutons and remaining cheese.
Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes.


I love ethnic food because its my little way of traveling the globe. So tonight I was craving some Indian flavors and decided to make Chicken Curry (also known as Murgh Masala). A Pubjabi speciality from North India, this chicken curry is fragrant with cumin and cilantro.
Here is my recipe for Murgh Masala:

4 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
2 medium onions, chopped
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespon paprika
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can of tomato sauce
1 cup water
2 teaspoons ground cumin or Garam Masala
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Salt to taste
1 can of sweet peas
1 can of garbanzo beans

Heat a large pan over medium high heat.
Add a little cooking oil and saute garlic, ginger and onions.
Add chicken and saute.
Add paprika, tomatoes, tomato sauce and salt to taste.
Add water and bring to a boil.
Decrease heat and simmer, covered until chicken is cooked – about 30 mins.
Add peas and garbanzo beans.
Increase the heat and cook uncovered for 5-10 minutes.
Stir in cumin and chopped cilantro.

* I served this over couscous cooked in chicken broth with chopped cilantro.