Monday, June 17, 2013

Paella at Kitchen Conservaory

I had a great time at Kitchen Conservatory last night teaching a class on Tapas, Paella and Sangria.  Here is a picture of the Paella Valencia.

This is probably the most famous paella containing chorizo, chicken, and shellfish.  Paella takes its name from the pan in which it is cooked.  It is a wide shallow pan that is often cooked on a grill in Spain.  We did it on the stove top for this class.

Don't be intimidated by the list of ingredients, it is a great party dish.

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds large (15 to 20 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 pound Spanish Chorizo, thinly sliced
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tomato, chopped
1 red pepper, roasted and chopped
2 1/4 cups short grain rice-Calaspara or Arborio
1 cup white wine
1/2 teaspoon Saffron dissolved in a combination of 1 3/4 cups chicken stock and 1 3/4 cups clam juice
1 1/2 teaspoon salt add to the stock mixture
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Additional stock, as needed
15 mussels, cleaned
15 small clams, cleaned, Manila if possible
1 cup green peas
Chopped fresh parsley and cilantro

In the paella pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil, and briefly sauté the shrimp 1-2 minutes, remove the shrimp from the pan and reserve.

Add the chorizo to the hot pan and briefly sauté-remove and reserve.

Add the remaining oil and sauté the chicken.  Add the onion, garlic and pepper to the pan and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the rice and continue to stir cook for 1 to 2 minutes more, add the shrimp and chorizo back to the pan, add the cayenne and black peppers, and stir to combine.

Add the wine and let some of it evaporate, add the stocks and saffron.  Cover the pan with foil and bring the mixture to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove the cover and push the clams and mussels (hinged side down) into the rice mixture, scatter the peas across the top of everything.  Add additional stock if the rice seems dry or is sticking.  Cover and continue cooking until the mussels and clams are opened.  Garnish with the chopped parsley and cilantro.

Let the Paella sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Thrill of the Grill

Grilled whole Grouper at Kitchen Conservatory yesterday.

These were about 3 pounds each-they took about 1/2 hour on a low grill.

1 tablespoon minced lemongrass
1 table minced fresh ginger
1/4 cup Nuoc Cham (recipe follows)
1 lime, thinly sliced
1 stalk of lemongrass, cut into 4 inch lengths
8 thin slices of fresh ginger
Kosher or sea salt

Mix the lemongrass, ginger and nuoc cham.

Place the fish on a cutting board and generously salt the fish on the outside and the cavity.  Make four vertical cuts into the side of the fish.  Stuff the slits and the cavity with the lime and ginger slices, and the lemongrass.

Spoon the nuoc cham mixture over the fish and let sit for 10 or 15 minutes before grilling.

Place the fish (belly side to the front-this helps when you need to flip the fish) on the liberally oiled grill.

Let the fish cook for about 12 to 15 minutes per side for this size of fish-smaller fish take less time.  Also for smaller fish, you can use a hotter grill.

With a long fish spatula carefully roll the fish over to grill the second side.

Serve with lettuce wraps, fresh cilantro, mint, and lime wedges.

Serve Nuoc Cham and Thai Peanut Dipping Sauces on the side.

Nuoc Cham

1/4 cup hot water
1/4 cup palm sugar (can substitute brown sugar)

dissolve the sugar in the hot water.

1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced fresh mint
Sliced Thai Bird's Eye or Serrano Chile-add as much or as little as you like depending on how spicy you like it.

Combine all the ingredients with the water and sugar, mix well and let sit for 1/2 hour before serving.  Can be refrigerated.

Thai Peanut Sauce

13 1/2 ounce can of coconut milk
2 tablespoons red curry paste
3/4 cup peanut butter-nothing fancy
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 cup water
Salt to taste

Combine all of the ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring the mixture to the boil.  Serve at room temperature, Can be refrigerated, but thickens a lot.