My Paella Recipe

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I made paella last weekend and thought I’d post my recipe.  My family loves it so now they know where to find the recipe when they need it.  I make everything but the chicken and rice ahead of time then gently warm everything in the microwave and assemble it right before serving.

The first thing I make is lemon garlic mixture that will flavor the rice when it’s done.  In my mini chopper, I whirl together:
The zest of a lemon
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
12 garlic cloves
salt & pepper
This goes into tupperware and waits in the fridge for assembly.

Then I saute the sausage.  I used a fresh chorizo and a fresh andouille sausage removed from their casings, crumbled and browned and smoked andouille sausage links sliced and browned.

Red and yellow peppers were sliced, seeded, splashed with red wine vinegar and olive oil then roasted for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  Once they’re cool enough to handle, I peel the skin off.

Then comes the seafood.  Sea scallops patted dry and sauteed in a little olive oil just 2 minutes per side.  Then shrimp were peeled, deveined and sauteed in a little olive oil.  They just take a minute or two per side.

To do the chicken thighs, brown both sides in a little olive oil and butter.  Put them skin side up on a baking pan, season with salt and pepper then put them in the oven at 450 degrees for 30-40 minutes depending on how big they are.  They come out crispy and delicious.

 

Here’s what goes into the rice:
3 cups of long grain rice sauteed in a little butter
6 cups of chicken stock
A pinch of saffron
salt and pepper to taste
Bring to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes, toss 1 cup of frozen peas in during the last 3 minutes of cooking.

Assemble everything and enjoy!

 

Red Roosters

Cranberry orange vodka slushies, aka Red Roosters, are a staple in our house this time of year.  They’re super simple, just three ingredients:

A bottle of Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Cocktail (cheap store brands just don’t work for this, I think they probably have a lot of water in them)

Frozen orange juice concentrate (the large one, they come in two sizes)

Vodka

Grab a container with a lid that’s freezer safe.  I always use some sort of plastic for this recipe, like Tupperware.  Dump in the entire container of cranberry juice into your container then add the frozen OJ concentrate.  You may want to let it sit at room temp for about 30 minutes, that will help with mixing the OJ in.  Depending on how strong you want it, fill the emptied frozen OJ can from 1/2 to completely full with vodka.  Mix everything together well then put a lid on it and  pop it in the freezer for overnight.  The next day, scoop it into glasses and serve it with a spoon.  The alcohol keeps the juice from freezing solid.  It comes out like shaved ice and is super yummy.

 

Chocolate Caramel Apples

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Williams Sonoma makes the most amazing chocolate caramel apple.  We usually send one to our daughter Claire for her birthday but since she was home for it this year, we made her one ourselves.  You start with the best crisp large apple you can find.  We’ve used fuji in the past but are now fans of the giant honey crisp apples.  To cover two apples, I used a half of a bag of caramels.  These were melted very slowly in the microwave at half power, like 10-25 seconds at a time.  Once they were melted, I stirred in about 2 Tbsp. of corn syrup to soften the finished caramel and then added about a half tsp. of good vanilla.  This caramel mixture gets spooned onto the apples, which set up in the fridge on a square of waxed paper.  Once they are set, in about 20-30 minutes, I spoon on gently microwave melted chocolate.  Claire likes semisweet so that’s what I used.  We’ve also used milk chocolate and bittersweet in the past, too.  Once the chocolate sets up – just slice, core and serve.  A guaranteed crowd pleaser!

Make Your Own Butter

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Making butter at home is really easy.  Purchase a small carton of heavy cream at the grocery store, pour it into a mason jar larger than the amount of cream you purchased, put a lid on it and shake.  It takes between 5 and 10 minutes, so make sure you have a friend available to help shake it.  When you start seeing solids in the  jar, shake it a bit more and pour off the liquid.  Rinse the solids in cold water a few times, pouring off the water after every rinse.  Drain the solids, stir, add a little salt and pop some bread in the toaster!   I’ve been making goats milk cheese for about 5 months now, and have noticed a bit of cream rises to the top of a jar of goat milk after sitting in the fridge a few days.  Getting a decent amount of cream from goat milk is difficult, it requires an electric cream separator which usually costs more than a pasteurizer.  I decided to scoop whatever cream I could get off of each jar, a little over a teaspoon.  I put it all in a jar, shook it, and 5 minutes later we had goat butter and it’s delicious!   You don’t need goats to try this at home,  just a carton of heavy cream.  Give it a try,  you’ll impress just about everyone you know!

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

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Whenever one of our girls comes home for a visit I always ask them what they want Mom to make them for dinner.  I’ve stopped asking because it’s always the exact same answer – Buffalo chicken pizza.  This is something I figured out on my own and is our family’s number one favorite.  I start with a pizza crust (I make my own), a cooked chicken breast, 3 Tbsp. of butter and about a cup of Frank’s hot sauce.  The butter gets melted in the microwave and then mixed with the hot sauce.  Into that goes diced chicken.  That mixture gets spread on the raw pizza dough then I spread thinly sliced raw garlic on top.  This goes into a 500 degree oven for 10 minutes.  I take it out of the oven and sprinkle blue cheese and shredded mozzarella made from our goat’s milk.  It goes back in the oven for another 5 minutes and it’s done.  The pizza gets served with thinly sliced fresh celery tossed on top.  I considered putting the celery on before it goes into the oven but it’s a very nice touch with a raw crunch.  Yum!

Smoked BBQ Pizza

Leftover smoked country style pork ribs were sliced and repurposed as pizza for dinner last night.  A good friend got a Viking smoker a few months ago.  Every time he fires it up we get an email that states simply “smoker’s on”.  You don’t have to tell me twice!  We’ve tried lamb shoulder, bratwurst, turkey breast, turkey wings, hot dogs and pork ribs (favorite).  I learned to make my own pizza dough in a Cuisinart when we moved here to the land of no good restaurants.  It’s really easy.  You can also ask your grocery store or local pizza parlor if they sell dough.  The dough gets stretched on a cornmeal dusted pizza stone.  Instead of a tomato sauce for the pizza, I mixed together two of our favorite BBQ sauces and spread that on the  dough and laid sliced pork on top.  The pizza goes into a 500 degree oven for 10 minutes, then mozzarella (home made goat’s milk mozzarella last night) goes on top.  Five more minutes in the oven and it’s done.  And it’s delicious!

Roasted Beets

Monster beets have been growing in our greenhouse interior bed.  Here’s how I roast them. I didn’t have a fresh orange to squeeze onto them when done, but it would be a nice addition.

Peel and slice beets into 1/2 inch wedges.

Place them on a roasting pan coated with olive oil and a layer of fresh rosemary.

Toss in peeled garlic cloves.

Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, season with salt and pepper.

Roast at 350 degrees until desired doneness.  Start checking them in 30 minutes.

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