Spanish Paella

Paella is a classic Spanish seafood dish from Valencia, Spain. Created in a wide pan called a "patella", Paella is a communal/shared dish that is made from short grained rice flavored with saffron and topped with steamed shellfish. The recipe can change widely from local village to village and include regional flavors and ingredients. The combo paella adds different meats like spicy chorizo sausage, chicken, veal and rabbit. Shellfish and fish filets can also be added in many combinations to add a regional flavor.

Spanish Paella
Serves 4-6

  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1/2 lb. Chorizo Sausage
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
  • 2 C Short Grained Spanish Bomba Rice, Sushi Rice or Arborio Rice
  • 3.75 C Chicken or Seafood Stock
  • 1 C Green peas
  • 1pinch Paprika
  • 1pinch Saffron
  • 1 lb. Med. Shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • 1 lb. Mussels, cleaned and rinsed
  • 1 lb. Clams, cleaned and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 Lobster, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 C Tomato, seeded and chopped
  • ½ C Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 1 Lemon, sliced
  • Place the stock in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the saffron and paprika and simmer on low heat. Add the olive oil to a very large skillet. When the oil starts to smoke, place the sausage into the pan, brown on all sides and then remove.

    Add chopped onion and bell peppers and sauté until tender. Add the rice and sauté until it turns white. Add the chorizo back to the rice mixture, then pour in the boiling stock and add the peas, tightly cover the dish and simmer for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the lid, add the clams and mussles then simmer covered for 5 minutes. Again, carefully remove the lid to the pan and place the shrimp into the rice. Cover and cook for 7 minutes or until the rice is tender and the shellfish are open.

    While the shellfish are steaming, place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil to the pan. Season the split lobster with salt and pepper. When the oil smokes, place the lobster into the pan and sear on both sides until the tail curls up.

    Serve the Paella hot, and garnish with fresh tomato, lemon and parsley.

    Roasted Rosemary Garlic and Lemon Chicken

    Roasting a chicken is a very simple and easy skill that can be done with so many flavors. I like to keep things simple with salt, pepper, lemon, fresh garlic and rosemary. You can pop this in the oven for an hour and it will turn out perfect every time. The goal is to cook the chicken so the meat is moist and tender, while roasting the skin so it is crispy and flavorful.

    If you dig this method, try seasoning your chix with cumin, chili powder and lime juice for a Mexican theme, use a BBQ dry rub for quick down home flavor, or marinate in honey, soy sauce and chili flakes for a Chinese style dinner.

    Roasted Rosemary Garlic and Lemon Chicken

  • 3-4 lbs. Chicken, bone in, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Pepper
  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 head Garlic, cloves smashed
  • 3 sprigs Fresh Rosemary, chopped
  • 1 Lemon, quartered
  • Pre heat the oven to 425 F. Place the chicken on a baking sheet and season on both sides with salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon juice and chopped rosemary. Place the smashed garlic cloves, rosemary stems and lemon rinds throughout the chicken and bake for 1 hour. Using a large spoon, baste the chicken every 20 minutes. Reserve the chicken juices to serve with the chicken.

    The chicken is done when the temperature of the meat is 165 F and is not longer pink. You can use a meat thermometer, which is the best way, or simply cut into the meat to check for doneness.

    Huevos Rancheros

    Huevos Rancheros

  • 2 tbsp. Oil
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 Dried Pasilla Chilies, soaked and chopped
  • 13 oz. Canned Tomato and Jalapeño, mild
  • 6 Eggs
  • ½ C Cojita Cheese, crumbled
  • 1/3 C Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Lime
  • 6 Flour or Corn Tortillas
  • Kung Pao Chicken

    Kung Pao Chicken

  • 1 lb. Chicken, small dice
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Pepper
  • 1 tbsp. Cornstarch
  • 1.5 C Onion, small dice
  • 1.5 C Peppers, small dice
  • 1/3 C Peanuts/Cashews
  • 2 tbsp. Veg or Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp. Veg or Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp. Garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. Ginger, minced
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp. Red Chili Flakes
  • 3 tbsp. Soy Sauce
  • 3 tbsp. Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1.5 tbsp. Sugar
  • Place the chicken in a bowl and toss with the salt, pepper and cornstarch. Pre heat a large skillet over medium heat, add the 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan, when it smokes add the chicken in a single layer. Cook the chicken for 3 minutes. Turn the chicken and cook for 3 minutes to brown on all sides and cook through, then remove the chicken from the pan.

    Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan, when it smokes add the onions and peppers. Toss the veggies, cook for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned, then remove from the pan.

    Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan, then add the garlic, ginger and chili flakes. Cook this for 15 seconds and then add the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sugar. Cook for 15 - 30 seconds, then add the chicken and vegetables back to the pan. Toss the mixture to cover in the sauce and cook until thick, about 2 minutes. Toss in the peanuts and serve immediately.

    Blueberry Galette (Pan Less Pie)

    Summer time is the right time for fantastic fruit flavored desserts. Pies, tarts and crumbles are some of my favorite hot weather desserts, but the French galette is a true crowd pleaser and you dont have to be a pro baker to make it. A galette is like a pie without a pan, filled with a fruit filling and topped with ice cream, whipped cream or powdered sugar. I like to make this dessert because the prep is easy and the outcome is wicked awesome!

    You can make the dough from scratch or use store bought pie dough, crescent dough and puff pastry. The fruit filling can be made from all types of berries, and other summer fruits like cherries, peaches, plums and even rhubarb. And remember if you can't get fresh fruit, frozen will work great too.

    Blueberry Galette (Pan Less Pie)

  • 1 Pie Dough
  • 3 C Blueberry Filling
  • 1/4 C Flour
  • 2 tbsp. Milk
  • 1 tbsp. Sugar
  • Pre heat the oven to 425 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. The parchment will keep your baking sheet clean and make the surface non stick.

    Remove the dough from the fridge and place on a surface dusted with flour. Roll the dough out into a large circle about 13 inches wide, don't worry about creating a perfect circle. Place the blueberry filling in the middle of the dough, and leave a 2 inch border. Carefully fold the dough up and around the blueberry filling to create crust, overlapping the dough is all good.

    Brush the edges of the galette with the milk and then sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown, turning halfway through cooking. Remove front he oven and let cool until serving.

    Pie Dough

  • 1.25 C Flour
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tbsp. Sugar
  • 1 stick Cold Butter, small dice
  • 2 tbsp. Ice Water
  • Place the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl and toss to combine. Place the butter chunks into the mixture and press into the flour with your hands until the mixture is crumbly. Mix in the ice water and press the flour mixture into a ball of dough, the mixture will be crumbly. Wrap the dough ball tightly in plastic and flatten to form a disk. Place in fridge and chill for 2 hour or until very firm.

    Blueberry Filling

  • 3 C Blueberries, washed and dried
  • 1/3 C Sugar
  • 2 tbsp. Cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 2 tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1 tbsp. Lemon Zest
  • Place all of the ingredients into a bowl and toss to combine.

    Falafel - Chickpea Fritters

    Falafel is a staple street food in Middle Eastern countries and throughout Europe. A good falafel is made by stuffing a big pita with fried chickpea fritters, seasoned with warm spices like, cumin, paprika and coriander. These crispy fritters are then topped with salads made from fresh chopped tomato, onions and cucumber as well as a parsley and bulgar wheat salad called tabouleh. A falafel is then finished off with a drizzle of tahini (sesame seed paste) and dollop of greek yogurt tzadziki. If your lucky, some places will top the whole thing off with French fries.

    This sandwich is inexpensive to make, has all of the food groups, is vegetarian and bursting with fresh flavors and textures.

    Middle Eastern Falafel - Chickpea Fritters

  • 16 oz. Canned Chickpeas, drained
  • ½ Onion, minced
  • 1tsp. Cumin
  • 1tsp. Coriander
  • 1tsp. Paprika
  • 1 Egg
  • ½ C Bread Crumbs
  • ¼ C Parsley, chopped
  • ¼ C Vegetable Oil
  • Place the first 8 ingredients into a quart sized freezer bag, seal tightly and smash with hands to combine. You can also pulse the all of the ingredients in a food processor until combined. Form 4-8 equal sized balls and then press into patty. Place a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil starts to smoke lightly, carefully add the patties to the pan. Fry the patties on one side for 2 minutes and then turn, continue to cook the other side until golden brown. Drain the falafel well on paper towels and season with salt and pepper.

    You can serve you falafel on pita bread or any middle easter or greek flat bread. Top your falafel with chopped tomato, cucumber, pickles, greek yogurt, hummus, tabouleh, tahini and even french fries.

    Crispy Summer Squash Pancakes

    Crispy Summer Squash Pancakes

  • 1 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 5 C Yellow Squash or Zucchini, small dice
  • 1/2 C Onion, small dice
  • 1/2 C Red Bell Pepper, small dice
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt and Pepper
  • 1.25 C Saltine Crackers, crushed or Bread Crumbs
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/3 C Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. Red Chili Flakes
  • 1 C Cornmeal or Polenta
  • 1/4 C Oil
  • Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil, when it smokes, place the squash, onion and bell pepper into the pan. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Season with squash with salt/pepper then place the mixture into a sieve, strainer or colander. Place the sieve into a bowl, and let this drain for 1 hour in the fridge. The goal is to drain as much of the liquid from the veggies as possible while cooling it down.

    Place the squash mixture into a bowl and smash together with the crushed crackers, eggs, cheese and chili flakes, until a chunky batter forms. Place this mixture into the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up. Remove the squash from the freezer, drain off any water that has come to the top.

    Place a large heavy skillet over medium heat and add the oil to the pan. Form the pancakes by scooping 1/4 C of the mixture, form a patty and lightly dredge in the cornmeal. The batter will be loose, so don't worry about making a mess or that your pancakes are not perfectly shaped. When the oil smokes very lightly, carefully place the pancakes into the pan and cook for 3 minutes. Use a spatula to flip the pancakes once and cook for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the pancakes from the pan and place on paper towels to drain well.

    Season with salt and pepper and serve hot. You can also cool/freeze these for later use. Just place them into the oven or toaster oven at 400 F or until crispy. I like to serve these with chicken and fish for a dinner or lunch and fried eggs for breakfast.

    Old Bay Potato Chips

    Homemade potato chips are truly a special treat! This recipe for fresh thick cut kettle style chips will satisfy your munchies like no other. You can toss in the classic Maryland style seasoning, Old Bay or cover in your favorite seasonings. Try salt and vinegar, bbq seasoning, cheddar cheese powder, dry ranch or italian dressing seasonings.

    Old Bay Potato Chips

  • 2 lbs. Russet Potatoes, sliced 1/8 inch
  • ¼ C Vinegar
  • 1.5 - 2 qts. Peanut Oil
  • 2 tbsp. Old Bay
  • Pre heat a large, heavy cast iron pot over medium/heat heat. Add the oil to the pot and heat to 375 F. We use peanut oil for its clean flavor and high smoke point. Next, slice the potatoes to 1/8 inch. You can hand cut the chips or using a mandolin or food processor.

    Bring a large pot of water spiked with the vinegar to a boil. Cook the sliced potatoes for 2 minutes and carefully remove using a slotted spoon, tongs or bamboo wire strainer/skimmer. Drain the potatoes and dry them well on paper towels. Cooking the potatoes in "vinegarized" water will do 3 things. First, it will quickly remove the extra starch. Second, it will pre cook the potatoes, decreasing the frying time. Last, the addition of the vinegar will make sure the potatoes will not over brown when cooked.

    If you do not want to boil the potatoes, you can soak them in cold water over night, Changing the water several times or until the water runs clear.

    When the sliced potatoes are as dry as possible, carefully place them into the oil and cook for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Move the chips around to cook evenly. Remove the chips using a slotted spoon or tongs, place on paper towels to drain. Pale the chip into a large bowl and toss lightly with the old bay seasoning. Serve hot!

    Ricotta Gnocchi with Peas

    Ricotta Gnocchi with Peas

  • 2.5 C Flour
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 1 lb. Russet Potato, baked and cooled
  • ½ C Ricotta Cheese
  • 2 Egg
  • 2 tbsp. Butter
  • 1 C Green Peas, fresh or canned
  • ½ C Cream
  • ¼ C Fresh Herbs, chopped
  • Remove the skin from the cooled potato and shred finely on a grater. Place 1 cup of flour and salt in a bowl and make a well in the middle. Place the potato, ricotta and egg in the well and start to mix. Lightly knead the dough on the floured surface adding a small amount of flour until it is light and does not stick to the surface. Cut off a small portion of the dough, roll into a snake, then cut the snake into small 3/4-inch portions and place on a sheet tray and freeze for 10 minutes.

    Pre heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter to the pan, then add the peas and toss for 3 minutes. Add the cream and bring to a simmer.

    Boil the gnocchi in salted water until they float to the top, about 90 seconds.

    Add the gnocchi to the sauce and cook until the sauce is thick then toss in the fresh herbs and season with salt and pepper.

    Chicken Piccata

    Chicken Piccata

  • 3 Chicken Breast, sliced thin and pounded flat
  • 1 tsp. Salt and Pepper
  • 1/3 C Flour
  • 2 tbsp. Butter
  • 1 tbsp. Oil
  • 1/2 C Onions, sliced thin
  • 1/4 C Capers
  • 1/4 C Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2/3 C Prepared Chicken Stock, low or no salt
  • 1 tbsp. Butter
  • Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper and then lightly dredge in flour, shaking off any extra. Place a large skillet over medium heat and add half of the butter and oil to the pan. When the oil starts to shimmer, place 3 pieces of chicken into the pan. It should sizzle right a way. Cook for three minutes or until the bottom starts to brown lightly. Turn the chicken and repeat. Remove the chicken from the pan, add the rest of the butter and oil to the pan and repeat with the remaining chicken. Remove the chicken from the pan, then add the onions and cook until soft. Add the capers, lemon juice and chicken stock stirring up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Place the chicken and any juices back in to the pan and simmer on low heat, until the sauce is thick, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in a tablespoon of butter into the sauce and then season with salt and pepper.

    Garnish the chicken with fresh parsley and serve with pasta, steamed vegetables, potatoes, grains or rice.

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