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Back when "Flying Was Fun" Alexandra Smythe and Cate Clarke were Flight Attendants with a Major International Carrier. Prior to Private Jets coming into vogue, Alexandra and Cate traveled in the First Class World, meeting and greeting the top celebrities, politicians who would become Presidents, nouveau riche, and yes the occasional Headline Grabbing Criminal in Handcuffs!

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Irene Turner's Paella

Category: Entrees  |  Permalink

Published: Friday, March 4, 2011

 

 

Paella: The Ultimate in Outdoor Entertaining-Napa & Santa Rosa

When I was a child I lived in Barcelona with my family. Often we went to the Costa Brava for the week ends. We'd arrive early in the morning and my father would order the paella and sangria for our late lunch. They cooked it on the beach, and when it was done we'd have a feast!

Occasionally we'd travel to Valencia (the home of modern day paella from the early 19th century) to visit my Aunt Molly and her family. She'd always cook us a paella over an open fire pit in the ground. I'm not sure if it was the large family gatherings or the paella itself, but I have loved paella every since.

Since becoming an adult paella has been my favorite meal to prepare for large family occasions and for special friends. Living here in Sonoma county where we eat and live outdoors so much of the time it's become even easier! We now own a paella burner which makes it very easy to prepare this special dish in either our large or small paella pan. Less then an hour away is the great store called the Spanish Table which carries authentic Portuguese and Spanish ingredients, plus the wines and all accessories you would ever need to create this meal authentically.

 

There are as many variations for paella as there are for risotto. But my favorite is what I first tasted in Spain? A combo of seafood and meat. By the way, this pan and burner do work just as well for risotto dishes.

Below is the recipe I use the most, of course the most important ingredient is in paella as in any dish is to prepare it with love!

1/3 C. of Valencia or Bomba rice per person

1 C. Chicken Stock per person

Saffron dissolved in 1C. of white wine

 Olive Oil

1 pc. of Chicken like a thigh or leg per person

1/2 Soft Chorizo such as Bilbao or Palacios per person

1/2 tsp Spanish sweet pimentos per person

1/8 C. chopped tomatoes (I use Roma Tomatoes) per person

 1 sweet onion

 1 garlic clove per person

 2 shrimp or prawn per person

 2-4 Clams or Mussels per person

 Red Piquillo Peppers cut in strips

 Artichoke Hearts, corn or peas

 Cooked White Spanish Beans

Lemon wedges to garnish

Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat stock in a separate stock pot. Crush saffron and add it to stock or a little bit of white wine. Heat paella pan over medium heat, add olive oil and fry chicken until it begins to brown. Add garlic and onions and sauté until translucent. Add chorizo and cook until heated. Add the rice, stirring until well coated with oil. Add the paprika and chopped tomatoes. Stir while cooking for a few minutes. Add saffron flavored wine and hot stock. Bring to a boil while scraping the bottom of the pan. Now the rice should be level and there is no need to stir from now on. Adjust heat to maintain a nice simmer. When the rice has absorbed a good amount of liquid but still has a soupy appearance add the mussels or clams. Once the rice has cooked add the shrimp or prawns and tuck down in the rice, then the piquillo peppers, and vegetables. During this time the rice should be caramelizing on the bottom of the pan or creating what is called the socarrat. It will make a faint crackling sound and smell toasty sweet but not burnt. Set aside to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, garnish with lemon wedges and serve.

Yumm!

 

Posted by: carolyn rodney
Friday, March 4, 2011 @ 10:43:49 AM

Thank you for this wonderful and authentic recipe. I can't wait to try it!


Posted by: Stacy McLean
Friday, March 4, 2011 @ 7:51:04 AM

Irene, thank you for sharing your story & recipe. You have as much flair in your cooking as you do your designs. I now have a better understanding from where you get your inspirations. I can't wait to try & recreate this lovely dish :)

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