Sunday, September 6, 2009

The "Strangers" came for dinner and it was fun!

I think I might have mentioned that I was having a bunch of "strangers" over for dinner. These are people that are on Meet-up. It is a cooking meet-up group. So, it was a pot luck at our house. It really turned out great and no one turned out to be psychotic or anything. That is always a good thing.

So food time it was. Dr Food and I made a paella


Our guests brought really good dishes too. There were all kinds of salads and gazpacho and really good stuff. I really don't remember too much of who brought what because someone (me) has a hangover. Just a little one though.



The group was very very nice and we invited our neighbors JUST IN CASE...ya know...

Yum, there was sate that (insert hangover name loss here) made. It was fantastic


This is a yucca salad that Al made (Yay, I remembered the name AL....Hi Al...thanks for coming)


We also had carnitas that Denis made (he is my neighbor I have to remember his name)




Watermelon and avocado (memory loss as to who brough this)


Carrot salad that Fran and Andy brought


Garbanzo salad


Shelah made this new spin on Caprese Salad (I remember this happening because Shelah was the first person to arrive)


and the deserts! There were lots of them.


So really if I left out a name or a salad or a dish that you brought (and you actually are reading this) forgive me. I just am having a little brain blurp. It was all fantastic and much appreciated.

Recipe from Spanish Table

½ cup uncooked Valencian Rice per person or 1/3 cup if using Bomba
1 cup chicken stock per person
5 threads saffron per person dissolved in a little white wine
4 tablespoons, or more, olive oil, to cover bottom of pan
1 piece of chicken, such as a thigh, per person
½ to 1 soft chorizo, such as Bilbao or Palacios, per person
½ teaspoon Spanish sweet pimentón (paprika) per person
1 clove garlic per person, minced
¼ cup chopped onion per person
c cup grated tomato (cut in half, grate and discard the skin) per person
2 shrimp or prawns per person
2-4 small clams and/or mussels per person
red piquillo peppers cut in strips
artichoke hearts, green beans or peas
cooked white Spanish beans such as alubias de la granja or judión
lemon wedges for garnish
salt 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. Next add garlic and onions and saute until translucent.
Add chorizo and cook until heated. Add the rice, stirring until well coated with oil. Add the paprika and grated tomato. Stir while cooking for a few minutes.

Add saffron flavored wine and hot stock. Bring to a boil while scraping the bottom of pan. Now the rice should be level and you will not need to stir from this point 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 is cooked add the shrimp or prawns tucking them down into the rice, then the piquillo peppers, artichoke hearts, green beans, beans and peas. 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 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, garnish with lemon wedges and serve.

You can also use an oven if you find that your pan is too large to cook on the stove top, even with occasionally moving the pan around on the burner(s). Begin your recipe on the stove top but after adding the liquid carefully move your paella pan into the oven (350/-400/). Once rice is done return it to the stove top to create the caramelized layer of rice on the bottom of the pan.


  1. Wow sounds like a fun party, a lot of great food. See MA is not that bad ;o) Well, you still remember many things so hangover must not be that bad. Oh the paella looks so beautiful, I'm sure it was a great hit.

  2. Sounds like a fun meet-up. And all the food looks delicious!

    I've always wanted to make paella. I'll save this recipe for when I'm feeling ambitious! :)

  3. Your part looks great from these pictures. The food is extravagant, just the way it should be. And you Paella looks amazing. Great job Janis!

  4. I want to be invited to your party...Kansas to New England, not that bad a drive with the right incentive.

    Paella is a great dish, and saffron wine...incredible touch, have to remember that

    Thanks for the post

  5. I need to invite some people over just to get the free grub.

    Kelly at Crock Tease

  6. Hey, Year on the Grill... Kansas to New England isn't all THAT bad of a drive. You can come to dinner anytime.

  7. Wow, that paella looks amazing! I'm sure it was a hit! Glad it hear things went well!

  8. I need to invite some people over just to get the free grub.

    Kelly at Crock Tease

  9. Your part looks great from these pictures. The food is extravagant, just the way it should be. And you Paella looks amazing. Great job Janis!