Saturday, September 29, 2012

Paella Night

Everyone shows up for Paella Night.  It's a stressful project, especially over hot coals where there is little control of the temperature. There are a thousand variations of paella but I usually make this one.  It' a combination of seafood, chicken thighs and chorizo sausage.

Crowd size recommendation: 6-8
Level of difficulty: 8/10
Assistance required: yes, 2-3 people to help cook
Cost: $$$ (on a scale of $-$$$$)
Pluses: One pot wonder
Minuses: Timing the rice to be ready as the clams open up can be tricky.

Notes: When the paella is about done, you let the rice burn slightly on the bottom.  That is called...


Paella's finishing touch, La Soccarat, is the most simple yet most elusive part of the process. La Soccarat is the slightly burned crust of rice on the bottom of the Paella pan.

Why would you intentionally burn the rice? Well first, it is only a slight burn, and second, because it adds an orchard-like authenticity to your Paella.

Since we are doing this over charcoal, it's already authentic! Anyhow, heat up second chimney of charcoal when the rice goes in. Then add the extra coals to the grill 5 minute before the dish is finished. This will add a lot of heat to the fire and make it easy to create the soccarat. Just stop stirring the paella for the last 60-90 seconds of cooking and the bottom will get a crust.

Here is the recipe.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Shrimp Boil 2012

Every year this meal gets a little better.   Nothing beats a shrimp boil at the beach.  This was a great way to end the summer.  Thanks Greg for narrating.

Shrimp Boil Recipe