Thinking about fish this morning. Frank left at 4:45 A.M. for a charter fishing trip. Sam and Daisy have had the good sense to go back to bed. I’m working on a second cup of coffee and thinking about yesterday’s class at Highfield.
Falmouth Fish Market is a wonderful local company. David and Deena Shahzade were kind enough to donate their time and expertise to Highfield as part of the three part Seafood Series that Gail Blakely coordinated for the culinary program. The class was full of great information and included a recipe for paella that I plan to make as soon as possible.
I’ve always assumed that paella required a special large flat pan and was somewhat beyond my reach as a home cook. Deena Shahzade made yesterday’s paella in a large Le Creuset pot, and it was just amazing. Lots of steps, but surprisingly easy and so good.
This is a family recipe that they shared with us. They have two other similar recipes for paella (along with other must-try recipes) in their cookbook that’s available at the fish market.
Ann Shahzade’s Paella
10 cherrystones (or littleneck clams)
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 TBS each: olive oil and lemon juice
1/8 tsp oregano
½ lb each: sweet or hot Italian sausage and cubed ham
¼ cup olive oil
3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into ½-inch strips
1. Clean the mussels and clams and set them aside. Mix 2 TBS lemon juice with 2 TBS olive oil and 1/8 tsp oregano; add the shrimp and let stand to marinate.
2. Prick the sausages with a fork and simmer in boiling water for 10 minutes; remove, drain and cut into ½-inch thick slices. In a large skillet, sauté the sausage in ¼ cup olive oil until browned; remove to a bowl and set aside. Add the chicken to the remaining olive oil and sauté until lightly browned; put the cooked chicken into the bowl with the sausage. Sauté the cubed ham in the same pan and add it to the bowl as well. Set aside.
3. You’ll need the following ingredients for the next step:
1 bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
1 medium onion, chopped
2 to 3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped ( or about half of a 15 oz. can of chopped tomatoes )
¼ cup olive oil
2 cups rice
Add ¼ cup olive oil to the Le Creuset (or other heavy pot that can go in the oven) and add the vegetables; cook until vegetables have softened and the sauce has thickened somewhat. Add the rice to the softened vegetables and stir to coat the rice.
4. Next step:
2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp each: saffron, coriander, and thyme
1 crushed bay leaf ( I think I’ll probably just toss in a whole bay leaf and remove it before serving.)
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
Add the broth, wine and seasonings to the rice mixture and stir well; add the chicken, sausage and ham and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
5. Next step:
1 cup shelled peas, thawed if frozen
½ cup canned chick peas, rinsed and drained
Add the reserved seafood, the green peas and chick peas, and bring to a simmer. Cover and place in a preheated 400F oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until the rice is tender; the liquid has evaporated, and the shellfish have opened.
6. And finally:
½ cup chopped Italian parsley
Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed; garnish with chopped parsley and serve immediately.