Posts Tagged onions

Paella Mixta

Paella MixtaI just perfected my recipe over the weekend. We had a celebration dinner for my sister, who just finished up a grueling schedule of straight chemo and chemo/radiation, so I wanted to make something very special for her and those who have helped her get through this. Paella is the perfect dish because it combines both meat and fish. It originated in the fields of a region of Spain called Valencia, which is on the east coast.

When I went tooling around the web way back when I first started to think about putting this together, I found one person who complained about a recipe being nothing more than “rice with stuff in it.” I started thinking about this and determined that it’s a perfect description for Paella. So, frankly, I don’t know what his problem was. It’s also a great description for Jambalaya (which I promise to add very soon, since I have a great recipe in my head for that).

I would recommend you purchase a Paella pan. You could, of course, use a large all-purpose skillet, but a Paella pan is just perfect and can be used for other things…like Jambalaya!

Ingredients

1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs. cut in 1-inch pieces

1 lb jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

Kosher salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

8 oz chorizo cut into 1/4-inch slices and peeled

8 oz Serrano ham, diced

1/2 lb squid rings

1/2 lb langostinos (Chilean lobster tails)

20 mussels, cleaned and debearded

1 cup red. yellow and orange bell peppers, seeded and chopped

1 Spanish onion, chopped

1.5 cups frozen petite peas, thawed

1 15-oz can diced tomatoes

2.5 cups short-grained rice (Valencia preferred)

1/2 cup dry white wine

6-7 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup lemon juice

3 dried bay leaves

1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro

1 tbsp smoked paprika

30 strands of saffron threads

2 tbsp minced garlic

Directions

Place the saffron threads and 1/4 cup of hot water in a bowl and all it it to sit for about 15-20 minutes to steep. Heat oil in a 15-18″ Paella pan over medium-high heat. Season the chicken and shrimp with salt and pepper. Add the chicken, shrimp, ham, squid rings, and chorizo to he pan and cook until brown, remembering to turn occasionally. You don’t want it to burn. Remove the shrimp and squid rings to a plate, leaving the meats in the pan.

Add the paprika, garlic, bay leaves, tomatoes, chopped peppers and onions to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions soften. This should take about 6 minutes. Add the wine, lemon juice, saffron broth and chicken broth and season with salt and pepper. Bring it to a boil over high heat.

Now, add the rice and distribute it evenly with a spoon. Add peas and return the squid rings to the concoction. Cook without stirring until the rice has absorbed a good portion of the liquid. This should take about 12 minutes. Your Paella pan will definitely be bigger than the burner, so it’s important that you turn the pan every couple of minutes to ensure that the rice cooks evenly. Do not worry if the rice “burns” a bit on the bottom. This is perfect. It’s one of the important things that happens with Paella. Adds to the incredible flavor.

Turn the heat down to “low” and add the reserved shrimp. Give the concoction one stir. Nestle the mussels into the liquid (hinge side down). Allow it to cook without stirring until the mussels have opened, the liquid is absorbed, and the rice is al dente. This should take about 5-10 minutes more.

Remove the pan from the burner and cover with aluminum foil. Allow it to sit for about 5 minutes before serving. This is crazy good stuff.

 

 

 

 

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South-of-the-Border Shredded Beef

Mexican shredded-beefThis is an easy yet incredibly flavorful recipe. It’s ideal for Tacos, Mexican pizza, or Enchiladas. The key to this dish is the use of a slow cooker, and a combination of the right spices. If you don’t want to use taco shells or flour tortillas, you can simply serve this beef on shredded lettuce, with accompaniments like sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and Queso Blanco on the side.

The best cut of beef for this recipe is a chuck roast, about 2.5 to 3 lbs. It’s best to cut it into 3 or 4 pieces before embarking on your flavorful journey, and trimming off any large pieces of fat that may be present.

Ingredients

2.5 to 3 lb chuck roast

2 tbsp olive oil

14 oz beef broth

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 tbsp dried cilantro

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

2 Jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped

2 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp cumin

2 tsp coriander

3 oz tomato paste

1 tbsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp Kosher salt

Directions

Cut the chuck roast into four pieces, trimming any large pieces of fat off the meat. This will help the spices reach every area of the meat. Season with salt and pepper, and sear the meat in a skillet on high until all surfaces of the beef are browned.

Place the beef broth, tomato paste, onion, Jalapeno pepper, and the spices in the crock pot and give it a stir. Submerge the meat in the liquid.

Set the slow cooker to high and cook for four hours, then lower the temperature to “low” and cook for an additional hour or so. It’s important that at least 2-3 inches of liquid is in the crock pot throughout the cooking process. This should not be a problem with a slow cooker.

Remove the beef from the slow cooker and shred it using two forks. By now the slow cooker should automatically move to the “warm” setting. Return the beef to the liquid until ready for use.

Remove with tongs and place it on your serving tray. All I can say is “Yum!”

 

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Herb-Roasted Baby Potatoes and Onions

baby-potatoesThis is one of those great side dishes that go with poultry, beef, pork or lamb. Doesn’t matter what you’re serving. I always make this at Thanksgiving, instead of opting to just throw the potatoes and onions in with the bird.

I love using a variety of baby potatoes, making this with Yukon gold, red, and purple potatoes. In some supermarkets (like mine), you can actually buy a variety bag of baby potatoes with all of these spuds included. Of course, you can also make this dish with the more traditional big potatoes. You just have to make sure to cut them into smaller pieces.

You can use either red onions or Vidalia for this recipe. Don’t chop them small. You want the onions to be more or less the same size as the potatoes.

Ingredients

1.5 lbs baby potato variety, cut in half

1 large Vidalia or Bermuda onion, cut in larger pieces

1/8 cup olive oil

1 tsp Kosher salt

1 tbsp coarse-ground black pepper

3 tbsp minced garlic

2 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves

2 tbsp fresh thyme, removed from stems

Directions

Cut the baby potatoes in half (in quarters of some are a bit bigger), and cut the onion into pieces that are about the same size as the potatoes. Put everything into a big bowl and stir, making sure the potatoes and onions are well coated.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the potatoes and onions on a roasting pan in a single sheet. Roast for at least an hour, turning once or twice to ensure that the potatoes are roasted evenly. I often put the broiler on at the end for a few minutes to make the potatoes and onions extra crispy. Just be sure to keep your eye on the roasting pan if you do this.

Remove from the oven and adjust seasonings if necessary.

 

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Fisherman’s Wharf Cioppino

cioppinoI’m naming this Fisherman’s Wharf Cioppino because the first time I ever had this dish I was on vacation in one of my all-time favorite cities: San Francisco. This seafood feast is one of the eight wonders of the food world. It’s origins lie in — as you may guess — Italy. For a “stew” of this complexity, it’s remarkably uncomplicated to make.

Like its cousin, Mediterranean Fish Stew, you can serve it with crusty bread. However, I also highly recommend serving it over pasta, preferably homemade pasta.

You’re going to need a very large kettle or pot for this. I use the pot I cook lobsters in.

Ingredients

5 tbsp olive oil

1 large Vidalia onion, chopped

1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

2 large shallots, chopped

8 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups chicken broth

2 cups fish stock

1 cup all-natural clam juice (Snows is what I use)

1 28-oz can diced tomatoes with juice

1.5 cups dry white wine (Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay)

1/4 cup tomato paste

1 tbsp dried basil

1 tsp dried whole oregano

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tbsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp fennel seed

1.5 tsp salt

1 tsp coarse-ground black pepper

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 bay leaves

1.5 lbs catfish, salmon, halibut or cod, cut in pieces

1.5 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1.5 lbs sea scallops, cut in half

1 lb mussels, cleaned and debearded

1 lb littleneck clams, cleaned and scrubbed

1 lb lump crabmeat

1/2 lb calamari, bodies only cut in 1-in rings

Directions

Heat the oil in a lobster pot or large kettle over medium heat. Add the onions, shallots, pepper and garlic. Cook until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add tomato paste, basil, oregano, thyme, salt, red pepper flakes, and coarse-ground black pepper. Cook for another several minutes.

Add the tomatoes (and their juices), clam juice, chicken stock, fish stock, white wine, fennel seeds and bay leaves. Cover the pot and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for about 30 minutes until the flavors blend together.

Remove the cover and add the littleneck clams and mussels.  Cook, covered, for 5-10 minutes or until the shells open. Remove the shellfish with a slotted spoon and reserve. Be sure to throw away any clams or mussels that have not opened.

Next, add the scallops, shrimp, fish, crab meat and calamari rings. Cover and simmer for 5-7 minutes until everything is just cooked through. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Return the shellfish to the pot and stir in the parsley. Simmer for another 3-4 minutes.

Ladle into bowls and serve immediately with crusty bread. Or serve over pasta with Parmesan cheese on the side.

 

 

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Spicy Indian Dal

DahlHere’s another of those great Indian recipes. I love this stuff. When I was a kid, my family ate lentils all the time. I used to turn my nose up at lentils because I had no idea what they were or how good they truly are. To top it all off, they’re also really good for you.

Well, lentils are the main ingredient in this great dish, and it doesn’t matter what lentils you use…orange, red, green…whatever. Dahl can be used as a side dish as part of an Indian feast, or you can eat it with Pappadum or white rice. By the way, Patak makes a great cook-to-eat Pappadum that you can fry up yourself.

Ingredients

16 oz lentils

8 tbsp Canola oil

3/4 cup chopped tomatoes

1.5 cups chopped onion

3 Jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped

3 tbsp minced garlic

1 tbsp cumin

2 tbsp garam masala

1 tsp cardamom

1.5 tbsp curry powder (Madras, red or hot)

1 tbsp salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp ginger paste

1 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar

1 tbsp turmeric

8 cups low-sodium chicken stock

Directions

In a large pot, heat the oil. Then, add the onions and cook until they are translucent. Do not brown.

Then, add the lentils, Jalapenos, garlic, cumin, garam masala, cardamom, salt, black pepper, sugar, ginger paste, curry powder, and turmeric. Cook for about 2 minutes until the herbs and spices meld together. Add the chopped tomatoes, and deglaze the pan with the rice vinegar.

Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer, and cook until the lentils become tender (about 20-30 minutes), stirring occasionally.

Taste the Dal and adjust the seasonings if need be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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