Our girls are away at gymnastics camp this week (sad face). Its really quite different here without them. Its so quiet, I miss hearing their feet hit the floor in the mornings, their sleepy faces and bedhead hair when they wake up. Its hard to believe, but I even miss running them here and there. Last summer, my husband and I traveled while they were gone. We spent a good part of the week in Boston and then met our neighbors for a few days in New York City. We tried to keep ourselves busy in an attempt to pass the time quicker. This year, as we will soon be beach-bound, we decided to stay at home, but planned a few things to do. One of which was to do a little cooking together.
My husband chose the recipe for our first meal and did all the grocery shopping. He decided on Seafood Paella. Paella is a Spanish rice dish originating in the eastern region of Spain known as Valencia. So, with Giada DeLaurentis' recipe in hand, we began to cook.
We cleaned and prepared the clams and mussels as well as the sausage, chicken, shrimp and halibut.
The vegetables, to include 1 medium fennel bulb, 1 medium red bell pepper, 1 small onion and 6 large garlic cloves, were chopped.
We sautéed the vegetables in some olive oil before adding to a base of clam juice and diced tomatoes in their juices. We then seasoned the mixture with 3 turkish bay leaves, smoked paprika, saffron, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
The recipe we used called for spaghetti, but we substituted Arborio rice instead. We covered the mixture and let simmer for about 25 minutes with the subsequent result.
We steamed the remaining clams in butter and white wine (and ate every single one).
Our review ... excellent recipe = amazing dinner. This recipe will be most definitely be used again. Cooking together was so enjoyable. We do so on occasion but we are looking forward to making it a more regular occurrence.
We took our meal outside, topped it off with some homemade Sangria and enjoyed our dinner for two.
You can find Giada's recipe here.
Note: We substituted one cup Arborio rice for the spaghetti noodles.