2018 Spanish GP: Paella with Guest Chef: Rob!

The Spanish Grand Prix is a lovely spectacle and a great excuse to eat tapas and drink sangria.

It's always fun rooting for drivers at their home races. Swaths of yellow Sainz hats, and an abundance of Alonso flags filled the audience. Alonso as usual, out drove his car and made his way into the points in 8th to the pleasure of the crowds, but his Spanish compatriot Carlos Sainz showed him up to reach 7th place. 

Hamilton and Mercedes managed to outpace the whole field and came home with a resounding 1, 2. Ferrari seemed a little perplexed about Hamilton's new pace and maybe even a little worried about what's to come. Hopefully we continue to see competition at the front, it's definitely too early in the season to see a dominant team run away with the championship. All in all a fun race despite Romaine Grosjean taking out Hulk, Gasly, and himself in the first lap. It was great to see Leclerc earn his first points and the two Spainards being up there for their  home race gave the crowds a lot to cheer for. 

For this race, we had a guest chef! Talk about something to cheer for :) 

For over a year now, our friend's Liz and Rob have been inviting us over for Paella. Life and work and god knows what else always seemed to get in the way. And believe me there must have been good reasons because I rarely say no to someone offering me food and even more rarely would I say no to Paella. But whatever the circumstances were, we could never make it happen... until now! Sometimes things just work out for the best. This was the perfect opportunity to have my first Guest Chef post, and honestly it was fabulous. I worked all day on Friday and Saturday at a work function, and to have someone step in and make me a fantastic Paella which was passed on from father to son, was beyond amazing. 

Rob learned to make Paella from his father who in his army days was stationed for a time in Morocco. It was great hearing stories about food, travel, and family tradition. Rob now uses the Paella Mixta recipe from Saveur as a base recipe, as it is the closest he has found to his father's take on Paella. 

Hope you enjoy it! 

Paella

 

Paella Mixta

Adapted from Rob’s fathers time in Morocco and Saveur

10 threads saffron, crushed
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2" pieces
10 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. smoked paprika
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 dried bay leaves
3 medium tomatoes, minced
1 small onion, minced
7 cups chicken broth
2 1⁄2 cups short-grain rice, preferably Valencia or bomba
8 oz. fresh or frozen peas
3 jarred roasted red peppers, torn into 1⁄2"-thick strips
12 mussels, cleaned and debearded (optional)
1 (9-oz.) box frozen artichoke hearts, thawed

1. Soak saffron threads in ¼ cup hot water, let sit while preparing chicken and shrimp.

2. Season chicken and shrimp with salt and pepper. Heat ½ cup extra virgin olive oil in paella pan over medium heat. Add chicken and shrimp, cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove shrimp and set aside.

3. Add smoked paprika, garlic, bay leaves, tomatoes and onions to pan, stirring often cook until onions are softened about 6 minutes. Add saffron mixture and broth, do not add more broth than almost reaches the top of the pan. Bring to a boil over high heat.

4. Add rice by sprinkling over pan to distribute evenly. Cook, without stirring, until rice has absorbed most of the liquid. This will take 10-12 minutes. Rotate on burner every 2-5 minutes, if pan is larger than your burner.

5. Add shrimp back to pan, and top with mussels. Nestle mussels gently into the paella and cook until mussels have opened and rice has absorbed the remainder of the liquid. Remove pan from heat, cover with aluminum foil, and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.