This is a staple in the Vincent–Derham household. John would like to dedicate it to Natasha and Eleanor. Just because.
I have known Renée all my life. She called my dad Uncle Hershey because of all the Hershey bars that he would bring to her family on Christmas, Easter, and birthdays. Renée attended college in Spain, and met and later married a Spaniard who serenaded her below her balcony. It all sounded so romantic. On her visits back to Santa Barbara, our families always got together, and she made the delicious paella she had learned in Spain from her husband’s Uncle Alphonso. I still have my handwritten index card with this recipe, and at the top I wrote just two words: “Yum Yum!”
Grilling paella lends the dish subtle smoke and a particularly caramelized crust and makes it a great dish for summer entertaining. In place of a traditional paella pan, we cooked ours in a large, sturdy roasting pan that maximized the amount of socarrat, the prized caramelized rice crust that forms on the bottom of the pan. Building a large (7-quart) fire and fueling it with fresh coals (which ignited during cooking) ensured that the heat output would last throughout cooking, but we also shortened the outdoor cooking time by using roasted red peppers and tomato paste (instead of fresh peppers and tomatoes), making an infused broth with the seasonings, and grilling (rather than searing) the chicken thighs. To ensure that the various components finished cooking at the same time, we staggered the addition of the proteins—first the chicken thighs, followed by the chorizo, shrimp, and clams. We also deliberately placed the chicken on the perimeter of the pan, where it would finish cooking gently after grilling, and the sausage and seafood in the center, where they were partially submerged in the liquid so that they cooked through; once the liquid reduced, the steam kept them warm
Though chicken and rice is a classic combination, creating a single Latin American version was far from simple.
Ask the fishmonger to cut the grouper into 1-inch cubes for you and remove the shells and veins from the shrimp. You’ll want to purchase clams that are the same size so that they cook evenly. Adding the clams to the stock while it comes to a boil helps speed up the process.
This dish is ubiquitous in Spain. I ordered it at almost every dive and tapas bar I came across and found it to be universally fantastic. The quantities of oil and booze may seem extravagant, but as this dish vigorously boils into a tasty union, the rich and deliciously flavored sauce becomes as desirable as the shrimp themselves.
Chef Omar Allibhoy's friends and family say his is one of the very best seafood paellas they have tasted. The intensity of flavour in the stock you make will be the most important thing, as well as how wide your paella pan is. Believe it or not, it makes all the difference.
Who doesn’t like slow-cooked, soft pork belly? And if, to something this scrumptious, you add the Mojo Dulce sauce that hundreds of customers in my tapas bars have asked me to bottle and sell, then I think we have a winner.
A big tamal (or tamalón) wrapped in banana leaves and baked in the oven is practical because it saves cooks the trouble of wrapping dozens of individual tamales. It is also a thing of beauty—a spectacular way to showcase the elegance of an ancestral food cooked in the embrace of banana leaves and unveiled at the table.
Cava has always been a celebration drink in Spain, but with prices being so affordable these days I thought I could make a sangria with it. The result is so refreshing, fruity and sharp.