Sunday, July 25, 2010

Foodbuzz 24x24: Port Aransas Paella Dinner Party

My Port Aransas Paella Dinner Party, which benefits the Greater New Orleans Foundation, begins with Margarita's on the Rocks loaded with lime and rimmed with sea salt. Next, I served a mixed greens salad with shallots, cherry tomatoes and a zesty lemon vinaigrette with a generous dusting of pepper. The main course is my hearty Paella, utilizing gulf shrimp, clams and tilapia as the seafood aspect, with chicken and jalapeno sausage as well.  This menu is bright, colorful and full of flavor, perfect to celebrate the wonderful Gulf Coast!

My Margarita
  • 2 1/2 jiggers Cedar Door Margarita Mix (the BEST in Austin)
  • 1 jigger tequila
  • 1/2 jigger Grand Marnier
  • juice of one lime
Directions: Wipe a lime wedge around the rim of your glass and rim with sea salt.  Fill your glass half full with crushed ice. Add the mix, tequila, Grand Marnier and stir well.  Top with lime juice and serve with an addition lime wedge on the side.

Mixed Greens Salad
  • your choice mixed greens, rinsed and patted dry
  • cherry tomatoes
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • juice of 3 lemons
  • 4 T olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste 
Directions:  Make the vinaigrette by mincing the shallots and adding to a small bowl.  Add the lemon juice and slowly add the olive oil, whisking until incorporated.  Salt to taste and slowly drizzle onto your salad, making sure you don't drown it... a little goes a long way. To finish, add fresh cracked pepper.

Hearty Paella 

  • 1 T fresh oregano
  • 1 T fresh thyme
  • 1 T Italian parsley
  • 1 T rosemary
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T red wine
  • 1 T coriander
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 T cayenne pepper
  • 1 t. red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 chicken breasts
Put fresh herbs into the Cuisinart with the garlic and process until finely minced and almost a paste.  Remove half and set aside.  To remaining herbs and remaining ingredients above but chicken and process until a course paste forms.  Rub chicken with paste but reserve 1 T for later use.
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 6 oz Chorizo
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 4 links jalapeno sausage, sliced

In your Paella Pan or Dutch Oven, add olive oil then remaining ingredients and reserved herb paste from above.  Cook until onions are soft but not brown, crumbling Chorizo and stirring frequently.  Transfer to bowl.

  • 3 C chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 C clam juice
  • 1 t saffron threads
In heavy saucepan over medium high heat, bring stock and clam juice to a simmer.  Add saffron and mix well.
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 1/2 C short grain rice
  • 3 T red wine
  • 1 lb uncooked shrimp, deveined and tails ON
  • 12 clams
  • 2 large tilapia fillets, cubed
  • 2 bay leaves
In Paella Pan or Dutch Oven, add olive oil and rice, cooking until opaque, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.  Add 3 T wine and scrape up all previous cooking bits.  Add stock mixture and bay leaves.  Bring to a boil , reduce heat and simmer until rice is tender, about 25 minutes.  Midway through cooking the rice, add your shrimp, clams and tilapia cubes.  If a clam does not open, discard it.
  • Herb rubbed chicken breasts
  • red, yellow and orange bell peppers
Fire up your grill and cook the chicken breasts from step 1 until cooked through with a little char.  Toss the peppers on the grill and roast until soft with char marks.  Cut the tops off, remove the seeds and cut into 2 inch strips.  Tent the cooked chicken, letting it rest for 5 - 10 minutes, then slice.

  • 8 oz frozen petite peas
  • lime and lemon wedges

To assemble: Over low heat, add the chorizo/sausage mixture to your rice and seafood in the Paella Pan and gently toss.  Add the roasted peppers and sliced chicken and gently toss.  Finish with the frozen peas and stir them in.  Turn off the heat and let it rest for 5 minutes, covered.  Serve with your lemon and lime wedges and enjoy!


Jimi said...

Yumm! Thanks for your support of the Gulf Coast. Although I live in Austin I spend more time in Port Aransas these days. We tend toward more simple beach meals down there but yours is something to aspire to.

- Jimi

The Cilantropist said...

Wow that paella looks fantastic! I bet that margarita is not so bad as well. :) Great work benefiting the Gulf and having a wonderful meal!

Unknown said...

I thought the margarita looked good until I saw that paella. WOW. It looks fantastic. Can I come to your next party??? :)

Heather said...

Mmm..I love paella AND margaritas!

J Rodney said...

That last photo did it for me:)

Everything looks great, and you sure made me hungry.
I’m stopping by from Foodie Friday.
I made danske pandekager, if you want to see how delicious they are check them out @ Frugality Is Free