Last summer I was getting ready for my daughter to head off to Barcelona when I became intoxicated by the thought of paella. While I love to cook, I had no experience with what can only be described as a near national dish of Spain. What I liked most about paella was how it would use some of my favorite seasonal ingredients – tomatoes and seafood-for summer entertaining.
After some research I settled on this paella recipe and perfected it over the course of the summer. The beauty of a dish like paella is that, while it may take some time it is time spent well in advance of your guests’ arrival. Pay attention to the timing early on, and some brief stirring once everyone has arrived, but basically, it cooks itself. As it was summer it was wonderful to cook something other than steak and chicken on the grill.
I started the meal with some potato croquetas with aioli, and ended with a simple salad of greens, blue cheese and some orange segments. A little lemon panna cotta to wrap up the night.
Mix up some sangria, grab your paella pan and call up some pals for a trip to Spain (in your own backyard!)