Thursday, August 20, 2015

Stone Fruit Sangria - Caity

There is something about sangria that says, "kick back on the patio and enjoy life". And I am listening! I love sangria in the summer and this Stone Fruit Sangria (stone fruit refers to the pits inside of the fruit) is an excellent addition to any summer get together. With all the beautifully ripe produce around, I insist you try it this weekend! You will not be disappointed. Try serving it with Caprese Salad, Salmon with Blackberry Chimichurri, and Grilled Fava Beans.

Instead of peach brandy, I used High West's Peach Vodka and it was great! This recipe comes from the website, The Kitchn. 

One year ago: Watermelon Popsicles
Three years ago: Blueberry Banana Bread

Serves 4

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Paella Mixta / Mixed Paella - Caity


I have a serious love for paella. We got to know each other very well when I studied abroad in Barcelona and some of my favorite memories there involve paella. I feasted on Paella de Marisco with friends while we explored El Born neighborhood after school. My classmates and I admired (then demolished) two 5-foot-wide pans of Paella Valencia while touring the Valencian countryside. My friend Kristin and I decided to stop for a quick drink after we watched the Magic Fountain on Monjuic and ended up eating a whole Paella Mixta and polishing off two pitchers of sangria. Man, life sure was rough! 

For those of you who don't know what paella is and may not understand my devotion; paella is a Spanish rice dish flavored with saffron. Depending on the type of paella, it might include vegetables, meat, sausage, seafood or any variation.  Traditionally, it was made of whatever was handy: tomatoes, garlic, onion, snails (eek!), rabbit, duck, chicken, beans, and later on, seafood. Paella mixta, or Mixed Paella, tends to be the most popular (especially with tourists) because you get some of everything, chicken, sausage, seafood and vegetables.

 I have tried for 6 years to reproduce the multitude of paellas I ate in Spain. The people that ate the ones I made said it was "really good", but I was never satisfied. It wasn't quite right; the rice was too mushy and burnt on the bottom, or there wasn't enough flavor in the rice, etc. Finally, I have found a recipe and a cooking method that has so far produced 3 paellas that are excellent, in my humble opinion! One of the most important changes is the cooking method. Before, I always tried to cook my paella on the stove but the burners weren't big enough and always resulted in the middle being burnt and mushy and the sides being uncooked. Where can you find a bigger burner? The grill!

This recipe comes from a Portland Catering Company, called "Crown Paella", and I have made only several slight alterations. If you don't happen to have a paella pan, you can use a regular pan (or cast iron) or a wide pot. You want to have as much surface area as possible for the rice and broth to make contact with the pan to create the beloved socarrat (the crunchy rice at the bottom of the pan). Also it is important for it to be grill proof since you will be placing the whole thing on the grill. 

Serves 4

One year ago: Watermelon Popsicles
Two years ago: Tomato Parmesan Farro, Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart with Rosemary Crust, Watermelon Juice
Three years ago: Baby Bok Choi and Snow Peas
Four years ago: Giant OreosGrilled Lemon Chicken and Mushroom Flatbread Pizza


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad with Chipotle-Lime Dressing - Cathy

This recipe is one that was inspired many years ago while standing by the takeout case at a wonderful local restaurant, Oasis in Salt Lake City, admiring a gorgeous, colorful salad.  I read through the ingredients and decided that I'd better try to make it at home, and it's been a family favorite since then.  It's full of color and flavor, but the recipe is not terribly specific, so feel free to adjust to your taste.  Great for a summer barbeque!

One year ago: Watermelon Popsicles
Two years ago: Grilled Cornbread Panzanella, Quick and 
Easy Blueberry Freezer Jam
Three years ago: Rice, Bean and Many Veggie Gratin  
Four years ago: Grilled Lemon Chicken Salad, PanzanellaGrilled Salmon with Sundried Tomatoes