Our wine group pals were inspired to have a paella party last summer after our friends Jim & Lynne returned from their vacation in Spain.
But Summer craziness got in the way then school started, (we're all educators in one form or another) then ski season opened, etc.. and it ended up that it was March before the paella party actually occurred. This group of friends is good with rolling with it.
|Our wine group celebrating Lynne's bday last fall|
G&I offered to host; we've done paella parties before, have the pan and love to entertain so it was a no brainer to make that offer with this group.
Now Spain inspired the gathering.. but Rick Bayless' cookbook Fiesta At Rick's inspired much of our menu for the evening. We know Rick's is obviously the Mexican version of paella but we're not a finicky group...well not finicky unless we're talking wine, I should make an accurate statement if I'm speaking for the group.
We asked each couple to bring a half pound of seafood (mussels, clams, shrimp, prawns & cod) a tapas dish and a bottle of wine.
First we started off with Rick's Champagne Cocktails and tapas.(drink recipe linked and available on Rick's website http://www.rickbayless.com/ we used lime, lemon & blood oranges for our margarita combination....they were so yummy!)
We had a variety of wonderful tapas to start off with. We actually could have been fully satisfied without even having paella but it was the theme of the party so we couldn't really abandon the idea at this point.
Let's see what tapas I can even remember at this point: (sadly I didn't get individual photos of each dish....maybe too much tequila already at this point )
- marinated olives, green beans with anchovies
- a marinated flank steak & garlic stuffed olives
- roasted beats with goat cheese
- Rick Bayless' Tequila- Infused Queso Fundido (linked and also available on Rick's website)
- pico de gallo & jalapeno bread
After indulging in many tapas & champagne margaritas G&I got started with the paella. We used Rick's Mexican Paella for Six recipe from Fiesta At Rick's but doubled it for 12. We also added clams and cod to the seafood mix and substituted chicken thighs for the drummettes.
Earlier in the day I had roasted the poblano on the grill. The poblanoes are added to the sofrito mixture which I started inside on the stove. I added the chorizo.
Next it was time to add the bomba rice and warmed chicken broth to make it into a paella...
After cooking about 15 minutes we added the chicken thighs, clams, mussels, prawns and cod to the pan.
Next we covered with the pan with foil and moved it out to the wood fired grill. Our original Summer Paella Party plan was to do it all outside on the patio but obviously in March that wasn't going to happen but luckily on this Saturday night it was clear and not too cold so we were at least able to finish the paella on the grill.
|After 10 minutes or so on the grill...it needed a few more minutes|
We transitioned from the tequila and tapas to the dining room table while G did the finishing touches with paella.