Sunday, September 14, 2008

bluecashew Paella on Kettlehole Road, Montauk NY annual late summer trek to Pam's Pad in Montauk, brings us all to the question "what gastronomic meal are we going to cook?!" ... a difficult query because we have to beat last years, last weekend or even last night's meal. Last summer, our dear friend, the highly regarded chef and cooking icon, Corinne Trang released her third cookbook Asian Grill. Pamela and I had a blast flipping through the beautiful pages, choosing our tempting meal choices. We then stumbled upon the Coconut, an alien fruit!, we were timid to try to understand "the coconut" in it's fresh shell form. From Asian Grill we learned how shop for, break and make coconut cream, milk and snack on the fresh meat. We whipped up a fresh Coconut Curry, accompanied with a gorgeous Green Papaya Salad. The end of the summer meal has stuck on our minds for a year. All our friends were impressed.

This August, while shopping for new new products at the trade show NYIGF, Gregory and I were stopped in the aisle by one of our perky paella pan wholesalers. We had a lovely chat, she was happy to find that bluecashew Kitchen Pharmacy carries her product. We talked about my own version of Paella (I have passed the recipe on to a few lucky customers who popped into our shop). Our conversation turned to methods of cooking Paella, I talked about my bluecashew Paella and told her of how I stirred my Bomba rice. I was scolded!!!!, she scornfully said "You never stir your Bomba rice when you make Paella!!!" .....I was a bit baffled, I always thought that making Paella was sorta like making Risotto...well I was very wrong. A mere shrug, I turned to Gregory and I said, "the next time I make Paella, I guess I won't stir the rice," he said "you are never are supposed to stir Paella!"

....the opportunity arrived on excursion to Montauk...

At Pam's, anyone who knows or has been graced with an invitation for a meal is in for an wonderful experience, a treat always to be remembered. On this trip, we were entertained by Gregory's High School buddy from Miami, Sergio Baradat also a new friend of Pam's, Phillip Graybill, master surfer and musician photographer. Pamela and I helmed the flames...excuse me, I mean the Bosch electric cook top. Paella actually worked well on the Bosch electric stove top. From Gosman's Fish Market, we purchased all the fish and shellfish which came directly off the day boat. Pam and I chose Monk fish, squid, Shrimp and mussels.

When we were preparing the Paella, I was very tempted to stir the Bomba rice...there were many times I wanted to just slowly, place that wooden spoon in the paella pan an give a quick ol' stir...but I held back! When it came time to place the pre cooked fish onto the Saffron Bomba rice, I wondered how would the melody of fish and shellfish would manage to mix in the rice... it was like magic, the Paella came out of the hot oven, just like a spainish chef prepared the meal. Anyway enjoy...I give you bluecashew Seafood Paella....

oh....thanks Pamela!, for all the food memories on Kettlehole Road!!!!

bluecashew Seafood Paella
makes 6 to 8 servings

8 garlic cloves, minced
¾ teaspoon salt
2 cups of mayonnaise
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Mash the garlic and the salt in a mortar and pestle. Transfer to a medium bowl. Whisk in the mayonnaise, olive oil and lemon juice. Refrigerate until cold, can be prepared 1 week early.

Fish Stock
1 1 ½ pound lobster split
5 8-ounce bottles of clam juice (use the CORA available at Adams Fairacre Farms)
2 cups of water
½ pound medium uncooked shrimp, peeled and deviened (shells reserved)
2 fresh parsley sprigs
1 bay leaf
½ cup of dry white wine
1 teaspoon saffron

Cut the lobster tail and claws from the body. Cut tail into 4 pieces. Crack claws. Cover and refrigerate tail & claws. Cut lobster body into large pieces. Bring the clam juice to a boil in a large pot. Add the lobster body pieces, shrimp shells parsley and bay leaf, bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain stock into a large measuring cup, pressing solids with the back of a spoon. If stock measures more then 5 ½ cups, return and simmer until reduced to 5 ½ cups. Mix in wine and saffron. Can be prepared one day before.

18 Mussels, scrubbed and debeared
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 pound squid with tentacles

3 medium tomatoes

½ cup of olive oil
1 pound monkfish
1 ½ cups fine chopped green pepper
12 garlic cloves minced
2 teaspoons paprika
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 bay leaf, crumbled
3 cups Bomba rice
½ cup frozen peas

1 4 ounce jar of pimentos drained
sliced long

minced parsley

Place mussels in a large bowl. Add enough COLD water to cover. Add the cornmeal and salt. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Drain well. Rinse and drain again.

Gently pull tentacles and viscera from the squid. Remove the quill. Cut off tentacles and cut in half. Discard the viscera and the quill. Cut the bodies into ½ inch wide rings. Cover bodies and refrigerate until ready to use.

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut the tomato crosswise, coarsely chop or grate onto a large plate, discard skin. Transfer tomato pulp to sieve and drain. Set aside. You can use canned tomatoes too…

Bring fish stock to a simmer. Cover and keep warm over very low heat. Place paella pan over two stove top burners or one large burner. Add oil and heat over medium heat. Add the lobster tail pieces and claws saute for 2 minutes, transfer to a large bowl using a slotted spoon. Add shrimp and monkfish to the pan. Season with a little salt, saute for 2 minutes; rotate the pan for even heat. Transfer the shrimp and monkfish to the lobster bowl. Add the squid saute 2 minutes. Add the bell pepper, saute 3 minutes. Mix in the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add 3 tablespoons of alioli and paprika and stir and combine. Stir in the tomato pulp, 1 tablespoon parsley and a bay leaf and cook two minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat with the tomato mixture. Add the fish stock and the peas and cook until the rice is partially cooked and liquid is thick, NO MORE stirring from here on, simmer for about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Remove from heat.

Add shrimp monkfish and any accumulated juices in the bowl to the top of paella. Arrange the mussels (on their sides), lobster and the pimentos decoratively atop the paella. Transfer the paella to the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the rice is almost tender(al dente). Remove the paella from the oven cover with foil and let stand 20 minutes at room temperature. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with a side of alioli.

Your guests might enjoy a pitcher of Red or White Sangria to accompany the meal.