Wednesday, August 18, 2010


A few weeks ago we had another get together of some of my landscape architecture college friends. It looks like this is going to be a annual event and it is so much fun. We all gather at my friend's parents' house that is in Gig Harbor right on the water. We always go clamming and get so many clams. We really have a blast and our group are quite the foodies. We were all joking about when we are all going to quite the landscape architecture thing and open a restaurant.

With all those clams, I made a really good clam chowder for dinner with the help of a few sous chefs. It was so fresh and creamy. We all really enjoyed it. Even though that chowder used up a cooler of clams, we still had a lot left over so we were able to bring a lot of clams home with us. I steamed and froze most of the clams I brought home for use in future chowders but I saved a few so that I could try making a Paella. Paella is a Spanish rice dish that often has seafood, chicken, sausage and various vegetables. I had the clams, some shrimp in the freezer and some spicy sausage so that is what I used. People can make Paella out to be a big deal but they really can be simple and very delicious. You don't really need a special Paella pan and you can really add what you wish.


Makes 4 servings

3 1/2 cups chicken stock, preferable homemade
Pinch of saffron threads, optional
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 yellow pepper, cut into strips
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 cups short or medium-grain rice, preferably Arborio
2 cups peeled shrimp
about 15 butter clams
2 cooked spicy sausages, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
Salt and black pepper to taste


1. Preheat the over to 500*F. Warm the stock in a saucepan with the saffron if you're using it. Place an ovenproof 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. A minute later, add the onion and cook, stirring until translucent, about 5 minutes. Then add the pepper and cook another 3 minutes.

2. Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until glossy, just a minute or two. Season liberally with salt and pepper and add the warm stock, taking care to avoid the rising steam. Stir in the shrimp, clams, sausage, and peas and transfer the skillet to the oven.

3. Bake for about 25 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is dry on top (it's nice if it browns a little on the bottom, too. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from The Best Recipes in the World by Mark Bittman.

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