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Sunday Night Paella, Italian Style

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So, this was an experiment of meaty, epic proportions — and it was pretty good too! I was a little concerned about the shrimp being overcooked, but it wasn’t at all. Good job, paella recipe from the cookbook I forgot I had!

I changed a few things — I added garlic, red bell pepper, fennel and oranges. I used sweet Italian sausage instead of chorizo, mainly because I had sweet Italian sausage in the freezer and I didn’t have any chorizo. If you do this, you may want to add a few red pepper flakes for a bit of spice. Also, since the sausage I used was uncooked, I had to cook it longer in the beginning. You know, because it was raw.

On the side: a salad of sliced mangos, sweet onion and cilantro with a dressing of olive oil (3 tbsp), honey (2 tbsp) and lemon (2 tbsp). Add a few grinds of pepper and some crumbled feta cheese too! Also, crusty bread and goat cheese on the side.

Paella, Italian Style
Adapted from a recipe from the cookbook, At Home with Michael Chiarello, this is a half recipe and will feed 4-5 people. For the original recipe, double . . . → Read More: Sunday Night Paella, Italian Style

Squid Bread Salad with Smoked Chile Vinaigrette

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So, squid. Yeah but wait, come back, this was really, really good! Seriously! And at about $4.50/pound (cleaned even at Whole Foods), this is a great entry in the Cheap Fish Project. As a person who loves deep-fried calamari (I have a standard calamari clause while dining out — if it’s on the menu, we’re splitting it to start, no discussion), I was very intrigued to try squid (aka: calamari) in other preparations.

This was very easy and the vinaigrette is fabulous! I found this interesting wine-soaked manchego cheese at the store while buying my squid, which is why that is on the side here. Plus, I have no problem mixing fish and cheese, so there.

I think we’ll be having this a lot this Spring and Summer. I am even making grilled calamari tacos next Friday! Squid: the other seafood that’s really good and surprisingly inexpensive, especially as you can buy it already cleaned. Hooray!

There are a lot of pictures — squid is very photogenic.

Squid Bread Salad with Smoked Chile Vinaigrette
Recipe adapted from Bobby Flay*, I halved this recipe for two, as written, it should work for 4
1-pound medium-sized squid, tentacles included, cleaned
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground . . . → Read More: Squid Bread Salad with Smoked Chile Vinaigrette

Lemongrass Roasted Chicken with Soy-Lime Dipping Sauce

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I found this recipe both delicious and frustrating. The flavor was very good and the meat eventually turned out great, but I made a recipe error early on and from there, nothing seemed to work as it was supposed to. Mainly, my cooking time was off. I believe this was because I forgot to take the chicken out of the fridge for about an hour before I started roasting it.

It ended up okay, because I just turned the oven up a bit (allowing the skin to get more golden and crunchy too) and gave it a bit more cooking time. This is also a recipe, where, if you have a different cooking time/oven temperature combination that you use regularly, you could just use these marinade/ingredients with your regular method of chicken roasting. I may do that next time myself.

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Salad rolls! — recipe here.

We had this with some coconut rice and some salad rolls. Was super good!

Lemongrass Roasted Chicken
Adapted from a recipe by Mai Pham in The Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table
4 tbsp minced lemongrass (I used 4 stalks)
2 tbsp minced shallots (2 shallots)
2 tbsp minced garlic (4 garlic cloves)
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar
2 . . . → Read More: Lemongrass Roasted Chicken with Soy-Lime Dipping Sauce

Crockpot Minestrone: Because it’s not Spring Yet…

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I used the recipe “Super Quick Minestrone” by Michael Chiarello as the base recipe for this. Of course, since it was cooked it the crockpot, it wasn’t super quick. It was moderately lengthy. But so, so, good. Especially as we were in the 30′s last night and I had to put flannel sheets back on the bed. Hello? April? Are you there? Jeez.

Anyway, I added mushrooms and oregano and started with dried beans here. The house smelled wonderful while this was cooking. But really, when you start with pancetta, garlic and olive oil would you expect any less?

Crockpot Minestrone
1 cup dry cannellini beans
Extra-virgin olive oil
6 cups chicken stock
1/4 pound pancetta, diced
6 medium garlic cloves,minced
1 white onion, diced
1 medium celery stalk, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
1 sprig rosemary
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 dried bay leaf
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 medium zucchini, diced
12 cremini mushrooms, quartered
2 small yellow or red potatoes, diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup tubetti pasta, or other small pasta shape (I used wheat elbow macaroni)
Optional: 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Quick soak your beans — rinse and pick through. Add to a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Let sit and hour. Drain and . . . → Read More: Crockpot Minestrone: Because it’s not Spring Yet…

Happy Easter! Make S’meeps

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I saw this last week on Serious Eats. Brilliant!

It’s pretty self-explanatory.

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Yeah, I made high-end s’meeps with the fancy-pants chocolate…so what?

Get graham crackers, chocolate & marshmallow peeps. Assemble.

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Toast. I did mine for 4 minutes in the toaster oven.

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Remove from oven.

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Put top layer (un-toasted) of graham cracker on. Smoosh down.

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Eat.

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Grumpy-cat is not amused by s’meeps.

Completely unrelated, I played around with some possible new house colors today. We’ve never been happy with the grey/no contrast exterior of the house. Nothing pops. It’s kind of dreary.

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Hopefully, this Summer we will re-side and paint. And do something like this (excuse the kind of crappy photoshop):

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Dark orange door and accents. Green siding/paint. Bright ivory (with a hint of yellow) trim and columns. It would look . . . → Read More: Happy Easter! Make S’meeps