So I took a break from blogging. Now it's over.
There are few dishes in this world that get me worked up as much as paella does. To me it's a bit of home, it tastes of family, it intoxicates with memories. The alluring aroma of saffron haunts me. Paella always makes me miss my mother, father & especially my grandmother. The parents love paella as much as I do so whenever we cook it its always special.
This past 4th of July our dearest friends Justin & Amy invited us to have lunch with them. Anytime they invite us over we jump at the chance because we not only laugh like fools but what we eat is always uber-delicious. I suggested that I could make paella to which Justin replied "uhh YEAH". Last year for my birthday they gave me a new paella pan which I've made very good use of. I've even taken it to Washington State to cook paella at a vineyard. However, I've yet to cook for them in said pan.
Whenever Justin & I get together to cook most of our communication is non-verbal. We just seem to know exactly what the other one is doing & needs & we just do it. We immediately got to work in the outdoor kitchen chopping, dicing etc. I whipped up the sofrito with sherry vinegar, garlic, onion, yellow pepper, celery, smoked paprika, a bit of water, white wine, tomato & tomato paste. Justin toasted the rice in olive oil while I bloomed the saffron in stock & wine. We washed & chopped kale, olives, hearts of palm & artichoke hearts. Justin charred up some scallions with a little olive oil on the grill.
While we waited for the sofrito & saffron infused stock to cook down into the rice we laughed, chatted & laughed & chatted. Justin had the brilliant idea to saute the artichokes, hearts of palm, olives & red pepper to warm them through. I absolutely adore warm olives. He cracked some luscious looking eggs into the paella for a little extra richness. We garnished with the sauteed veggies & charred scallions.