Monday, April 8, 2013

To Love And Paella

There are lots of ways to show one's love, and one of my favorites is dinner. I'm of that school of thought that believes that making food for someone is a true act of love. If cooking is the way to a man's heart, I say, "Move over, men!  I'm hungry, too!"

So, when pals Sari and Jeff, newly engaged to be married (!), invited us over for dinner, we were thrilled. We got to admire Sari's lovely new ring, just picked up from the jeweler the day before, to toast the happy couple with champagne cocktails made with a splash of Chambord drowned in pink champagne, and to watch as Jeff concocted on his Weber wok the most sumptuous pan of paella it has ever been our pleasure to enjoy.

Jeff says it's easy. I'm not so sure, but his description did sound a lot like making a simple risotto, only adding the shellfish and the peas at the last minute. According to his recipe, you just soften chopped onion in olive oil, add the saffron rice to cook for a few minutes, then start ladling in chicken broth until it is all absorbed. He added chunks of spicy, dry sausage and chunks of skinned chicken to the mix at that point, giving the chicken a few minutes to cook and the sausage to warm through. You can put it aside now to await the guests, if you want. He sprinkled frozen peas on the warm rice mixture, to give them a few minutes to thaw. 

Once we had enjoyed our cocktails, and oohed and aahed over the ring and a photo of her dreamy wedding dress, it was time to finish the paella. 

Jeff put the pan back over the fire and, stirring constantly, added the shrimp, clams and mussels that he had scrubbed earlier. As soon as the shellfish popped open and the shrimps turned a soft pink, he served it in big, open bowls, topped with fresh chopped parsley.

We heard the funny story of his anxious visit to her father to ask for her hand, his proposal, and the wedding plans as we plucked plump clams and mussels from their shells and nibbled on the delicate little shrimps. The rice was flavorful and filling and the sausage gave a little zing of heat and salt to the dish.

Replete, we sat back and contemplated all the love flying around that room. Sari's ring sparkled in the evening light, the nearlyweds cast loving gazes at each other across the table as they described their wedding plans, My Beloved and I were thrilled to see our dear friend Sari so happy, and we were all filled with Jeff's paella love. 

A toast to Love and Paella!


Blogger Greg said...

Food,friends and love! The food looks wonderful and the bowl is envy worthy.

Monday, April 08, 2013  
Blogger Diane said...

paella and love indeed! can't think of a better combination.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, yes, lovely bowls, indeed.

Diane, nor can I. :-)

Thursday, April 11, 2013  

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