I’m a huge fan of nibbling and trying lots of different bites and flavors. I’m also a huge fan of dinner parties, especially ones that aren’t too fussy. Dun-da-dun-dun… Enter the tapas party. Put out some nuts, crackers, chips, cheeses, anchovies, pickles, charcuterie, and a pitcher or two of sangria and you’ve got yourself an insta-party. I added some seasonal goodies like segmented sumo tangerines, roasted cauliflower, and steamed asparagus. Round it out with a Spanish tortilla for the vegetarians and a paella for everyone else. Olé!
2 tbl olive oil//2 cups Bomba rice//1 onion, diced//2 cloves garlic, minced//1 red pepper diced//2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced//2 teaspoons paprika//5 cups of dashi (see recipe below) + 1 pinch of saffron threads//1 lb squid, cleaned and cut into 1/4 inch rings//1 lb mussels, debearded//1 lb manila clams, scrubbed and soaked in salted water to remove sand//1 lb halibut filet, in 2 inch chunks//1 lb large shrimp, deveined with shells on//1/2 cup of peas, either defrosted frozen ones or shelled and blanched ones//lemon wedges and chopped parsley for garnish
First prepare the sofrito. Heat paella pan over medium heat, add olive oil, onions, red pepper, garlic, and tomatoes. Saute, about 20 minutes, until reduced to a dark red, stirring occasionally. Add rice and paprika and toast for a few minutes. Next, add the squid and the heated saffron infused dashi. Stir it a bit and bring it up to a boil over medium-high. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and stop stirring so that you develop a nice socarrat, or the crispy bottom that we all love. It is going to come together in about 18-20 minutes from this point so having a mise en place is a life saver. Trust! After about 8 minutes, add the shrimp and halibut. Steam the mussels and clams in a separate pot and add to the top of the paella just before serving. This keeps them from overcooking, which they so easily do. Add the peas about 15 minutes into the process. Garnish with chopped parsley and lemon wedges.
6 cups filtered water//2 pieces of kombu seaweed//3 dried shiitake mushrooms//1 1/2 cups bonito flakes, packed
Soak kombu and shiitakes in water overnight. Bring the water to a boil and remove the kombu. Turn the heat off and drop in bonito flakes. Wait 30 minutes and strain. Use immediately.