Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Golden Saffron Rice

Recipe by Paula.

This beautiful golden rice has the creamy consistency of a risotto but it is a lot less difficult to make. The key to this dish is to make sure you saute the rice before adding the broth. You'll make this one time and time again. Enjoy!

Serves: 6

4 cups chicken broth
Pinch of saffron strands
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 red or yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups long grain rice


1. Add the saffron to the chicken broth and let it steep for 1 hour.

2. Melt the butter over medium-low heat in a medium sauce pan. Add the onion, red pepper, and salt cook until onions are soft and translucent.

3. Add the rice to the pan and stir to coat. Continue stirring until the rice smells nutty, about 3 minutes. Add the saffron broth, increase heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Reduce the temperature to a medium low, stir the rice and then cover pan with a lid.

4. Cook the rice for 15 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and allow it to rest for 10 minutes without removing the cover. Remove lid from the pan and turn rice out into a serving bowl.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Monkfish & Chouriço Skewers with Herb, Lemon & Chili Dressing

Recipe by Paula.

This is a beautiful summer appetizer or main course. This delicious and simple dish is perfect for entertaining. The skewers and dressing can be prepared ahead of time and then all that's left to do is grill some bread along side the skewers. If you can't find monkfish, use any firm white fish such as swordfish or haddock. Enjoy!

Makes 2 mains or 4 appetizers

500gr monkfish skinless filets, cut it in cubes
200 gr sweet chouriço, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
2 small birds eye chilies, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
3-4 basil leaves, chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil plus more for grilling
Juice of 1 lemon
zest of 1 lemon
Salt & pepper to taste
Grape tomatoes
4 slices of French baguette
1 large garlic clove

1. Pre-heat gas or charcoal grill to medium high heat. Brush the grill surface to make sure it is thoroughly clean.  Soak 4 long wooden skewers in water for 10 minutes. This will prevent them from burning on the grill.

2. Assemble the skewers by adding 1 slice of chouriço, 1 piece of fish, another slice of chouriço and one grape tomato. Repeat this sequence one more time. Keep the prepared skewers in the refrigerator until you are ready to grill.

3. Make the dressing by combining the chilies, parsley, basil, lemon juice, lemon zest and olive oil in a blender or food processor. Pulse until the dressing is combined but not liquified. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

4. When the grill is ready, brush the prepared skewers (each side) with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the skewers on the grill and grill them for 3 minutes a side or until the fish is cooked.

5. Brush the baguette slices with olive oil and add them to the grill along side the skewers. Toast for about 20 seconds or until you get some grill marks on the bread. Rub the toasted bread with the garlic. Keep warm.

6. Place the baguette slices on a platter and set the grilled skewers on top of them. Drizzle the prepared dressing over each skewer. Serve hot with the remaining dressing on the side.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Seafood Stew "Caldeirada de Marisco"

Recipe by Paula.
For me, this is Portugal in a pot. This dish is an abundance of fresh seafood and fish in a rich broth with onions, potatoes and peppers. It is easy to prepare and a delight for anyone who loves seafood. Be sure to serve this with lots of wine and crusty bread to dip into the broth. Enjoy!
Serves: 4 - 6   


1⁄4 cup olive oil, plus more for garnish
1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
1⁄2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or more if you like it spicy
2 medium onions, sliced
2 bay leaves
1 medium red bell pepper, cored and sliced
1 medium yellow bell pepper, cored and sliced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
3/4 lb squid tubes, cleaned and cut into large strips
1 lb potatoes, peeled and sliced into thick slices
1  16-oz. can whole tomatoes, undrained, crushed by hand
1 1/2 cups vinho verde or any other dry white wine
Salt and black pepper, to taste
12 mussels, rinsed and beards removed
12 clams, rinsed
1 lb boneless, skinless monkfish or firm white fish such as swordfish or haddock,  cut into large chunks
20 large shrimp, peeled but tails left on, deveined and shells reserved
1 8 inch square of cheesecloth
1/3 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped


1. In a large pan over medium heat, add oil and heat for 1 minute. Stir tomato paste into the oil cook for another 2 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes, onion, bay leaves, bell peppers, garlic and squid.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for a another 10 minutes.

2. Increase the heat to medium and add the potato, tomato and wine, to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Wrap the shrimp shells in the cheesecloth and add to the pan.  Bring to a simmer then lower the heat to medium low, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the potato is just tender (don't overcook them or they will turn to mush).

3. Add the monkfish, cover and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add mussels and clams, cover and cook for 5-6 minutes or until mussels and clams open. Remove and discard any mussels and clams that have not opened. Stir in shrimp. cover and turn off the heat. The heat in the pan will cook the shrimp in a couple of minutes.  Remove the cheesecloth with the shrimp shells and discard. Remove the bay leaves and discard.

4. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.  Add parsley. Serve immediately with a drizzle of olive oil and lots of bread to dip into the broth.