The Literate Chef

Posts Tagged ‘Chorizos’

A Serendipitous Halibut Dinner

In General Articles on March 25, 2012 at 3:25 PM

With the recent spate of Spring weather that we have been experiencing, since even before the official start of the season, and with the grill having been fired up last week for the shell steaks that accompanied Aunt Emma’s Sauteéd Mushrooms, I thought that grilled striped bass would be in order for last night’s dinner. However, upon visiting the local fishmonger, alas, there was no bass! But he did have a beautiful piece of halibut fillet and it was of a good thickness, slightly more than one inch throughout.

Having found in the past that grilling a halibut fillet doesn’t seem to work, because the flesh, while dense, seems to fall apart on the grill, I now had to figure out what to do with it. For inspiration I stopped by the supermarket, and in trolling the aisles my eyes lit upon Chouriço. I had not cooked fish with sausage before, but the combination works very well in Paella and in Shrimp Jambalaya, and having read pasta recipes that combined clams with smoked sausage, I thought… why not?

I began to envision the dish taking shape. First, it would need some form of a sauce and should be served in a bowl as a one dish meal, as is done in many restaurants. Accordingly, I picked up a bag of spinach which would serve as the ‘bed’ for the halibut. Next, maybe some mushrooms to add to the chouriço to create the sauce. In the mushroom section I found a package of dried Porcini mushrooms, which, with their big flavor, would be a perfect counterpoint to the rather bland halibut. Then, a couple of San Marzano tomatoes to give the sauce a base, and maybe a Cherry Pepper to give it some heat and white wine for the liquid. Those three ingredients presented no problem, as they were all at home. Finally, I grabbed a package of fresh chives to add color and a bit more flavor.

The end result, Roasted Halibut with Chouriço and Mushrooms, was even better than I had imagined. And this morning, I used up the remaining chouriço for a quick Omelet.                                                                      

Roasted Halibut with Chouriço and Porcini Mushrooms

Chouriço Omelet

Paella Isabella

In Recipes, Rice, Seafood on January 29, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Paella Isabella

Paella Isabella

The secret to great paella is to be vigilant during the cooking process, constantly turning the mixture as ingredients are added, while simmering on low heat. The rice should be moist, sticky and tender when finished, so taste it periodically during the cooking. Make no mistake about it, paella is not a ‘fast food’, but the attention it requires is repaid by a delicious and most enjoyable meal.

Special equipment: a carbon steel 12 to 14 inch paella pan, a wooden spoon for stirring and large spatula for turning.

Total preparation and cooking time: 1 ½ to 2 hours. Serves 4 to 6 people.

•    2 tbsps. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
•    4 Boneless, Skinless, Chicken Thighs, halved
•    4 tbsps. Unsalted Butter
•    1 Large Yellow Onion, chopped
•    1 qt.  Unsalted Chicken Stock
•    1 tsp. Saffron
•    1 Cup of Arborio Rice
•    3 Chorizos, sliced ¼ inch thick
•    ½ lb. Frozen Peas
•    ½ lb. Mussels, de-bearded and rinsed
•    2 dozen small Littleneck Clams, scrubbed and rinsed
•    2 Lobster Tails, removed from shell and quartered
•    ½ cup dry white wine
•    1 lb. Large Shrimp, cleaned and deveined
•    2 large Roasted Red Peppers, thinly sliced
•    1 small jar Marinated Artichoke Hearts, drained

1.    Heat the olive oil on medium and brown the chicken.
2.    Remove and set aside the chicken, add and melt the butter.
3.    Add onions, sauté until translucent.
4.    Add 3 cups of chicken stock and bring to a low boil.
5.    Add saffron and stir well, then add the rice.
6.    Cook over low-medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring constantly.
7.    Add back the browned chicken, then the chorizos.
8.    Add the peas and remaining cup of chicken stock, reduce heat to low.
9.    For the next 30 minutes add and stir constantly the following ingredients: mussels, clams and lobster meat.
10.    When clams begin to open, add the wine and cook 5 minutes.
11.    Add the shrimp, peppers and artichoke hearts, stir until shrimp turn pink approximately 15 minutes.

Serve with Rioja wine such as: Marques De Caceres Rioja Crianza Red

Please see: Cooking in Naples…Florida, that is!

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