Kim and I (see previous post A Very Mini Artist’s Colony in New Mexico) had Margaret and Bill Franke (see previous post Disparate Pieces) over for dinner the other night to inaugurate the new table (see previous post Creating Tuscany in Truchas, NM). And, although we were rained out and had to move the party indoors, I think it was still a success. Certainly Kim’s Paella was a hit. He says he’s still experimenting and learning about paella, but you couldn’t prove it by me. It was delicious.
There is something very special about food that is an art form in itself and that is exactly what Paella represents to me. Originally a peasant dish from the east coast of Spain, making use of whatever ingredients were in the kitchen (or the field, lake or sea—Valencian Paella used water vole meat from Lake Albufera, while the Seafood Paella of the Mediterranean coast used seafood instead of meat), it has evolved to become something of an elegant, modern-day comfort food.
Kim’s recipe is one he adapted from an original recipe he obtained from the Spanish Table, Santa Fe, located at 109 North Guadalupe Street, 505-986-0243, http://www.spanishtable.com. They suggest using your imagination, which is what Kim did.
Kim Moss’s Seafood Paella
1 lb. squid, tubes and tentacles
2 cups Valencian rice
4 cups stock (chicken or shrimp/fish bouillon)
5 or so threads of saffron
2 soft chorizo in 1/4″ slices
4 plum tomatoes or 2 larger tomatoes, medium to small dice
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 medium onion, diced
6 shrimp per person
4-5 mussels or clams per person
4 medium artichoke hearts, cleaned and cut into 1/4″ slices
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
1 tsp smoked chili powder
2 tomatillos, cut in 8 wedges each
Shell the shrimp.
Dry the seafood with paper towels.
Oil grill and put in a little mesquite wood to enhance the flavor.
Grill shrimp and squid (not the tentacles) until just done.
Remove from grill and toss with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.
Prepare stock—if using shrimp/fish bouillon cubes (buy at the Spanish Table) use 2 cubes for 4 cups of hot water. Add the crushed saffron and stir until combined. Keep hot.
Saute the diced onion and sliced garlic in a few tablespoons of olive oil until onions are translucent.
Add sliced chorizo and saute for a minute.
Stir in chili powder and tomatoes.
Add rice and stir until well coated with oil and hot.
Prepare artichoke hearts following instructions in previous post: Kim Moss’s Delicious Young Artichoke Hearts, up to the point of stuffing. Cut into 1/4″ slices and place in water with a little lemon juice so they won’t get brown.
Add stock and bring up to a boil, then down to simmer.
When cooked down a bit, add mussels or clams and artichoke hearts.
Continue to cook without stirring until the liquid is absorbed and the rice begins to caramelize on the bottom. Be careful it doesn’t burn. Add and stir in the rest of the seafood and the peas until all is combined and hot.
Serve with chopped chives and lemon wedges.