Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Little Spanish Cooking for a Special Dinner

Summer is a time for people to get together and enjoy the weather, friendships and good food.  This week I offer you a couple of recipes to create an enjoyable evening of family and/or friends.

I've picked a simple but slightly expensive Spanish meal.  It starts with a fresh salad.  "Avocado, Orange & Almond Salad" combines a with fresh ingredients with just a little olive oil, lemon juice and parsley seasoned with salt and pepper.

The entrée is a Spanish stable, "Paella."  Today's version is  "Shrimp & Chicken Paella."  Many paella recipes will call for mussels and small squid too.  This recipe does not because many of you will find it hard to get these ingredients fresh.  You can find and use frozen shrimp almost anywhere.  So that is the only seafood used in this dish.

Paella is originally a Spanish dish.  But it was brought to the Americas during the exploration days of Spain.  It is now a popular dish in many of the countries of South and Central America.

Regional influences and product availability make for many different variations of the dish.  A key ingredient in all though is "Saffron."  Saffron is one of the most expensive spices per pound in the world.  Fortunately you don't use much of the spice in any dishes.

I hope you find an occasion to try one or both of these recipes.  Sangria is a great beverage to add to the festivities too.  There are many recipes for this drink but you can find one in my drinks tab that will work well.

Enjoy and "Happy Cooking" until next week.

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