Paella… Simpler than You Think

You probably have a few dishes in mind that evoke the “oh no, that’s too complicated” sentiment… Beef Wellington, Risotto, Profiteroles… Paella?


Well, we’re here to tell you that Paella is not actually a difficult dish. AND it’s best whipped up with friends in the kitchen (and a glass of wine, of course). This easy to make version uses chicken chorizo and seafood, and everything can be found right here at the market. Yes, the wine too!

What you’ll need:
3/4lb Shrimp, (21/25 count) peeled and deveined
3/4lb Scallops (10/20 count)
1lb Mussels
1lb Clams
*all seafood sourced from Market Seafood
1 pkg (454g) Chicken Chorizo from Missing Link Extraordinary Sausage
1 each Red & Green pepper, diced from Tomato Man
1/2 cup white onion, diced, from Cherry Pit
1/2 cup artichoke from Innisfail Growers
1/2 cup peas, shucked from Innisfail Growers
1/2 cup tomato, diced from Tomato Man
1/2 cup dry white wine from J. Webb Market Wines (Sarah recommended a perfectly paired Atlantis Albarino)
1/2tsp Saffron from Market Seafood
1 cup Paella rice from Market Seafood
3 cups Chicken stock from Stock & Sauce Co.
Salt, Pepper, and Smoked Paprika, to taste, from Silk Road Spice Merchant

Garnish:
Parsley from Terra Farms
1 lemon from Cherry Pit
A few swigs of Fennel Olive Oil from Soffritto

  1. Preheat frying with about 1 tbsp of olive oil.
  2. Saute onions until lightly brown.
  3. Add the chicken chorizo and cook through. When cooked, set aside.
  4. Add a healthy glug of white wine to deglaze your pan.
  5. Add the rice and saffron, stirring for a minute or two. Stir until wine is absorbed.
  6. Add 2 cups of hot chicken stock, 1/4 cup at a time. If you add cold stock to the pan, it takes much longer for the rice to absorb and keep coming back up to temperature. Heating your stock will ensure this is an easy (and speedy) dish.
  7. Stir rice as you add each 1/4 cup of stock until it is absorbed. This is the best time to pour yourself and your guests a glass of wine. Stir, sip, laugh. Repeat.
  8. Add the last cup of hot chicken stock.
  9. Stir in the cooked chicken chorizo.

10. Arrange the seafood atop the rick, tucking the morsels of deliciousness in every spot you can.

11. Bake in a 375ºF oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the mussels and clams open.

12. Add the peas, artichoke, and tomato and bake for an additional two minutes.

13. Garnish with parsley, lemon wedges, and Fennel olive oil.

14. Bring to the table in the pan and enjoy with friends. And maybe another bottle of wine 😉

atlantis_albarino

This Atlantis Albarino (pronounced Al-bar-ee-nyo) is a grape variety indigenous to Spain. This wine is perfect if you love pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc and you’re looking for something new to try. It is fruitful & refreshing with a crisp and clean finish making it very food friendly, from salads to grilled meats, and especially paella! Plus, it’s only $18.95.

Pan Seared Halibut with Mango Pineapple Salsa

Blu halibutJust last week, Brian from Blu Seafood came rushing over to announce that Halibut was back in season, and that I should head over to his booth to get a good picture. I didn’t realize how large halibut could be, and I certainly wasn’t expecting him to hold up a fish as large as the one this picture – wow! Halibut is in season from late March to September, and comes from the North Pacific. These large flatfish are a highly sought after food fish. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to take some home and cook it up for the market blog.

I asked Brian for recipe suggestions, and he directed me to his cookbook, “Keep it Simple Seafood” (which you can pick up at his booth here at the market). The title speaks the truth. Not having much experience with cooking halibut (or seafood in general), I can confidently say that this is a great fish to cook for any beginners out there. He suggested adapting the Pan Seared Mahi Mahi (p. 82) recipe for halibut which worked out wonderfully.

halibut filletMarket Sourced Ingredients:

2 fillet of halibut from Blu Seafood

Juice of ½ a lime from The Cherry Pit

Package of Mango Salsa from The Cherry Pit

Package of pre-cut Pineapple from The Cherry Pit

2 tbsp oil (I used Persian Lime Olive Oil from Soffrito)

Balsamic vinegar (I used Grapefruit White Balsamic Vinegar from Soffrito)

Other Ingredients:

Couscous (or any other grain that you would prefer like rice, quinoa etc.)

Salt and pepperhalibut 1

halibut fillet cookingMethod (from Brian Plunkett’s book, “Keep it Simple Seafood”)

  • Pat dry the fish fillets
  • Season with sea salt, ground black pepper and the juice from ½ a lime
  • Heat frying pan, add the oil
  • Place the seasoned fillets of halibut in the hot pan and sear on both sides until golden brown and firm to touch – approximately 5 minutes
  • Serve over Mango Pineapple Salsa
  • Drizzle with balsamic vinegar

halibut finished 2I also cooked up some Israeli couscous (directions on how to cook it can be found here), but you could easily substitute this for whatever grain you prefer or have on hand. The original recipe was drizzled with a balsamic vinegar reduction, but I just substituted the grapefruit white balsamic vinegar from Soffrito straight up, and drizzled it over the whole plate before diving in. The wonderful thing about picking up oil and vinegar from Soffrito is that you can just tell them what you’re cooking, and they will make a variety of suggestions, allow you to sample the pairings, and then you can choose your favourite. I loved the bright citrus flavour of the Persian lime and grapefruit together and thought it would complement the mango pineapple salsa well.

I should also note that while Brian has a great recipe for salsa in his book, I cheated. The Cherry Pit makes an amazing mango salsa, but I didn’t want to leave out the pineapple! Fortunately they also have pineapple peeled, sliced and ready to go, so I just diced it up and added it to the salsa. All in all, this meal only took about 15 minutes to prepare, and couldn’t have been any more delicious, fresh or healthy – fast food at its best!

So next time you’re craving fish, be sure to head over to Blu Seafood. You can pick up all your ingredients, Thursday – Sunday, 9pm – 5pm at the Calgary Farmers’ Market!


halibut recipe

Love: Scampi Style

We’re very lucky to be featured on CTV Morning Live every month, dishing up some great things from healthy meals to events at the market.  Today, we learned ways to woo your loved one this Valentine’s Day from Chef Brain Plunkett from Blu Seafood.  He shared a dead simple, delicious recipe to impress your sweetheart that can be whipped together in less than 10 minutes.

Scampi

Market Sourced Ingredients

1 lb. (454 g)  Scampi  from Blu Seafood

1 cup tomatoes, diced from Gull Valley Greenhouses

1 tbsp. shallots, finely diced from Cherry Pit

1 clove garlic, crushed from Cherry Pit

½ cup basil, chopped from The Cucumber Man

1 tbsp, olive oil from Soffritto

1 oz. butter

2 oz. white Wine

Start by splitting the scampi tails to de-vein (here’s an easy how-to video) and season with salt and pepper.  Add olive oil to a sauté pan and heat until almost smoking.  Add the butter and the scampi and quickly turning so to prevent overcooking.  Add the shallots, garlic and tomato; cook fro 2 minutes, add the basil and white wine, cook 1 minute more.  Remove the scampi then simmer the sauce for 1 minute and pour over the scampi. Serve and enjoy!