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.

Canned Tomatoes, Two Ways

‘Tis the season for preserving the harvest! Calgary has such a short growing season, with such an amazing bounty of local produce that we must do our best to make it last. One of my favourite ways to preserve the harvest is to can it!

If you haven’t canned before, it may seem like a daunting task to start. Don’t be scared, it can really be quite an enjoyable process. Newer canning books also focus on smaller batch, artisanal recipes that are definitely a manageable place to start.

When canning, it is important to follow a recipe specific for canning to ensure the safety of your final product. That’s why I went to the experts on these recipes, and used two of my favourite canning books: Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff, and Food in Jars by Marisa McClellan.

All Purpose Tomato Sauce (makes about 4 pint jars)

From: Canning for a New Generation

Market Sourced Ingredientstomato blog 7

About 12 pounds of tomatoes (preferably Roma) – from Gull Valley Greenhouses

1 tbsp olive oil

12 ounces onion (about 2 small) – from Innisfail Growers

2 large cloves garlic

2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste

2 tsp citric acid*

First you need to peel your tomatoes. This isn’t as hard as it sounds, trust me! First, using a sharp knife, score a small ‘x’ on the bottom of each tomato. Now, simply bring a large pot of water to a boil and fill another large bowl with ice water. Drop a few tomatoes at a time into the boiling water for 30 seconds – 1 minute. Scoop out with a slotted spoon and transfer to the ice water. The skins will just slip off easily at this point.

tomatoes times 3

Now for the fun (and messy!) part; you’ll want two bowls on hand, one for the seeds, and one for the tomatoes. Break the tomatoes apart and scrape out the seeds and core with your fingers. In batches, put the tomato flesh in food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Keep going until you have 12 cups of puree – that is all you need!

tomato guts

In a wide preserving pan or stockpot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent – about 5 minutes. Add garlic, stirring constantly about 1 minute. Pour in all 12 cups of tomato puree and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the sauce darkens and is reduced by one third. I find it takes a bit longer that 45 minutes to get the consistency I like, but it will depend on your preference, and your pan! Season with salt to taste.

In the meantime you can prepare for water bath canning. For full details on the proper method for canning, you should use a canning book or check out a website like the National Centre for Home Food Preservation.

Put ½ tsp of citric acid in each jar. Fill jars with hot sauce with ½ inch headspace. Wipe the rims, put your lids on and place the jars in the canning pot full of water. Once the water has reached a rolling boil, start your timer for 35 minutes (plus adjustments for elevation*).

tomato blog 17

 

Remove the jars from the canner when complete and set aside for 12 hours. If you notice any that didn’t seal, put them in the fridge immediately. Label and store!

And now for the second recipe…

Whole Peeled Tomatoes (makes 4 quart jars)
From: Food in Jars

Market Sourced Ingredientstomato blog 18

10 pounds Roma tomatoes – from Gull Valley Greenhouses
(I used a few yellow and orange tomatoes as well, for variety!)

½ cup bottled lemon juice*

Prepare your boiling water bath and 4 quart jars according to the proper canning process.

Core your tomatoes using a sharp knife, and score the bottoms with a small ‘x’. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and fill another large bowl with ice water. Drop a few tomatoes at a time into the boiling water for 30 seconds – 1 minute. Scoop out with a slotted spoon and transfer to the ice water. The skins will just slip off easily at this point.

Bring a fresh full kettle or pot of water to a boil. This will be the liquid you add to your tomatoes to fill any voids.

Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to each prepared jar. Gently pack the peeled tomatoes into the jars. Squish them in as tightly as you can without mangling them too badley, and pour the boiling water over the tomatoes with ½ inch headspace. Use a wooden chopstick or similar utensil to remove any air bubbles.

I ended up cutting a few tomatoes in half to make them fit well into pint jars. In our household, we don’t often need a full quart of tomatoes at once, so smaller jars seemed like a better option. Of course, I adjusted the quantity of lemon juice to 1 tablespoon per jar.

Wipe the rims, put your lids on and place the jars in the canning pot full of water. Once the water has reached a rolling boil, start your timer for 45 minutes (plus adjustments for elevation*).

Remove the jars from the canner when complete and set aside for 12 hours. If you notice any that didn’t seal, put them in the fridge immediately. Label and store!tomato blog 21

*Because tomatoes are lower acid than some fruits, it is important to add an acid like citric acid or lemon juice to your jars, just follow the directions of whatever recipe you are using.

*Most canning books will recommend adding 10 minutes to the water bath canner time for Calgary’s elevation of about 3500 feet.

There you have it – two ways to can tomatoes. Hopefully these two all-purpose recipes will be welcome additions to your pantry come winter! This is my second season canning with tomatoes from Gull Valley Greenhouses, and I have to say – they are wonderful to work with and perfect for canning. Large, firm, uniform Roma tomatoes are a breeze to peel and taste delicious too!

Whole tomatoes can be used in any recipe that calls for them, like soups, stews or thicker sauces. Tomato sauce can be poured over pasta, used on pizza, as a base for more complex sauces – the possibilities are endless, really!

For example, I couldn’t resist using the leftover sauce that didn’t fit in my jars on some Veal Ravioli from Soffritto’s! Yum!

pasta collage

If you’re looking for more ways to preserve tomatoes, check out the Food in Jars blog – it comes chalk full of ideas! For even more canning recipes, check out our blog post from last year: Canning Extravaganza! If you’re anything like me, once you start canning – it can get a little addicting! It’s a good thing there are plenty of canning resources and books out there. I’ve shared two of my favourite books in this blog – which are your favourites? Leave them in the comments section below.

There’s no better place to start preserving the harvest than the Calgary Farmers’ Market!