Long time no post, right!?
I’m hoping to be posting a lot more on here because I finally made the decision to go to culinary school this Fall! I’m so excited and in the mean time, I’m going to be cooking a lot and trying new things! My posts will very much be from a learning perspective and I will be sharing how I did things, things that I learned, how I messed up things and I how I would have changed things. I hope you all will come on the journey with me!
So the other evening I was really in the mood for seafood and there is this great place where I live that sells fresh seafood, so I went and grabbed some scallops, shrimp and mussels.
I had never cooked mussels or scallops before and I bought the shrimp unpeeled with the vein still in. I wanted to try to do it myself so I could learn how.
It was very simple. Just take off the shell, cut the shrimp down the back and remove the dark vein with the tip of your knife.
I had a hard time deciding what I was going to make with them until I talked to my friend Lisa, who is my college age class Pastors wife at church.
(I’ve been trying to get her to make a food blog because she would be absolutely amazing at it. We’ll see!)
She suggested that I make Paella.
I had a hard enough time pronouncing what sounded like a very complicated dish to make, so I looked it up and found that’s actually really easy.
Basically, it’s shellfish and chicken and veggies and rice all in one pot.
It sounded so yummy so I decided to make it, and here’s how.
The Cast of Characters:
(Ignore the burn marks on the dutch oven….. it’s a long story)
2 cups of rice
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
3 bay leaves
3 cups of chicken stock
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
6 button mushrooms, sliced
Oh, and I’m sure that you’ll notice that the scallops aren’t pictured above. I also decided last minute to throw a few sliced button mushrooms in, which also didn’t get pictured. Yeah, don’t be like me.
Before you cook the mussels, go through them and scrub them clean. Mine were already de-bearded but still had a few traces of beard. If some are open, press them shut for a few seconds and if they stay shut, they are still alive and are good. If not, toss them out. Then fill a large bowl with water 3 tbs of flour. Soak the mussels in the water and flour mixture for 30 minutes. This makes the mussels cough up any sand that may be in them. Once the 30 minutes is up, rinse them in fresh water.
Now, drizzle some olive oil and add 2 tbs of butter to a dutch oven. Heat it over medium high heat and add the onions, garlic and mushrooms.
Saute until the onions just begin to get translucent. Then add the rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, 1 tbs salt, 1 tbs pepper, tomatoes, and 2 cups of rice.
Stir the rice around and get it coated in the oil and let cook for about 2 minutes, then add the chicken stock to de-glaze the pan.
Let the stock cook for a few minutes thicken and evaporate slightly.
Take the bay leaves out of the pot and add the mussels.
Cook for about 10 minutes covered, stirring occasionally and then cook uncovered until the broth evaporates to your desired thickness and all of the mussels have opened.
Covering the pot and cooking for the ten minutes is important, because the steam cooks the mussels instead of boiling them ,which would make the rubbery.
In a separate pan add some olive oil and butter and saute the scallops on medium low heat. It should take about 4 minutes per side.
Set the scallops aside and then saute the shrimp, which will take roughly the same amount of time per side.
Once the shrimp is done you are ready to plate.
Now, HERE IS WHAT I WISH I DID DIFFERENTLY:
First, I had too many mussels. About 10-15 too many.
Second, I wish I would have cooked the mussels separately and the scallops and shrimp in the rice and veggies. I wish this because then I would’ve plated the mussels separately and it would have been a lot easier to eat this way.
Over all, it was absolutely delicious.
The broth was absolutely delicious and everything blended very well. I would definitely recommend this to make if you are craving some sea food.