My firsts for the New Year

I woke up early yesterday and went to work but had to go home after a couple of hours- I was coughing and sneezing and my asthma was getting worse. I went straight to bed and just slept. I did not cook anything- neither did I join in the celebration of the coming of New Year- which is unusual. Anyway, I cursed myself for being lazy in taking medications right when I get tell tale signs that I am getting sick. I always have to be coughing my lungs out before I realize- oh, I have meds for that! Anyway, I felt much better when I got up today so I decided to cook. These are my firsts for 2010.

Seafood Paella again -
this time, it’s meatless except for the sausages which I forgot last Christmas. I used my leftover lobster meat, shrimps, scallops, squid rings, another bag of seafood mix and mussels. I went bonkers for a while when I couldn’t find my saffron so after rummaging through my cabinets for what seemed an eternity, I decided to drive to the nearest store and bought some. The cashier who obviously doesn’t know anything about spices asked me what it is used for because it is so expensive… ha ha ha ha ha I just told her it’s the most expensive spice in the world! Recipe is from Tyler Florence which I adapted here.

Seafood Paella

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Spanish chorizo sausages, thickly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
Bunch flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped, reserve some for garnish
1 (15-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained and hand-crushed
4 cups short grain Spanish rice
6 cups water , warm
Generous pinch saffron threads
1 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and de-veined
2 lobster tails

1/2 cup sweet peas, frozen and thawed
Lemon wedges, for serving

Special equipment:
Large paella pan or wide shallow skillet

Heat oil in a paella pan over medium-high heat.
Saute the chorizo until browned, remove and reserve.
In the same pan, make a sofrito by sauteing the onions, garlic, and parsley. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes on a medium heat.
Add tomatoes and cook until the mixture caramelizes a bit and the flavors meld.
Fold in the rice and stir-fry to coat the grains.
Pour in water and simmer for 10 minutes, gently moving the pan around so the rice cooks evenly and absorbs the liquid.
Add chorizo, and saffron. Add the clams and shrimp, tucking them into the rice. The shrimp will take about 8 minutes to cook.
Give the paella a good shake and let it simmer, without stirring, until the rice is al dente, for about 15 minutes. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, when the rice is filling the pan, add the lobster tails. When the paella is cooked and the rice looks fluffy and moist, turn the heat up for 40 seconds until you can smell the rice toast at the bottom, then it's perfect.
Remove from heat and rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with peas, parsley and lemon wedges.

Notes: You can use mussels, scallops, calamari rings and other seafood of your choice.

Fruit Cake - the recipe is from spark1ing_diamondz which I wanted to make right when I first saw it the day she posted pictures of it at Soompi. I couldn't wait till I get the necessary ingredients and just did an adaptation. I used mascarpone cheese instead of cream cheese, dried fruits and berries and toasted walnuts. It was not the same because it was devoid of the Christmas colors that the original cake has. Now, I have the ingredients and they're on the table almost ready except for the butter and cream cheese which needs to be at room temperature. To be continued...

5:55 pm

7:08 pm
I don't know what I did wrong but my cake came out crumbly bordering on dry waahhhhhhh.... but it does taste delicious. I have to find out where I failed :-(

8:34 pm

Now I know what I did wrong- first, the sugar according to powerplantop and second the pan which I used is too wide and big thus spreading the heat according to spark1ing_diamondz. Oh, well- better luck next time :-)

Fried Pork Chops - Thick fat-less pork chops seasoned with lemon-salt-pepper powder and paprika then fried in canola oil served with rice from seafood paella i cooked earlier. Delish with spiced vinegar!


  1. hi, I found your blog through the food board on soompi, can you please post the recipe for this? thank you! :D

  2. Hello and welcome to my blog! There, I posted it for you.

  3. No problem! Have fun cooking:-)


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