French Safari Paella

French Safari Paella

From the Kitchen of Terri Bergman

Paella is friendship experience… various people of different backgrounds intermingle in the kitchen and at the table to meld friendships that go beyond our walls. With Paella, we toss seafood, chicken, sausage (… veggies from the gardens) to make a dish with depth of flavor and warmth of heart that is distinctive to each preparation. Just like our friends, no two paellas are alike… bring your taste buds and show us how YOU paella!

The meaning of Safari is a “Journey or Expedition “and that is what we are on as we prepare “French Safari Paella”. Two famous French preparations are similar in nature to Paella, they are  Cassoulet , hearty and delicious, made well it ‘warms the soul’ and Bouillabaisse, this ‘fish soup’ is probably the most famous traditional recipe from Provence from Marseille, the more people these dishes are made for, the more different types of ingredients are in it…like Paella!

Paella is Spanish in its origin…but it is really a delicious blending of foods that are fresh, available and local…a bit of a play on *“stone soup”.  Don’t know what I like more, the process, the gathering of foods, the cooks, the dinersor the amazing warmth this dish brings to the soulHere is our version: Makes 6-8 servings.
Ingredients:

INGREDIENTS:
5 cups strong chicken broth
1/2 tsp saffron
1/2 tsp Spanish paprika
1 TBSP KB’s Amazing Heat
1 small onion, peeled
2 small chickens, about 2# each
1/2 cup olive oil
1 # artisanal sausage or (KB’s Paella Sausage Recipe)
1/4 lb smoked bacon diced
1 medium onion, chopped
6 scallions, 4 chopped,
 *2 finely minced reserved for finish
1 head of  chopped garlic
2 roasted red peppers/**pimento (jarred is good)
1 lb medium shrimp, shelled
2 (Opt.) Live lobsters( boiled, divided)
1 small red pepper thinly sliced
1 small yellow pepper thinly sliced
3 cups Spanish rice (Bomba)
6 tbsp chopped parsley
2 bay leaves, whole
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
(Opt.) 18 clams / mussels, scrubbed
Lemon wedges for garnish
Parsley for garnish
*Rem. green onion for garnish

NOTE ON INGREDIENTS:  The only ingredient you must have is the broth, the rice and the saffron!!!  So add all, extend this list…or deduct according to your taste and budget!

PREPARATION:
Heat the broth with the saffron, pimentón and the whole onion. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Remove the onion and measure the broth — you need 5-6 cups.
Cut the chickens into small serving pieces — the whole breast in 3 parts, each thigh and wings with tips removed.  Dry the pieces well and sprinkle with salt/pepper.

In a metal Paella pan, with about a 15 inch base, heat the oil. Add the chicken pieces and fry over high heat until golden. Remove to a warm platter. Add the sausage and bacon to the pan and stir fry about 10 minutes. Add the chopped onion, scallions, garlic, pimentos, red peppers and sauté until the onion is wilted. Add the shrimp and the lobster and sauté about 3 minutes more, or until the shrimp and lobster barely turn pink (the lobster will cook more in the oven.) Remove the shrimp and lobster to the platter with the chicken. Add the rice to the pan and stir to coat it well with the oil. Sprinkle in the chopped parsley and the whole bay leaves. Stir in the chicken broth, boiling hot, the wine, and rice. Salt to taste. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, over medium high heat about 10 minutes. Bury the shrimp and the chicken in the rice. Add the clams and the mussels, pushing them into the rice, with the edge that will open facing up. Decorate the paella with the lobster pieces, and then bake at 325 F, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven, add reserved peas and let sit on top of the stove, lightly covered with foil, for about 10 minutes. Heat burner to medium and toast bottom for one minute, remove.

To serve
:  Decorate with lemon wedges, chopped parsley and minced green onion. 
Bring Paella Pan to the Table to serve…..this is a beautiful looking dish, so let your guest first eat with their eyes!



JUST FOR FUN…The Fable of Stone SoupSome travelers come to a village, carrying nothing more than an empty cooking pot. Upon their arrival, the villagers are unwilling to share any of their food stores with the hungry travelers. Then the travelers go to a stream and fill the pot with water, drop a large stone in it, and place it over a fire. One of the villagers becomes curious and asks what they are doing. The travelers answer that they are making “stone soup“, which tastes wonderful, although it still needs a little bit of garnish to improve the flavor, which they are missing. The villager does not mind parting with a few carrots to help them out, so that gets added to the soup. Another villager walks by, inquiring about the pot, and the travelers again mention their stone soup which has not reached its full potential yet. The villager hands them a little bit of seasoning to help them out. More and more villagers walk by, each adding another ingredient. Finally, a delicious and nourishing pot of soup is enjoyed by all.


Paella Notes

Pay attention to your broth, as in all cooking this is the “soul”,  make it rich and flavorful with fish or chicken stock and seasonings add a good concentrate (such as “Superior Touches” Better Than Bouillon Product, now gratefully found in most markets!)  If you need the flavors enhanced.
This is where all the magic starts…

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. The ideal paella has a toasted rice bottom called socarrat.

Garnish just before serving with the cooked peas, parsley, finely diced green onion and lemon wedges this last add makes for a fresher taste!

Firm and absorbent rice is the key; we use Bomba available at specialty markets or online.

Use Real Saffron…it is key in taste and color, there is no substitute, a little goes a long way.

Asian Meatballs

Asian Meatballs

From the Kitchen of Terri Bergman

Asian Meatballs

CATEGORY: Main Event
SERVES: 36 2″ meatballs
LEVEL: Presto, easy!

MEATBALL INGREDIENTS:
1 # ground chicken, 1# ground pork, optional add ¼ # lean ground beef 
1 cup oat flour (finely ground oats) or 1 C Panko
2 eggs
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp minced ginger or 1 tsp ground ginger powder
1 C chopped Green Onion (finely sliced)
Optional ¼ C  finely chopped cilantro and or parsley (I like both)
1 tsp Amazing Heat

GLAZE INGREDIENTS:
1 Tbsp Amazing Rub (or brown sugar/spices)
1 Tbsp minced Garlic
½ C Soy Sauce
1 C Water
½ C Honey
½ C White Wine
1 Tbsp but Optional Hoisin Sauce, Oyster Sauce, Chili Sauce

INSTRUCTIONS:

MEATBALLS:
PREHEAT OVEN 400 DEGREES
Combine ground meats, 1 Cup oat flour or panko, eggs and all other ingredients. Stir with large fork to mix, try not use your hands. This will result in a much more tender meatball!
Roll balls in a approx 2” meatball (use scooper or spoon) and set on baking dish lined with parchment.
In warmed oven, approx bake time 12-15 minutes. Remove, set aside and sauce the meatballs you will be serving with the great glaze below.

GLAZE:
Stir Ingredients together and gently simmer uncovered, about 10-15 minutes until thickened.
Add Glaze to meatballs to cover, and additional glaze for table side and great in stir-fry veggies and pasta.

If freezing meatballs, very lightly glaze, set on baking dish, freeze and then bag in zip lock.

Great recipe to just have in the freezer for appetizers or quick week night dinner. 

Muddled Blueberry Martini Kissed with Orange

Muddled Blueberry Martini Kissed with Orange

From the Kitchen of Terri Bergman

Muddled Blueberry Martini Kissed with Orange

CATEGORY: Cocktail
SERVES: one
LEVEL: Presto, easy!

INGREDIENTS:
1 ½ oz Vodka
½ oz Cointreau 
2 oz fresh Blueberries Muddled or blended
1 oz Lime Juice

INSTRUCTIONS:
Add all ingredients in a martini shaker with ice. Shake vigorously until blended and cooled.

Pour into your favorite martini glass, add berries and slice of orange.

Enjoy, any season at all!

Half Moon Squash with Baby Greens, Spicy Shrimp, Blueberries and Nuts

Half Moon Squash with Baby Greens, Spicy Shrimp, Blueberries and Nuts

From the Kitchen of Terri Bergman

Half Moon Squash with Baby Greens, Spicy Shrimp, Blueberries and Nuts – Served with “out of this world” Maple Vinaigrette!

CATEGORY: Main Event or Side Salad/Luncheon
SERVES: 4 Dinner Salads or 6 Luncheon Salads
LEVEL: Presto, easy!

INGREDIENTS:
1 Medium Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded and sliced in full round, half rounds
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp The Amazing Rub
20 Large Shrimp, Cooked and Shelled
2 Tbsp Corn Starch
1 Tbsp Amazing Heat
1 Cup Blueberries
1 Cup Toasted and Salted Whole Pecans
8 Cups Spring Fresh Salad Greens
*Optional 1 cup chopped fresh mint/or basil

INSTRUCTIONS:
Take the butternut squash slices and toss with small amount olive oil, and place on a parchment lined baking sheet, sprinkle generously with the Amazing Rub Seasonings (or your house spices)

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes, turning carefully and bake for addition 5-10 minutes until tender and golden. Remove from oven and set aside.

Next, place cooked shrimp in a bowl and dust with cornstarch and Amazing Heat. Heat a non stick skillet with oil and quickly cook the shrimp( do not over crowd) to slightly golden and seasoned, flip and remove from pan. Place on paper towel until assembling salads.

Take 4 large salad plates and put 2 cups of greens on each. Assemble squash and shrimps in rows on greens, then toss over the blueberries and pecans.  Dress with House Maple Vinaigrette, Salt and Pepper to taste.

MAPLE VINAIGRETTE:
1/8 C Maple Syrup
1/8 C Rice Wine Vinegar
¼ Light Vegetable Oil (could use Olive Oil also)
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Amazing Heat (or house seasonings)
¼ Pummull Seasoning (or Cinn)

Stir or shake together and add salt and pepper directly to salads

Asian Chicken Thighs and Pineapple Slaw

Asian Chicken Thighs and Pineapple Slaw

From the Kitchen of Terri Bergman

Asian Seared Chicken Thighs with Pineapple Slaw…served with Peanut Sauce

CATEGORY: Main Event
SERVES: 4
LEVEL: Presto, easy!

INGREDIENTS:
4 Chicken thighs
2 Tbsp The Amazing Rub (or Brown Sugar w/Ginger)
1 Tbsp vegetable Oil
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tsp Hot Sauce
1 Tbsp Lemon/or Lime Juice
2 Cups Fresh Pineapple bite size chop

SLAW INGREDIENTS:
1 Tbsp The Amazing Rub (or Brown Sugar)
4 C Coleslaw mix (your favorite) or fine Shred Cabbage and Carrots
½ C Dried Fruit/Nut Trail Mix (no choc!)
1 Tbsp Lime Juice
2 Tbsp Oil (light here)
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
½ Tbsp hot sauce
1 tsp Toasted Sesame Oil to finish
Fresh Herbs as in Cilantro, Mint or Basil – fine chopped or 2 Tbsp dried Basil or Amazing Herbes

PEANUT SAUCE INGREDIENTS:
½ C Peanut Butter smooth
¼ tsp Pummull Spice (or Cinn blend)
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup or Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tsp Rice Vinegar (or white)
½ tsp red pepper flakes
¼ C hot water (start with 1/8 C and add to desired consistency)

INSTRUCTIONS:
Prepare Chicken thighs by skinning, deboning and cutting into small strips. In a large bowl add chicken, Amazing Rub, oil, soy sauce, hot sauce and citrus juice (lemon or lime). Toss to coat the strips of chicken and set aside for 15-30 minutes or cover and refrigerator overnight.

Drain Chicken from marinade before searing. Get a skillet hot with oil, and place chicken pieces in skillet, do not over crowd, looking to sear these and create a nice golden brown surface on all side. Remove chicken that is cooked thru (no pink in centers) and continue to cook all chicken, set aside on warm plate. In same pan as cooked chicken, add a little more oil and cook the chopped, drained pineapple looking to toss coat and brown (add a little sprinkle of Amazing Rub to season and brown)

Assemble the Slaw with Cabbage/Carrot mix, ½ C Trail Mix, and toss dress with lime juice, oil, soy sauce, hot sauce- when all coated, finish with a drizzle of Toasted Sesame Oil if desired.

Place a cup of dressed Slaw in center of each serving dish, top with seared pineapple and lastly with chicken strips. Can be garnished with a little more trail mix, or chopped basil or Herbs as noted.

The Peanut Sauce recipe above is delicious as a side dressing to use in the entire plated salad or for a dressing for the chicken. This is so very packed with flavor, and you’ll be shouting “encore”. I have found that a prepared plated salad with all ingredients is also delicious to refrigerate (cover with wrap) and do a quick 1 minute warm in micro.  Enjoy!!!

Iced Coffee à la Kitchen’s Bounty

Iced Coffee à la Kitchen’s Bounty

So playing with my daughter in laws favorite coffee drinks this morning! Chilly Iced Americano, topped with Cream kissed with vanilla! So for this MIL the only kind of coffee was hot, well I’m here to tell you it was time to open my horizons! So girls, I think I’ve got this, Starbucks…look out, 2 Iced Coffees, and for Memere double shot espresso, a little cream and yes, a little Kahlua (no clocks here). Out playing with KB’s French Velvet Roast and *Thunder and Lightening Espresso (named after my childhood dogs/ dark and awesome Shepherds). Who wants my job??!

KB’s Amazing Skillet Pork Chops stuffed with Apple and White Cheddar

KB’s Amazing Skillet Pork Chops stuffed with Apple and White Cheddar

From the Kitchen of Terri Bergman

KB’s Amazing Skillet Pork Chops stuffed with Apple and White Cheddar
Finished with a Dijon, Maple and Lemon-Kissed Sauce

MY INSPIRATION was to make a skillet version of a fork tender pork chop…but keep the applesauce off the plate. These pork shops are slightly stuffed with thin slices of apple and a slice of a very sharp Vermont White Cheddar Cheese.  The Cheese virtually melts into the apples and the taste is wonderful! So here is how I prepared these chops…but the sauce may just steal the show here. Pork bits from the skillet (which will have remnants of the Amazing Rub and some corn starch) , loosened and cooked in stock, with spicy Dijon mustard, sweet and pure Vermont Maple Syrup and just to shout it out, a kiss of lemon juice. No need to thicken…just bring to heat, a quick boil and down to a simmer that reduces by one half! YUM!

CATEGORY: Main Event
SERVES: 4
LEVEL: Intermediate, you got this!

INGREDIENTS:
4 pork chops (1” thick)
1 small peeled, cored and thin sliced apple
4 pcs Vermont Sharp Cheddar (2” squares)
2 Tbsp Corn Starch
1 Tbsp KB’s Amazing Rub ( or your house sweet n spiced rub)
½ tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp Olive Oil

SAUCE:
1 C chicken stock
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1-2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
Chopped fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon of The Amazing Herbes

DIRECTIONS:
Take the pork chops out of the cooler and pat with paper towel, cover and let come to temperature.

Make a slice into side/middle center of pork chop and stuff with thin apple slices and 1 pc cheese.

In a plate; add corn starch and the Amazing Rub, black pepper. Press all chops each side into this seasoned corn starch. 

Heat oil in a skillet that has a cover. When the oil is hot, place the chops down into oil and sear for 2-3 minutes to brown nicely. When browned, carefully flip the chops and start the sear on that side. Almost immediately bring the heat down to low, cover the pan…and put timer on for 10 minutes. Because chop size may vary, start to check done at 5-7 minutes. When juices run clear, remove from the pan, set aside and cover with foil for at least 5 minutes.

This is when you make your sauce

SAUCE:
Deglaze the pan with chicken stock working all browned bits from bottom of pan. Bring to a slight boil, lower to simmer adding Dijon mustard, maple syrup and lemon juice. Simmer to reduce by half, at this point taste for seasoning…salt, pepper more mustard…your taste. 

Add fresh parsley or 1 slight tsp of the Amazing Herbes if desired for a finish.

Plate the chops, great with potato and mixed veggies. 

Sauce til your heart is content – ENJOY!