Catering by Linda

Archive for February, 2016

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Friday, February 5th, 2016

 

IMG_0368So it’s not like I didn’t know how to make Paella; in fact, I have made it many times before, but seeing it made with great authenticity and with the freshest of ingredients excited me all over again. The staff at the Cancun resort gave a lesson as they cooked, announcing to the onlookers the many additions: chicken, andouille sausage, jumbo shrimp, calamari, mussels, rice, tomato, onion, celery, spices, chicken broth. The execution was exciting to watch and heavenly to smell, and the sheer volume (large enough to feed all the people by the pool) was impressive. When at last the paella was cooked, the chefs handed out generous platefuls to the resort guests, many of whom had never tasted paella before.

When I returned home, I had the great pleasure of cooking for 14 girlfriends as we retreated to one friend’s beautiful home in Woods Hole. Because some of my friends are pescetarians and others are allergic to shellfish, I made 2 paellas: one seafood and one chicken and sausage. Lacking a large grill like the one they had in Cancun, I started the paellas on the stovetop and finished them in the oven. I used Emeril’s Paella recipe as a springboard, but honestly, one could make paella any which way and it would come out delicious.

Making paella for my friends this past weekend reminded me of all the other times I have made it, and caused me to question why I don’t make it more often. What other recipes have loyally served as “go to” dishes, only to be set aside and now forgotten? These are the recipes that don’t lay flat in their folders and books because they are stained and wrinkled with ingredient spills and dog-earred from overuse. These are the “oldies, but goodies” and the “Oh! I used to make something just like this!” These are the dishes that we first made when we learned to cook, the ones our kids loved when they were little, and the ones we practically memorized a couple years ago because we made them so often. I encourage you to shuffle past the top recipes in your pile, down to the ones you made last year and the year before. It’s time to let them shine once again!

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Catering by Linda