Sunday, June 19, 2011
What Food Changed Your Life?
When Joe met his future wife, Alice in 1951, her father, Bill Steere, was a professor at Stanford on a professor's salary. It was Bill who introduced Joe to Ruby Hill Winery in Pleasanton, where you could get gallon jugs of Chardonnay for $1.00. Joe said he had always been a beer drinker, so drinking jug wine with his in-laws was a culinary awakening. At the same time, his mother-in-law introduced Joe to olive oil.That is how Joe began to learn about food and wine.
Oh....back to the question...What Food Changed Your Life? Have you ever had one of those food moments? One bite and you know your life just changed? If so, I'd love to hear about it. If you look at the bottom of this posting, you will see the word comments. Click on it and a box for you to leave a comment in will pop up. Tell me about your culinary awakening....I look forward to reading each and every one of them!
As for my moment....I still think watching my dear sweet grandmother, Ann Robnett Johnston, making a cherry pie was my moment. I was 4 or 5 years old. Seeing how putting a few ingredients together can bring such pleasure to those lucky people that get to eat it, set my course through life. But what bite of food changed my life? It was most definitely my other grandmother's, Minnie Florence Ogg, homemade biscuits.
How could I be anything other than a chef? Both grandmother's taught me to love cooking! But you already know all of this.....they pop into my blog frequently.
So, Sunset was not the only magazine I read today. The July Bon Appetit also arrived in my mailbox. This recipe really caught my eye! Needless to say, I have not made it yet, but I will. Hope you check it out.
Grilled Lobster Paella
Recipe and photograph by Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer
•1/2 cup olive oil
•3/4 pound Spanish chorizo, sliced into 1/2"-thick rounds
•6 stalks green garlic, thinly sliced, or 2 finely chopped leeks, white and light-green parts only
•1 tablespoon smoked paprika
•2 1/2 cups short-grain rice
•1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
•7 cups hot seafood or chicken stock
•3 1-1 1/4-pound lobsters, halved lengthwise, claws cracked
•2 cups fresh shelled peas or frozen peas, thawed
•1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
•3 lemons, halved
16"-18" paella pan....worth the money if you love paella!
•Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill. Let burn down to red-hot coals; rake to edge of grill. (For backup, start a second round of coals in a charcoal chimney on pavement nearby.) Put paella pan on grill grate; heat olive oil. Add chorizo and green garlic or leeks; cook until golden, 3-4 minutes.
•Add smoked paprika and rice; cook, stirring often, until rice is coated, 2 minutes. Add saffron threads to hot stock. Add stock to pan and season to taste with kosher salt; stir to distribute ingredients. Let cook, undisturbed, until stock simmers and rice begins to absorb liquid, about 10 minutes. Rotate pan every 2-3 minutes to cook evenly.
•Arrange lobster halves over the rice. Continue cooking, rotating the pan often, as the rice swells and absorbs the stock. Add more coals from charcoal chimney to maintain even heat under the pan. Cook until the rice is almost tender and the lobster is cooked through, about 10 more minutes.
•Scatter peas on top. (If the liquid evaporates before the rice is tender, add more hot stock.) Cook without stirring, allowing rice to absorb all of the liquid, so that a crust (the socarrat) develops on the bottom and the edges begin to dry out and get crusty, 5-10 minutes, for a total cooking time of about 40 minutes.
•Remove pan from grill. Cover with large clean kitchen towels and let rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve with lemons, making sure to scrape some of the socarrat from the bottom of the pan onto each plate.
Don't forget to leave me a comment on your culinary awakening!