Sunday, November 25, 2007

Turkey Chowder

I started out following Jasper White's recipe for turkey chowder this evening, but quickly strayed from the text. In my humble opinion, the results were magnificent. I used lean turkey bacon instead of pork, cut way down on the butter, added sherry for greater depth of flavor, used a little leftover turkey gravy as a thickener instead of heavy cream, and threw in some chopped garlic and fresh herbs for a little extra oomph. I think its pretty safe to say that its no longer Jasper White's chowder...

1 teaspoon unsalted butter
4 ounces turkey bacon, cut into large dice
1 large yellow onion, cut into large dice
3 stalks of celery, cut into 1/2 inch slices
3 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed, coarsely chopped
6 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
3 sprigs of fresh oregano, leaves removed, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 pounds new potatoes, cut into large dice
2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1/4 cup dry sherry
4 cups of turkey stock
1 lb leftover turkey meat, shredded
1 1/2 cups turkey gravy (or whole milk)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

In a large pot, brown the turkey bacon in the butter. Add the onion and celery and sweat the vegetables until they soften a bit but do not brown. Add the fresh herbs, garlic and potatoes. Raise the heat to medium high and add the sherry, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the stock. It should just barely cover the potatoes. Cook vigorously until the potatoes are cooked through but still hold their shape, about 10 minutes. Add the shredded turkey and simmer until heated through. Add the gravy or milk and adjust the seasoning to taste. Garnish with parsley and serve hot with some crusty bread.

Turkey Stock

Man, I love Thanksgiving. Its a great excuse to cook for a whole week straight. This recipe makes a very rich and flavorful stock.

1 turkey carcass, broken into pieces, along with any left over juices or gravy
1 T olive oil
Coarsely chop the following vegetables:
2 large onions
6 cloves of garlic
4 ribs of celery
1/2 cup carrots
1/2 cup turnips
1/2 cup
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Either roast the 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
4 sprigs of fresh oregano
1 T black peppercorns
2 cubes of chicken boullion
2 bay leaves
3 T garlic powder
salt, to taste
1 cup white wine
11 cups water, or enough to cover all ingredients

Roast the carcass in a 400 degree oven until the bones are browned. Set aside. Saute all of the vegetables in the oil in a large stock pot over high heat for just a few minutes, until they begin to release some moisture. Add the rest of the ingredients. Bring the stock to a boil and then simmer it, partially covered, for 3 hours. Strain the stock and skim off the fat.
Makes 8-10 cups of stock.

Turkey Hash

This hash turned out so beautifully. Bill's been talking about turkey hash since the week before Thanksgiving; before there were even leftovers to work with! My cousin Doug's magical gravy pushed it over the top.

1 small potato, cut into small dice
1/2 a yellow onion
1 small red pepper, chopped into small dice
1 clove of garlic, sliced thin
1 cup chopped leftover turkey
vegetable oil
1/8 cup chopped fresh oregano
Salt and pepper, to taste
Leftover turkey gravy (or catsup) for serving

Cook the potato in boiling salted water until tender. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, saute the vegetables in a small amount of oil in a large pan until they are soft. Turn the heat up to medium high, add a little extra oil, and then add the reserved potatoes and turkey. Cook until the hash has a nice sear to it. Add the oregano and adjust for seasoning. Serve hot with gravy over the top and scrambled eggs alongside, or in a bowl with poached/fried eggs on top.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Bittersweet Chocolate Pecan Pie

I made this pie (from Gourmet magazine) for our day-after-Thanksgiving celebration with my family this year. It couldn't have been easier to put together, and i was very happy with the results. Its a kind of sophisticated take on a familiar comfort food, and I love how the bitter undertones wake the other flavors up and bring them out. Bill scarfed the last of this pie for lunch the next day and he normally has a pretty serious pecan pie aversion. I'll be making this again.


1 (3 1/2 to 4-ounces) fine-quality 60% - 70%-cacao bittersweet chocolate bar, finely chopped
Pastry dough
2 cups pecan halves (7 ounces), toasted and cooled
3 large eggs
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dark corn syrup

Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle.

Melt chocolate in a metal bowl set over barely simmering water, stirring. Remove from heat. (Or melt it in a bowl in the microwave, in 20 second intervals.)

Roll out dough into a 13-inch round on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim excess dough, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold overhang under and press against rim of pie plate, then crimp decoratively.

Spread chocolate in bottom of pie shell with back of spoon and let it set, then cover with pecans.

Whisk together eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a bowl, then whisk in corn syrup and pour over pecans.

Bake pie until filling is puffed and crust is golden, 50 to 60 minutes. (If pie is browning too fast after 30 minutes, loosely cover with foil.) Cool pie on a rack to warm or room temperature. Serve with whipped cream.

Joan Hassol's Strawberry Jam

Joan Hassol's book changed my life as a home cook. I've spent more blissfully meditative hours making jam over the last eight years since Well Preserved was published than I ever could have imagined or predicted. There is something completely satisfying about jam-making, and Joan's account of cooking as a spiritual practice, and as a way to increase awareness of the seasons, of our immediate environment, struck a deep chord with me. She lives and cooks and forages for wild berries on Cape Cod, right near where I spent the happiest parts of my childhood, so her book evokes all of that for me as well.

5 1/2 cups washed, hulled strawberries (about 1 rounded quart)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 1 3/4-ounce packages powdered pectin
7 cups sugar
1/3 cup Triple Sec liqueur (optional).

1. Sterilize your jars: Wash 8 8-ounce (1 cup) jars with new one-piece lids in hot, soapy water and rinse well. Place jars on a rack in a large kettle (jars must not touch the bottom of the kettle). Fill the kettle with water until the jars are completely covered. Bring to a boil and boil 15 minutes. Leave jars in the hot water, removing them individually with tongs as you fill them. Place lids in a large saucepan covered with water. Bring to a boil and boil 5 minutes. Leave lids in water, removing as you need them.

2. Meanwhile, working in small batches, process the strawberries in a food processor until finely chopped, or chop them by hand. Place berries and lemon juice in a large nonreactive kettle and bring to a boil. Stir in the pectin. Return to a boil and slowly stir in the sugar. Stir in the Triple Sec. Bring to a boil again and boil for 1 minute. Pour the hot jam into the jars, leaving 1/8 of an inch below the lip of each. Wipe the rims with a clean, damp towel and screw the lids on tightly. Invert the jars on a clean surface and leave 5 minutes. Turn right side up and cool. Store in a cool, dark place.

Yield: About 8 8-ounce jars.

Carolina Brunschweig's Apple Butter

I love The Wednesday Chef's blog. She makes testing recipes and writing about food look easy. And its SO nice to know I'm not the only one who treats the Dining Out section like some kind of personal astrological guide for how I should spend my weekend. Of course, since I'm supposed to be making great progress on my Ph.D. coursework this weekend, nothing seems more appealing than starting a huge sticky project in the kitchen. Over the next two weeks I'll kick off my annual canning frenzy of putting up jams and preserves to give as holiday presents, and the apple butter recipe on The Wednesday Chef's blog seems like a perfect starting point. I usually use Joan Hassol's apple butter recipe from Well Preserved; but I'm going to deviate from tradition this year and give this recipe a whirl. Last year I baked a batch of apple butter in a roasting pan in the oven. That way, I only had to stir it every twenty minutes or so, instead of standing over the stove for two hours. I may use that method again this year.

4 pounds of apples, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks
Roughly 1/2 gallon of apple cider
2 cups of sugar (I cut this to 1 and 1/4 cups of sugar)
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (I would do just 1 teaspoon next time)
1/2 teaspoon cloves (and I'd do a little less than 1/2 teaspoon next time)
Juice of one lemon

1. Heat oven to 225 and place jars (but not lids) on the baking racks. Jars will need to stay in the oven for at least 20 minutes. Wash the lids with hot water and let them dry completely on a clean towel.

2. In a big, heavy pot over medium heat add the apples and enough apple cider to just cover the apples. Bring to a simmer. A bit of a foam will form, you want to skim that off a couple of times. Cook the apples until they are tender throughout, roughly 20-30 minutes. Take the apples off the heat, let them cool for a couple minutes, and then puree in a blender in small batches (don't fill the blender over half full with the hot liquid or you will have a mess) or with an immersion blender directly in the pot. The puree should be the consistency of a thin applesauce.

3. Put the puree back in the big pot over medium heat. Bring puree to a simmer (you need it to hit 220F on candy thermometer). Then, while stirring, slowly sprinkle in the sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and lemon juice. Continue to simmer over medium/med-low heat. It takes quite a while from this point until the apple butter reduces and really thickens up, anywhere from 1 to 2 hours (try to keep it around 220F). Make sure you stir regularly, you don't want it to burn or cook to the bottom of the pot. You are looking for the apple butter to thicken up and darken. Towards the end it gets a bit messy, the simmer becoming more lava-like - it also sounds different, lots of plop and slop noises and lots of spattering coming from the pot. Remove from heat.

4. Fill your your biggest, deepest pot with water and bring to a rolling boil. The water level will need to cover the jars.

5. Using tongs carefully remove each jar from the oven and fill to within 1/4 inch of the top with the apple butter. Wipe off rims with a clean dry paper towel. Place a dry lid on each jar and close tightly. Using tongs place each of the jars in the boiling water and boil for 10 minutes. Cool on a rack, upside down for the first fifteen minutes, and then right side up until the jars are cool.

Orangette's Cranberry Chutney

I saw this on Orangette's lovely site.
It looked too special not to "clip out" and save in our family cookbook. When I start making this year's Channukah/Xmas presents, I'm going to include a few jars of this gorgeous ruby-red chutney for people to eat on sandwiches, on toast, with goat cheese, or just by the spoonfull.

24 ounces apricot preserves
¾ cup raspberry vinegar, or ¾ cup white distilled vinegar plus 1 ½ tsp raspberry preserves
A pinch of salt
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ cup Grand Marnier
2 bags fresh cranberries
½ cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
1 ¼ cups dried tart cherries

In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the apricot preserves, raspberry vinegar (or vinegar and raspberry preserves), salt, cloves, and Grand Marnier. Stir to mix, and place over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, and continue to cook – it will bubble aggressively, and you should stir regularly to keep it from scorching – for about 10-15 minutes, or until it has thickened slightly. Reduce the heat to medium, add the cranberries, and cook until they are soft but not popped. [I know that they’re ready when I hear one or two of them pop; that’s a good indicator that most of them must be getting pretty soft.] Add the ginger and cherries, stir well, and remove from the heat. Cool completely before serving. The chutney will thicken considerably as it cools.

Yield: 8-10 servings

Simple Sandwich Bread

This is the Hertzberg recipe from the NY Times, that claims to be even easier than Bittman's NKB. Just in time to make turkey sandwiches. Unable to resist meddling, I used half whole wheat flour on the first test. I also halved the recipe. Both of these factors may have influenced my results. The bread was tasty but it didn't rise as much as I would have liked. It also didn't yield nearly enough dough to make two substantial loaves, as projected in the recipe. It made two very short and narrow loaves. I'm going to keep fiddling with it. It certainly is easy enough, tastes pretty good, and might make a nice soft sandwich bread alternative to Bittman's superlative crusty loaf every once in a while.

**Tried it again a week later, using the full recipe and only 1/3 whole wheat flour. I also baked it on a pizza stone instead of trying to fit in in a loaf pan like I did the first time. Lovely, soft sandwich loaf. Easy as can be. Yields 2 large loaves.

1 1/2 tablespoons yeast (active-dry)
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
6 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, more for dusting dough

1. In a large bowl or plastic container, mix yeast and salt into 3 cups lukewarm water (about 100 degrees). Stir in flour, mixing until there are no dry patches. Dough will be loose. Cover, but not with an airtight lid. Let dough rise at room temperature 2 hours (or up to 5 hours).

2. Bake at this point or refrigerate, covered, for as long as two weeks. When ready to bake, sprinkle a little flour on dough and cut off a grapefruit-size piece with serrated knife. Turn dough in hands to lightly stretch surface, creating a rounded top and a lumpy bottom. Put dough on pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal; let rest 40 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough or refrigerate it.

3. Place broiler pan on bottom of oven. Place baking stone on middle rack and turn oven to 450 degrees; heat stone at that temperature for 20 minutes.

4. Dust dough with flour, slash the top with serrated or very sharp knife three times. Slide onto stone. Pour one cup hot water into broiler pan and shut oven quickly to trap steam. Bake until well browned, about 30 minutes. Cool completely.

Variation: If not using stone, stretch rounded dough into oval and place in a greased, nonstick loaf pan. Let rest 40 minutes if fresh, an extra hour if refrigerated. Heat oven to 450 degrees for 5 minutes. Place pan on middle rack.

Bittman's No-knead Bread

I know, I know. Its Jim Lahey's bread. Bittman just published the recipe. Try telling Bill that. I'm finally getting around to trying the recipe that everyone's been talking about for a year!
Yields one 1 1/2 pound loaf

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


So these are pastelillos if you're from Puerto Rico, and empanadas if you're from anywhere else. My friend Maya taught me how to make them when we were about 15 years old. I make them for parties all the time, and people love them. They're also a super economical way to feed a group of folks. My aunt Linda has suggested on numerous occasions that I could probably get rich pushing an empanada cart.

1 lb ground beef
2 teaspoon plus one tablespoon of olive oil
1 onion, diced medium
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 green pepper, diced small
1/2 red pepper, diced small
1/2 cup pimento stuffed olives, chopped (or more, to taste)
1/2 cup raisins
fire roasted tomato sauce or sofrito tomato paste -- about a cup
ground cumin
cayenne pepper
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
30 Goya frozen discos para empanadas, thawed.

Heat the teaspoon of olive oil in a large saute pan, and sear the ground beef, breaking it up as it sears. Take it off the heat while the meat is still undercooked in places. you want the flavor of the sear, but you don't want the meat to overcook. Set the meat aside in a large bowl, and wash out the pan. Return the saute pan to the stove and heat the remaining tablespoon of oil to saute the onions, peppers and garlic together until the vegetables begin to soften - about 4 minutes. Add the spices and the tomato sauce. Cook for a few minutes. Take the vegetables off the heat and add them to the meat in the bowl. Add the olives and raisins. Taste for seasoning. The mixture should be extremely flavorful and moist, and even tending towards being a little overseasoned is fine, because the empanada dough will tone the seasoning down a little bit. The filling can be made the night before and sit covered in the refrigerator. Taste for seasoning again before filling the empanadas. Fold in the cilantro just before filling the discos.

On a cutting board, take each disco and stretch or roll it out. Pile a heaping scoop of the filling on one half of the dough. Pull the other half of the dough over the filling and press the edges together to make a half circle. The edges must be tightly crimped together. Take a fork and crimp around the edge to make a decorative border.

Heat the oil in a large pan until it is hot. Add the empanadas, 3 OR 4 at time, and fry them until they are brown on one side, about 1 minute. Turn them over carefully and brown on the other side. Remove the empanadas from the oil with a slotted spatula and let drain on paper towels, adding more empanadas to the oil until they are all fried. Serve hot.

Yield: 30 empanadas

Saturday, November 17, 2007


When we first met and Bill found out that I used to cook for a living, he told me that there was this one dish that his grandmother Viola (who was a fabulous cook) used to make for him when he was a boy, that was still his favorite thing in the world to eat. He complained that since it was an old fashioned kind of food, it was hard to find anyone who knew how to make it anymore. I bet him that I could guess what that hard-to-find favorite food was if he would tell me where his grandmother was from. He said she was from Virginia, I blurted out "spoonbread!" and the rest, as they say, is history. He later told me that he almost fell off his chair when I nailed it on the first guess, but he played it pretty cool at the time. I serve this with our homemade strawberry jam, and lots of butter.

4 eggs, separated
1 cup cornmeal (preferably arrowhead mills)
3 - 4 cups whole milk (it depends on the kind of cornmeal you use. The finer grinds will absorb more liquid. If you use the larger amount of liquid, the baking time will be increased by about fifteen minutes)
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar or more, to taste
2 Tbs sweet butter, plus more for buttering the dish and serving

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 1 and 1/2 quart baking dish. In a large bowl, whip the egg whites until medium peaks form. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the cornmeal and 1 and 1/2 cups milk. In a pan, scald the remaining milk and then add the cornmeal mixture to it, whisking constantly until it begins to thicken, about 8 minutes.
Remove from the heat. Add the salt, sugar and butter. Stir in the egg yolks, one at a time. Fold in the egg whites. Pour into the baking dish. Bake for about 1 hour. The top will be a deep crusty brown, the spoonbread will be puffed up like a cornmeal souffle, and a toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean.
Serves 6

Friday, November 16, 2007

Apple Jalousie

This recipe by Kimberly Musibay came right out of the pages of Taunton's Fine Cooking. Its one of those rare magazine recipes that I didn't have to tamper with at all. I've made it a few times now, including this year as my contribution to Thanksgiving with Bill's family. Gorgeous. Foolproof. It has to be served warm, in order to get the full effect.

1-1/4 to 1-1/2 lb. Granny Smith apples (about 3 medium), peeled, halved lengthwise, cored, and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
3 Tbs. granulated sugar
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
Pinch freshly grated or ground nutmeg
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out with the back of a knife (reserve the seeds)
1 large egg
1 sheet frozen packaged puff pastry (Pepperidge Farm brand), thawed overnight in the fridge or according to package instructions
Flour for rolling out the dough
1 tsp. demerara, turbinado, or granulated sugar
Crème fraîche, whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream for serving

Make the filling:

In a large bowl, toss the apples with the brown sugar, granulated sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.

In a 12-inch skillet, melt the butter over medium heat until the milk solids turn golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the vanilla seeds, and stir. Carefully add the apple mixture to the skillet; with a heatproof rubber spatula, scrape all the sugar and spices from the bowl into the skillet. Stir the apples to coat them with the butter and then spread them in a fairly even layer. Return the pan to medium heat and cook, stirring gently with the spatula every few minutes (try not to break the apple slices), until the apples are tender but not mushy (taste one) and still hold their shape, and the juices have cooked down to a fairly thick, brown, bubbling syrup, 10 to 13 minutes. Scrape the apples into a wide shallow dish or onto a baking sheet to cool completely before assembling the jalousie.
Assemble the jalousie:

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment. In a small bowl, make an egg wash by beating the egg with 1 Tbs. water until well combined.

Unfold the puff pastry dough on a floured surface, and gently pinch together any seams that have split. With a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a 12x14-inch rectangle. With a sharp knife, cut the rectangle in half lengthwise to form two 6x14-inch rectangles. Use a long spatula to help you move one of the dough rectangles onto the parchment-lined baking sheet.

Use a pastry brush to brush a 1-inch border of egg wash around the perimeter of the dough. (Save the remaining egg wash.) Arrange the fruit in a 4-inch-wide strip down the length of the dough. (I like to shingle the apple slices in a thick herringbone pattern down the length of the dough; you may need to make a double layer of apples.) Some syrupy apple juices will likely remain in the dish; spoon 2 to 3 Tbs. over the apples. If some of the liquid seeps onto the egg-washed border, don’t worry about it.

Lightly dust the remaining piece of puff pastry with flour and then gently fold it in half lengthwise; don’t crease the fold. Using a sharp knife, cut 1-1/2-inch-long slashes at 1-inch intervals along the folded side of the dough; leave at least a 1-inch border on the remaining three sides. Do not unfold the dough. Using a long spatula, gently lift the folded strip and position it over the fruit-filled dough rectangle, matching up the straight edges.
Slash along the folded side.

Gently unfold the top piece of dough and stretch it over the filling, matching the straight edges all the way around the perimeter of the dough. Press the edges gently with your fingertips to seal the dough, and then, with a fork, very gently crimp the edges of the dough all the way around the pastry.
Unfold the dough over the filling.
Bake the jalousie:

Chill the assembled jalousie for 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F.

Right before baking, brush the top of the jalousie with a very light coating of the remaining egg wash (you won’t need it all) and sprinkle with the demerara, turbinado, or granulated sugar.

Bake for 15 minutes and then rotate the baking sheet. Continue baking until the pastry is puffed, deep golden brown on top, and light golden brown on the bottom—use a spatula to gently lift the jalousie so you can peek underneath—another 10 to 15 minutes. Immediately transfer the jalousie from the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool for at least 45 minutes. (Instead of trying to move the hot jalousie with a spatula, lift the parchment to move the jalousie to the rack and then carefully slide the paper out from under the pastry.)

Serve the jalousie slightly warm with crème fraîche, lightly sweetened whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream.
The jalousie is best served the day it’s made, but it will keep, wrapped well in aluminum foil, for three days. You can reheat it in a 325°F oven for 5 minutes before serving.
Serves eight.Yields one 6x14-inch pastry
From Fine Cooking 84, pp. 56-57
photos: Scott Phillips

Weeknight Paella

Since Bill is enamored with all things Bittman these days, I took Bittman's "quick paella" recipe and tweaked it a bit in order to come up with this dish. It was verrrrrrry tasty and easy to make, taking less than 30 minutes to complete from start to finish.

2 cups shrimp shell stock or clam juice or chicken stock, or some combination of the above
pinch of saffron or 1 teaspoon of bijol or tumeric
1 link chorizo or andouille sausage, sliced into thick coins
4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon pimenton
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup arborio rice
1 cup raw peeled shrimp
6-8 littleneck clams
1/2 cup frozen green peas, defrosted
1 pimento, julienned
Minced fresh cilantro, for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Warm the stock in the microwave along with the saffron. Place an ovenproof 10- or 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat and add the sausage until it browns slightly and renders some of its fat. Saute the garlic until golden. Add the olive oil. A minute later, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent and soft, about 5 minutes. Add the paprika and cumin and cook 1 minute more.

2. Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until glossy, just 1 or 2 minutes. Add the warm stock, taking care to avoid the rising steam. Arrange the shrimp, clams and peas in the skillet, nestled into the rice. Transfer the skillet to the oven.

3. Bake about 15 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is dry on top. If the rice is undercooked at all, add another 1/4 cup of liquid, cover the dish and let it sit for ten minutes. Taste for salt, then garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.
Serves 4