A Decade Later


Last week Adam and I celebrated our ten year wedding anniversary.  It hardly seems possible that a decade has gone by since we gathered our family and friends together in a redwood grove in Berkeley and traded vows and rings. Yet here we are. He with silver in his hair, and I with a little more laugh in my lines. We have our two wild haired boys, our now 15 year old cat, and the shelter and promise of our new home. As it turns out, a lot can happen in ten years. We managed to sneak away for a long relaxing weekend in Palm Springs, where we slept in, laid by the pool, and ate late night dinners, but before we left we celebrated with the boys.  At our wedding Adam and I served a family style paella at each table, so we thought it would be the perfect way to recreate the memory. As we sat together in our new backyard, pink peonies on the table like my bouquet, telling bad knock knock jokes, squabbling, sneaking kisses, talking about the big day, we ate our wedding food; our family complete.  

Cast Iron Skillet Paella
Cast Iron Skillet Paella

I shared a paella a few years ago, here's an updated recipe using little neck clams and a fish stock for cooking. Garnished with green olives for a salty bite, I like this version for it's true seafood flavor, and upping the saffron gives a stronger mineral taste. A chilly Albarino is the perfect wine pairing.

Wedding Paella

12 oz linguisa, cut into 1/2" slices

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 tbsp minced garlic

2 cups arborio rice

1 cup dry white wine

5 cups fish stock (found in frozen section at whole foods)

1 tbsp paprika (smokey spanish variety)

1/2 tsp saffron threads, crumbled

Salt and pepper

8 oz boned, skinned firm white fish (halibut) 

1 lb shelled, deveined shrimp, tails on

8 oz clams, soaked and rinsed, in their shells  

12 cup pitted green olives, cut in half

Lemon wedges 

1. In a 15" paella pan or cast iron skillet (with at least 2 1/4" tall sides) over high heat, turn sausages occasionally until browned on both sides.

2. Reduce heat to medium-high and add olive oil to pan; when hot, add onion, bell pepper and garlic and stir often until onion is limp.  Add rice and stir until it begins to turn opaque, 2-3 minutes.  Stir in wine, fish stock, paprika, and saffron.  Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring once of twice, until rice is almost tender to bite, 15-18 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

3. Meanwhile, rinse and drain fish and shrimp; cut fish into 1" pieces, scrub soaked clams, discarding any gaping ones that don't close when you tap their shells.

4. Gently stir olives, fish, shrimp and sausages into rice mixture; arrange clams on top.  Cover pan with foil or lid and cook until the rice is tender to bite, fish and shrimp are opaque but still moist looking in center of thickest part, and mussel shells have popped, about 7-8 minutes. Garnish with lemon wedges.