Sharon's paella in contestHoly smokes, it’s going to be hot next week!  With temperatures forecasted to reach the mid to high ’80s, consider cooking outdoors to keep the house cool, or don’t cook at all. Making paella outside is always a great idea, whether on a paella burner, barbeque or over a wood fire. A charcuterie platter is another fine option and you can get one from Paris-Madrid Grocery.  Check out more hot-weather suggestions and recipes below.

RECIPE:  AMONTILLADO AND CHICKEN PAELLA WITH CHORIZO  From The Spanish Table cookbook by Steve Winston
Serves 4

¼ cup Spanish olive oil*
4 Chicken thighs
2 links Spanish Style Cooking Chorizo*
1 Large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon Minced Garlic
1 1/3 cups Spanish short-grain Bomba Valencian rice*
1 cup     Medium Dry Amontillado Sherry such as Dios Baco*
3 cups   Chicken stock*
* These ingredients are available at Paris-Madrid Grocery

Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch paella pan and brown the chicken.
Add onions and sauté until wilted.
Add garlic and cook another minute or two.
Add chorizo and cook until fat is released.
Add rice and stir to coat.
Add Amontillado sherry.
Bring to a boil, when Amontillado is absorbed by the rice, add chicken stock, reduce heat and simmer until rice is done, approximately 20-25 minutes.

gazpacho spainFor no-cook meals, make a cold soup such as Gazpacho and serve with tinned fish and crackers.  For dessert, enjoy slices of chilled summer melon topped with thinly sliced Jamón Serrano. (Alternatively, you may purchase ready-made Spanish gazpacho at Paris-Madrid Grocery, along with tinned fish and Jamón Serrano).

RECIPE:  THE SPANISH TABLE CLASSIC RED GAZPACHO RECIPE  From The Spanish Table cookbook by Steve Winston
A jug with a secure lid filled with chilled, seasonal soup is the first thing to slip into your picnic basket.  Gazpacho is one of those dishes that depends on the cook’s taste buds because from batch to batch, the flavors of the ingredients vary.  But no matter who makes it, gazpacho is always refreshing, and the variations lend personality.  So add or subtract ingredients at whim with one caveat:  it is the bread and oil that distinguishes gazpacho from vegetable juice.  Serves 6 to 8

All measurements are approximate as the size, ripeness and flavor of ingredients vary seasonally.
2-3 cloves Garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon Salt
½  Sweet Onion (optional)
1 Red pepper
1  Green pepper (optional)
1  Cucumber, peeled
4-5 Ripe tomatoes
¼ cup Sherry vinegar*
¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil*
2 cups Stale bread cut up and covered with cold water
Salt to taste
* These ingredients are available at Paris-Madrid Grocery

Drop garlic into the blender while running, then add ingredients one by one and puree.
Add cold water if needed to allow the machine to properly blend ingredients.
As the blender fills, dump half the contents into a bowl or pitcher, watching for lumps.
Stir and taste.
If needed, adjust the salt.
If too sweet, add vinegar.
Add a pinch of sugar if too acidic.
Add bread if too thin.
Add water if too thick.
Chill before serving.

Pincho skewersFor cooking outdoors on a barbeque, we suggest roasting whole peppers, onions, zucchini, and eggplant and serving with grilled skewers of marinated shrimp, pork, or other protein of choice.   Serving cooked, jarred Spanish Garbanzo beans on the side is a delicious accompaniment.

RECIPE:  PRAWNS AND CHORIZO SKEWERS From The Spanish Table cookbook by Steve Winston
Makes 6 skewers

1 pound               Large prawns (18-25 count)
½ pound              Chorizo Bilbao cut into ¼ inch thick slices (available at Paris-Madrid Grocery)

Skewer the prawns, each with a Chorizo slice skewered from the side, so the prawn curls around the coin-like slice.
Grill over hot coals letting the fatty juices from the Chorizo bath the prawns.

WINE CORNER:   We’ll pop the cork on the following three seasonal wines on Friday, August 11.  Stop in and try free samples, then buy your favorites.

Talmard Macon-Uchizy Blanc 2022, Burgundy ($16.99)  Taste this fresh and lively Chardonnay and discover how lovely a Burgundian Chardonnay can be!

Commandiere de la Bargemone Rosé 2022, Aix-en-Provence  Always one of the best pink wines of the season, it arrived a bit later this year.  Super refreshing and dry, it’s excellent with grilled seafood.

Descendientes de J. Palacios Pétalos 2020, Bierzo  ($23.99)   This red from Northern Spain is made mostly with the Mencia grape.  Never heard of Mencia?   Come and sample it!