chesapeake bay paella

steven and i are obsessed with paella this summer and we’ve been trying to brain storm the perfect paella theme. right now we’re workshopping chesapeake bay paella. we’re hoping to include all things soigné (top chef, much?!) about our region.

steven is so obsessed, in fact, we spent an hour in the car today driving to the only butcher we could find in dc who makes their own half smoke, because ya know, sausage is a key component to paella and it wouldn’t be a true chesapeake bay paella without the half smoke variety (if you’re out of the loop, read up on half smokes, and check out meats & foods where we got on ours).

for the seafood component, he plans to use chesapeake bay clams. any baltimorean, as we consider ourselves after our time in charm city, knows clams are just as good if not better than oysters — and in a dish like paella, they definitely hold their texture better.

we also plan to use chesapeake bay lump crab meat. omg my mouth is already watering.

i did, however, have to pry the natty boh and old bay out of his hands during paella prep today, because i love a good baltimore margarita as much as the next person, but baltimore paella doesn’t sound that appealing. : )

this is all in preparation for a cooking competition steven is participating in this weekend. it’s hosted by REI, so the challenge is you have to cook on a camp stove and must do all of your cooking in a single cast iron. perfect constraints for a one pan paella meal.

this picture is from a paella he made a few weeks ago. if you follow all clad on instagram, you probably saw that they re-posted it on the fourth of july! yay! if it’s good enough for all clad, hopefully it’ll be good enough for REI! super excited to watch steven in action and taste some delicious food this weekend.

if you’re looking for a fun customizable paella recipe of your own, consider this one by mark bittman.

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