The sixth annual Corona Paella Challenge, hosted by La Gloria’s chef Johnny Hernandez returns to Pearl on March 15 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The celebration happens rain or shine (as folks who remember last year’s cold but cozy gathering already know) and will showcase the delicious food and wine of Spain, traditional sangria, a variety of craft and imported beers, and live entertainment perfect for the entire family. Presale tickets to the event are $65. Admission for individuals under 21 years of age is $25. Tickets can be purchased at www.paellachallenge.com and will also be available for $75 at the door, if the event is not sold out.
Can’t wait until the competition for some paella? Make your own. You don’t need a fancy paella pan. You don’t even need rice, as this recipe from Giada De Laurentiis demonstrates. There are a lot of ingredients, but the dish comes together easily and the flavors will win you over to pasta in your paella.
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 sweet Italian sausages, casing removed (about 12 ounces)
1 skinless boneless chicken breast (about 6 ounces), cut into 3/4-inch cubes
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
6 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 medium fennel bulb, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, diced
3 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon finely crumbled stem saffron
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 Turkish bay leaves
8 ounces spaghetti, broken into 1-inch lengths
8 ounces halibut fillet, cut into eight 1-inch cubes
12 small littleneck clams, scrubbed
12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh Italian parsley
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a 6-quart Dutch oven. Add the sausages and stir, breaking up the sausages into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink on the outside, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the chicken and sausage to a medium bowl, using a slotted spoon.
Add the garlic, fennel, onion, bell pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to the pan. Cook until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add the clam juice, tomatoes with juices, paprika, saffron, cayenne and bay leaves. Add the spaghetti and cook, uncovered, until almost tender, stirring occasionally, about 9 minutes. Return the chicken and sausage to the pan. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add the halibut, clams and shrimp. Cover and cook until the clams open, 4 to 5 minutes. Discard any unopened clams. Remove the cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer gently until fish, shrimp and chicken are just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and discard. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in the parsley and serve.
From Giada De Laurentiis/Food Network