This will be a quick one, since I'm completely knackered from the continuing herb- now technically herb and fruit- garden which I'll take pics of when it's done. Until then, I'm going to try to make some progress posting some of the backlog of meals that lurk on my desktop, mocking me. Since I'm too tired to cook tonight, it's nice to have some things on hand.
A couple of weeks ago, we went to Debi's birthday party- a pot luck, with the usual suspects- and it was an epic meal as they always are. Our contribution, in addition to some wine, was to bring the makings of a paella-risotto hybrid and prepare it there. I bought 18 clams and half a snow crab, pulled two quarts of chicken broth from the freezer, and tossed them plus the rice, saffron, pimentón, a bell pepper, peas and some ramps into a box and we set off.
So I basically just made risotto, but using all the Spanish flavors, I steamed the clams and legs in a separate pot, then stirred that liquor into the rice at the end. There was a ton of other good food, but I can't remember most of it. Some great BBQ chicken, grilled halibut, and so much more. The rice turned out quite well (the rest of the clams were served in a bowl alongside.) John and I coordinated the wine beforehand, as always, and each brought a Beringer reserve, among other things. His was a 1993, mine a 1992. It was interesting to try them side by side; the 93 seemed pretty good until we tried the 92, which was much richer, more elegant, and beginning to go to the cedary place that good old cabs specialize in. Not a world-rocker, but a damn fine bottle of wine. It was a refreshing change from the norm, where he pretty much always brings the wine of the night.