Saturday was a lovely summer day. The heat of the past weeks had subsided and there was a gentle breeze in the air. I was thankful for the cooler weather, because we were having company for dinner and we wanted to cook outside and spend the evening dining under the pergola.
Dinner was Spanish themed, so the menu called for Gazpacho, Paella and Crema Catalana. I started in the morning making the dessert (I love my cookbook stand!).
Once our company arrived, we began with Manchego cheese, Marcona Almonds, Spanish Olives and the Gazpacho (sprinkled with fresh tomato, croutons and chopped hard boiled egg).
Then Mr. Comforts of Home started the Paella on the grill, beginning with browning the Chorizo sausage.
As our guests, Penny and David, from Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen, patiently waited...
The Paella, slowly built up bit by bit, starting with the sofrito of tomatoes, onions, garlic and sweet red bell pepper.
Next came the broth, saffron and rice...
Looking good already!!
Finally, the Chorizo was added back in, along with the lobster tails, shrimp, white fish and mussels. Peas were scattered across the top. The rice formed a crusty bottom called a Socarrat - just perfect!
The dessert I had made earlier in the day, Crema Catalana, is similar to Creme Brulee', but not quite as firm. I had bought a "chef's torch" to caramelize the sugar on top, but it didn't work. So luckily, amongst much laughter, Mr. Comforts of Home brought in his torch from the workshop and it did a beautiful job!
After dinner, it cooled off enough that we were able to sit by the fire pit and enjoy an almost full moon.
This was the first time we tried cooking Paella outside on a grill. Normally we cook it on our stove top. Thank you David and Penny, for letting us experiment on you!
If you want the recipes for this meal, including the Gazpacho, Paella and Creme Catalana, click the "Recipe" tab under my header.