Paddy’s Day Party Prep

St. Patrick's Day entertaining menu recipes corned beef and cabbage irish soda bread

I love to entertain.  Over time, I’ve found the more gatherings you host, the better you get in terms of time management.  Like the best known entertainers will tell you, you host events to spend time with your guests…and how much time are you spending with them if you are constantly in the kitchen?

St. Patrick’s Day gatherings at our house have become a yearly thing.  Luckily, the food is so easy to prepare, and so naturally flavorful and good that getting an algorithm down for preparation isn’t half bad.  It is a meal that is a good place to start if you are just getting into entertaining.

My usual menu goes a little something like this:


  • Cheese plate with crackers/fruit
  • Pretzels with a fun mustard
  • Crudites with some type of dip
St. Patty's Day entertaining recipes hosting meal planning

*I always try to stick with a theme when entertaining.  For St. Patrick’s Day, I’ll typically pick up an Irish Cheddar, a stout infused cheese and something like an English Cotswold or an Apricot Stilton or some other fun variety.  For veggies and fruit, I choose what I serve using yellow, green and white as my color palette.

St. Patrick's Day entertaining menu recipes corned beef and cabbage irish soda bread

Main meal

  • Corned beef and cabbage (and carrots and red potatoes)
  • Irish Soda Bread
  • Salad of mache, crisp green beans and tomatoes with a white wine-whole grain mustard dressing
irish soda bread recipe St. Patty's Day menu planning hosting entertaining tips tricks

*I find that the traditional corned beef in a bag that you get from your grocer is sufficiently delicious for this meal. It is so easy to not have to worry about brining and seasoning…it always comes out great!  So, to amp up the foodie factor, I spend time making my own bread and a nice salad.


  • Rich chocolate stout cake with a ganache drizzle and french vanilla ice cream
  • Coffee and Bailey’s
chocolate stout cake recipe St. Patty's Day menu planning hosting entertaining tips tricks

* This meal is so rustic and simple, it almost demands a decadent dessert for a strong finish! A great way to round out a fabulous meal.

The key to a smooth evening is prep earlier in the week.  Cut your veggies (cabbage into quarters, red potatoes halved or quartered , depending on size and carrots peeled and chunked for your CB&C and slice your crudites for appetizers) 1-2 days ahead of time and put them in easy to grab ziploc bags or reusable containers.

St. Patrick's Day entertaining menu recipes corned beef and cabbage irish soda bread
St. Patrick's Day entertaining menu recipes corned beef and cabbage irish soda bread

I love to add blanched green beans to a simple mache and heirloom tomato salad with mustard dressing – blanch your green beans ahead of time, slice your tomatoes and make your salad dressing early.

St. Patrick's Day entertaining menu recipes corned beef and cabbage irish soda bread
St. Patrick's Day entertaining menu recipes corned beef and cabbage irish soda bread

One thing I love to do, since a cheese plate is always a staple, is cut the label from a cheese wrapper and affix it with scotch tape to a simple toothpick.  Trader Joe’s has a great cheese selection and particularly cute labels, so it is identification and cute decoration, all-in-one!  Place unwrapped cheeses in a reusable container, ready to plate!

St. Patrick's Day entertaining menu recipes corned beef and cabbage irish soda bread

If making Irish soda bread the day of (which should definitely be eaten right out of the oven!), get your wet/dry ingredients portioned out in mixing bowls and cover in plastic wrap so they are ready to go. I typically pop my unbaked loaf into the oven just after guests arrive as it takes a little over an hour to bake.  Nothing better than the smell of fresh baking bread! And don’t forget to take some butter out of the fridge the morning of to allow to soften for serving.

St. Patrick's Day entertaining menu recipes corned beef and cabbage irish soda bread

Clear out one shelf in your fridge and stick everything for that day there, so you don’t have to search for things.

St. Patrick's Day entertaining menu recipes corned beef and cabbage irish soda bread

Plan out what servingware you’ll use, pre-wash them, and set them out how you want them arranged the night before.

St. Patrick's Day entertaining menu recipes corned beef and cabbage irish soda bread

Iron your fabric napkins and polish your silverware and glassware with a clean cloth.

St. Patrick's Day entertaining menu recipes corned beef and cabbage irish soda bread

And most importantly, have a great time and enjoy your guests the day of!  Happy Entertaining!

entertaining for St. Patrick's Day

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Beef Stew with Fennel

The continued cold weather here in Southern California prompted me to make a warming stew for dinner recently.  My husband and I, as a rule, try to stay away from starchy root vegetables like potatoes which are a traditional base in stews, so for this dish, I modified a recipe from my Mayo Clinic Cookbook to fit our needs.  The results were delicious, and oh, so warm! You can find the original recipe here.

beef stew with fennel and shallots mayo clinic gundry friendly recipes healthful soups


  • 1/4 c almond meal, for dredging
  • 1 pound boneless lean beef stew meat, trimmed of visible fat and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced vertically
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 1/2 large onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 4 large carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 bunch swiss chard, stalk removed, leaves torn
  • 1 container crimini mushrooms, quartered
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
beef stew with fennel and shallots mayo clinic gundry friendly recipes healthful soups


  1. Place the almond meal on a plate. Dredge the beef cubes in the almond meal. In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the beef and cook, turning as needed, until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove the beef from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. If using almond meal instead of flour, you’ll want to scrape the almond meal from the bottom of the pan before proceeding or it will burn (absolute blasphemy to throw away the browned bits, I know! To avoid this, just use flour).
    beef stew with fennel and shallots mayo clinic gundry friendly recipes healthful soups
  2. Add the fennel, onion and shallots to the pan over medium heat and saute until softened and lightly golden, 7 to 8 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper, the thyme sprigs and the bay leaf.
    beef stew with fennel and shallots mayo clinic gundry friendly recipes healthful soups

    Saute for 1 minute. Return the beef to the pan and add the vegetable stock and the wine, if using. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer gently until the meat is tender, ~45 minutes.

  3. Add the carrots and mushrooms. The liquid will not cover the vegetables completely, but more liquid will accumulate as the mushrooms soften. Simmer gently until the vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes longer. Add the swiss chard and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until wilted.  Discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Stir in the parsley and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Ladle into warmed individual bowls and serve immediately.
    beef stew with fennel and shallots mayo clinic gundry friendly recipes healthful soups

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Sultry Salmon

Mayo Clinic seared salmon with cucumber cilantro salsa diabetic dinner recipes dr. gundry healthy eating

A few years back, I purchased a copy of The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook and have had great success with many of the recipes.  One of my absolute favorites and go-to meals for midweek is the Seared Salmon with Cilantro-Cucumber Salsa.  The addition of red pepper flakes and a hint of sweetener to the bright and crunchy vegetable salsa gives this dish a  sultry heat that marries well with the rich, velvety salmon. As we all know, salmon is full of those fabulous omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are so important in helping to reduce inflammation throughout the body and lowering our risk for heart disease.  So eat up!

While this recipe is perfection in its unaltered form, my husband and I recently embarked on a new way of eating, which incorporates leans meats, lots of veggies and other foods and ingredients that have a low glycemic index.  In order to adapt this recipe to our new diet, I replaced the honey with raw agave syrup (easily found at Trader Joe’s), used red bell peppers instead of tomatoes, as tomatoes are technically a fruit, which we limit our intake of, and increased the proportion of “salsa” as it counts as our veggies.

For more information on our diet, please visit Dr. Gundry’s Diet Evolution and also my girlfriend’s excellent blog with loads of information and recipe ideas.  And, no, this doesn’t mean I’m never making or eating cupcakes and treats again….just not as frequently!

Ingredients (original recipe found here):

  • 1/2 english cucumber, quartered lengthwise, then cut into a small dice
  • 1/2 yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded and cut into a small dice
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into a small dice
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped shallot or red onion
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro,plus sprigs for garnish
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon agave syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Lime wedges for garnish
Mayo Clinic seared salmon with cucumber cilantro salsa diabetic dinner recipes dr. gundry healthy eating
  1. In a bowl, combine the cucumber, bell peppers, shallot, and chopped cilantro. Toss gently to mix.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, 1 teaspoon of the canola oil, the agave syrup, red pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Pour the lime mixture over the cucumber mixture and toss gently to mix and coat evenly. Set aside.
  3. Sprinkle the salmon fillets on both sides with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and the black pepper. In a large nonstick frying pan, heat the remaining ½ teaspoon canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the fish to the pan and cook, turning once, until opaque throughout when tested with the tip of a knife, 4-5 minutes on each side.
  4. Transfer the salmon fillets to individual plates and top each with the salsa. Garnish the plates with the cilantro sprigs and lime wedges. Serve immediately with another veggie, like sauteed green beans.

Cost & Time-Saving tip: My husband and I do bulk protein runs at Costco, then cut everything up into portions and freeze them for later use.

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Thank You For Smoking Gouda

smoked gouda mac and cheese recipe cauliflower eat your vegetables

As a child, my husband would run out of the house and down the street, yelling and waving his arms around frantically in protest anytime his mother would attempt to make him eat cauliflower for dinner.  I, on the other hand, love the cruciferous vegetable in any form and am always looking for innovative ways to introduce this fiber-packed little cabbage into our meals.

Now if there is one thing that my husband loves and has the potential to make anything better, its cheese.  So when I saw Rachael Ray’s recipe for a smoked gouda mac n’ cheese with cauliflower in it, I knew I finally had a shot of showing him just how lovely this little white wonder can be.

The sweetness of the cooked cauliflower cuts the smokiness of the gouda and the hint of heat from the cayenne really makes this dish a winner.  I lightened up the original version by using whole grain pasta, nonfat milk and a reduced fat smoked gouda (Trader Joe’s), then baked it til bubbling after adding a crunchy panko topping.  Get ready for a tasty surprise ladies, your hubbies might actually love this one – mine did!

smoked gouda mac and cheese recipe cauliflower eat your vegetables


  • Coarse salt
  • 1/2 pound whole grain penne
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 cups nonfat milk
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat smoked Gouda
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • small pat of butter
  • 1/3 c panko bread crumbs


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt to season the cooking water, then add the pasta. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the cauliflower and cook for 3 minutes more or until pasta is cooked al dente and the florets are just tender. Drain well and place in casserole dish.

While the pasta cooks, heat a medium sauce pot over medium-low heat. Add the extra-virgin olive oil and heat with the butter until it melts. Add the onions and cook for 3 to 5 minutes to sweat them out and turn the juices sweet. Raise the heat a bit, then whisk in the flour, cayenne, and paprika. Whisk together until the roux bubbles up, then cook for 1 minute more. Whisk in the milk and stock and raise the heat a bit higher to bring the sauce to a quick boil. Once it bubbles, drop the heat back to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens nicely, about 5 minutes.

Add the cheese to the thickened sauce and stir to melt it. Note: reduced fat cheese doesn’t melt as well, so don’t be surprised if it doesn’t completely melt down.  Stir in the mustard and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Pour over the cauliflower and cooked pasta in the casserole dish and toss to combine.

Melt a pat of butter in a microwave safe bowl.  Add panko crumbs to the butter and toss to combine.  Sprinkle over the top of your mac n’ cheese and bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees until sauce bubbles and panko crust is golden brown.  Serve (and try not to eat the entire casserole dish in one night!).

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A Feast Fit for an Irishman

St. Patrick’s Day is one of the easiest and least expensive holidays to entertain for.  You could pull a Martha and brine your own corned beef, or you can take advantage of the grocery store sales and make your life a lot easier, but equally delicious! Here is a past menu we’ve served for our guests:

corned beef with cabbage, potatoes and carrots

st. patrick's day menu entertaining ideas

  • package of corned beef from you local grocer
  • 1.5 heads of cabbage, each head cut into 6 wedges
  • large package of baby carrots (for ease!)
  • 1 lb red potatoes, scrubbed and halved

Cook corned beef according to package instructions, adding vegetables toward the end of braising, cooking until tender.

homemade irish soda bread

st. patrick's day menu entertaining ideas irish soda bread

A bit of effort, but this bread really makes the meal! (for a detailed tutorial, please click here):

  • 1 1/3 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup apple-cider vinegar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface and dusting
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup unprocessed wheat bran
  • 1/4 cup caraway seeds
  • 1 cup (5 ounces) raisins
  • Salted butter, preferably Irish, for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Mix milk and vinegar in a small bowl, and let stand until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Cut in unsalted butter with a pastry cutter or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add bran, caraway seeds, and raisins; stir to distribute.
  3. Pour milk mixture into flour mixture; stir until dough just holds together but is still sticky. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pat and press the dough gently into a round, dome-shaped loaf, about 7 inches in diameter. Transfer to prepared sheet.
  4. Lightly dust top of loaf with flour. With a sharp knife, cut an X into the top, 3/4 inch deep. Bake, rotating halfway through, until loaf is golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour, 10 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Soda bread is best eaten the day it is made; serve with salted butter.

tossed butter lettuce and watercress salad with mustard viniagrette

st. patrick's day menu entertaining ideas salad

(adapted from Martha Stewart):

  • 8 oz fresh green beans, trimmed and blanched
  • pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bunch (6 ounces) watercress
  • 2 packages of butter lettuce
  • 3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper

Whisk together vinegar, mustard, shallot, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Add oil, whisking until emulsified. Season with pepper.  Toss with salad and serve.

green beer and black and tans

st. patrick's day party menu entertaining ideas green beerst. patrick's day menu entertaining ideas

Easiest party drinks ever!  Use your favorite American brew (I think we used Bud Light) and add food coloring for the green beer.  For the Black and Tans,  fill a glass halfway with Bass Ale, then add Guinness by pouring it slowly over an upside-down tablespoon placed over the glass, being careful not to mix the layers.

Lime-Pistachio Tart

st. patrick's day menu entertaining ideas lime cheesecake dessert

While this is a gorgeous dessert, I am not posting the recipe because it was a true pain in the arse to make.  For starters, you have to start making the components 2-3 days prior to serving it and heaven help you if you’ve never made homemade lime curd!  Do yourself a favor, if you want to try this recipe, don’t make the curd yourself.  Stop by your nearest Harry and David store and purchase a couple of their premade jars.  You a.) won’t smell like egg yolk after 3 days in the kitchen and b.) will feel a lot better about eating your creation not knowing what goes into making curd!  That said, this is a quite delicious and decadent dessert and a fabulous ending to a simple meal.

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(not chicken) Soup for the Soul

We’ve been trying out more soup recipes this winter due to the extended cold weather and I thought I’d post a few that we found to be fairly easy and quite delicious.  The first is a winter spin on an old, italian classic – minestrone.   Cooking Light magazine adds swiss chard, fennel and butternut squash, giving this traditional soup a hearty flair.  For the second soup, I’d been looking for good lentil dishes and when my coworker gave me some amazing home-grown lemons, I thought this Food & Wine Magazine recipe would be a perfect way to incorporate the two.

Take your meal to the next level with a serving of hot, crusty bread – our favorite is the Roasted Garlic from La Brea Bakery (they sell a dual-pack at Costco, if you can’t find it at your local grocer).  So stay in, turn on the stove, and warm up with these satisfying bowls of goodness!

Winter Minestrone (serves 4-6)

winter minestrone soup recipe cooking light magazine


  • 2  teaspoons  olive oil
  • 1/2  cup  chopped onion
  • 1/2  teaspoon  dried basil
  • 1/2  teaspoon  dried oregano
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/4  cups  cubed peeled acorn or butternut squash (about 1 medium)
  • 3/4  cup  diced zucchini
  • 1/2  cup  chopped carrot
  • 1/2  cup  diced fennel
  • 1  cup  water
  • 1  (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 5  tablespoons  no-salt-added tomato paste
  • 1/4  cup  uncooked ditalini (any small pasta would work well, I used orzo)
  • 2 1/2  cups  chopped Swiss chard
  • 1/2  cup  rinsed and drained canned Great Northern Beans (I used white beans)
  • 1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 2  tablespoons  grated Asiago cheese (optional)

winter minestrone soup recipe cooking light magazine

  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, basil, oregano, and garlic to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until onion is tender.
  2. Add squash and next 3 ingredients (through fennel); sauté 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in 1 cup water, broth, and tomato paste; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.
  4. Stir in pasta; cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add chard; cook 3 minutes.
  6. Add beans; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in pepper. Serve with cheese.

Lentil and Swiss Chard Soup (serves 4-6)

lentil and swiss chard soup recipe food and wine magazine


  • 1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • drizzle of  olive oil for pan, plus more for serving (optional)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 1 bunch green Swiss chard (1 1/4 pounds), ribs removed and reserved for another use, leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the lentils with the water, stock and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and bring to a boil. Cover partially and cook over moderately low heat until the lentils are barely tender, about 25 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, crushed pepper and a pinch of salt and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is lightly browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cilantro and cook for 1 minute. Gradually add the chard leaves and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the chard to the lentils, cover partially, and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls, season with pepper and olive oil and serve.

lentil and swiss chard soup recipe food and wine magazine

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Warm That Winter Chill

I haven’t posted a recipe lately, and with all the recent rain and cold weather, I thought a warming weeknight chili would be a perfect addition.  This is a recipe I found in Cooking Light Magazine a few years back and one that I make at least once a month during the colder months.  It is quick, easy and incredibly flavorful considering it only takes 20 minutes to make!  Best of all, it is made with pantry staples and readily available fresh ingredients.  Don’t forget to bake some cornbread and serve with honey butter.  Yum!

Here’s what you need:

cooking light twenty minute chili recipe

  • 1  tablespoon canola oil
  • 1  cup  chopped onion
  • 3/4  cup  chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2  pound  ground turkey breast
  • 1  tablespoon  chili powder
  • 1  teaspoon  Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1/2  teaspoon  dried oregano
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1  (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1  (14.5-ounce) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes with jalapeño peppers and spices, undrained
  • 1  (5.5-ounce) can tomato juice

Here’s what you do:

Heat oil in a large dutch oven or skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and turkey, and cook 3 minutes or until done, stirring to crumble. Stir in chili powder and the next 8 ingredients (chili powder through tomato juice); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Serve with just-from-the-oven cornbread with honey butter.  Serves 4. Double the recipe and bring it to your next lunchtime potluck!

cooking light twenty minute chili recipe

The original recipe can be found here and includes the addition of cheese and rice.

Money Saving Tips: Purchase ground turkey on sale – I usually try to buy in bulk when it is $1.99/lb or less, then split into 1/2 lb portions and freeze for later use.  Whenever I’m at BigLots, I’ll pick up a can of Rotel tomatoes so I have it on hand for this recipe; V-8 is also inexpensive at BigLots.  And as always, best prices on spices are found at your discount stores – BigLots, Dollar Tree and 99 cent stores.

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Paella on the cheap

Polished Steel Paella Pan, Myson Products

I craft and eat thriftily so I can afford to shop at places like Williams-Sonoma for my cooking vessels. During one of their holiday sales, I picked up an authentic Spanish paella pan for $29.95 and have been pining to use it.

The other night, my husband and I threw on some Spainsh guitar acoustics, sipped on a Spanish Verdejo and whipped up some tasty paella from a Food & Wine recipe. This recipe has a very light flavor with the lemon, wine and parsley and is perfect for a warm evening.

Seafood and Chicken Paella with Chorizo

Ingredients (seves 6)

  • 4 ounces fresh chorizo, casings removed
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • Pinch of saffron threads dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 pound mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1/2 pound cockles, scrubbed and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chicken (8 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a 10-inch paella pan or ovenproof skillet, cook the chorizo over moderate heat, breaking it up with a spoon, until some of the fat is rendered and the chorizo is browned, 4 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook over low heat, stirring, until softened and just beginning to brown, 8 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, rice, saffron with its liquid and the 1 1/2 cups of water. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat, without stirring, until the rice is al dente and the liquid is absorbed, 15 minutes.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the 1/4 cup of olive oil until shimmering. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, add them to the skillet and cook over high heat, turning once, until pink and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to the rice. Discard the oil.
  3. Wipe out the skillet. Pour in the wine and lemon juice. Add the mussels and cockles, cover and cook, shaking the skillet, until the mussels open, about 3 minutes. Pour the mussels and cockles and their cooking liquid over the rice.
  4. Stir the cooked chicken into the rice. Cover and cook in the oven for about 5 minutes, until the paella is just heated through. Garnish with the parsley and scallion, drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and serve.

Seafood and Chicken Paella with Chorizo

Cooking Tips: We omitted the cockles and mussels (for shame!) due to the fact that neither of us like them as much as other seafood AND they weren’t on sale. We ended up putting the white wine and lemon juice in with the shrimp instead. The taste was great, but we like to cook our shrimp in their shells for appearance and the casings weren’t as crisp as we like them. Next time, I think we’ll add the wine and lemon juice at the same time as the rice mixture.

We also left the casings on the chorizo, only because they weren’t coming off very easily, and just sliced them into coins.

Shopping Tips: Again, buy your proteins when on sale! The shrimp and chorizo were on sale and the chicken was purchased previously for $1.99/lb. Buy your spices (like saffron) at stores like Trader Joe’s, Cost Plus or local ethnic food stores for the best prices.

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