Twice a year, during KCRW’s membership drive, Good-Food’s go-to wine guru Stacie Hunt carefully selects a special thank you gift for members who pledge their support. This year she chose two Basque style wines. Members who pledge $10/month or more during the pledge drive can choose this as their thank you gift during the drive. (Click here to learn more about the wines.)
Below, Stacie also shares two recipes to pair with her two Basque-style wine selections. The first one, a traditional Basque paella, pairs with the 2009 Beronia Crianza Tempranillo from Rioja Alta and the second pork-based paella is perfect with the 2009 Pyrneese Pinot Noir from Oregon’s Umpqua Valley. Best of all, it can be made in the slow cooker for easy-entertaining.
Basque Paella (for Eight), paired with ’09 Beronia Crianza Tempranillo
The secret ingredient in this paella is the rice. The special rice for Basque or Spanish paella is called Bomba. This is short-grain rice, similar to Arborio, but different in this aspect. These short-grain rice species are grown in Calasparra and are famed for their ability to absorb liquids. You’ll use one and a half times as much water or liquid and the rice won’t become mushy. Use 3 cups of liquid for each cup of uncooked rice.
- 1/8 c olive oil, plus extra for browning of chicken
- 1 medium yellow onion – rough chop
- 3 cloves garlic minced or chopped
- 1 -2 Lemons, quartered for garnish and squeezing when done
- 1/4 cup roasted pimentos – sliced lengthwise, for garnish
- 1/8 C Chopped Italian parsley for garnish
- 1/2 c yellow bell pepper – cut lengthwise into strips
- 1 T smoked paprika
- 1/2 C dry white wine
- Sea Salt / Fresh pepper to taste
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 1/8 C Chopped fresh oregano and thyme
- 1 cup diced zucchini or yellow squash
- 1 – 2 C chorizo or jamon Serrano, large chop
- 8 chicken legs or thighs with skin (can combine legs and thighs), sautéed until browned
- 1 lb fresh seafood in shell: shrimp (veined, peeled except for tail), octopus (optional), clams, mussels (if using the female mussels — beard them – they will feel better about themselves)
- 2 C Bomba rice
- 6 – 7 C organic chicken broth on a constant low simmer
- 8 – 10 strands saffron (or less, to taste)
1. Heat broth and saffron to a low simmer.
2. In a Paellera (Paella pan) large enough for 8 people, heat oil and sauté onion at medium, until golden, not browned (approximately 10 minutes).
3. In a separate pan, brown the chicken until golden (about 5-7 minutes). Add the meats and peppers and sauté until meats are heated through.
4. Add the garlic and smoked paprika, stir 1 minute.
5. Add the rice by pouring into a cross-shape across the pan.
6. Add wine and bring to a boil until almost dry. About midway to boil, use a wooden spoon to coat the rice into the mixture. Add herbs.
7. Add 6 cups of the simmering broth, stir and bring to a steady simmer. Allow ingredients to simmer for about 10 minutes.
8. Nestle seafood into the rice and top with the pimentos and squash. Allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes more, test for rice doneness, adding additional simmering broth if rice becomes dry before the rice is cooked through. DO NOT STIR VERY OFTEN. Simmer until all broth has been absorbed and rice is tender. Remove from heat, discard any unopened clams/mussels, and let paella rest for 10 minutes, with a damp towel over the pan, before serving. Sprinkle parsley decorate with strips of roasted pimentos, add lemon quarters for garnish. Serves 8-10 people, giving each person an assortment of rice, chicken, meats and vegetables.
To adjust for more or fewer people, figure 1 Cup of Bomba rice per 4 persons. Remember to use 3 x the liquid for each cup of the Bomba rice. When paella is cooked completely on the stove top, there is a fair amount of liquid lost to evaporation, which wonderfully increases the intensity of the flavors. This can also be cooked on a grill, however, the heat needs to be watched carefully as the rice may burn. The goal is to have the rice fully absorb the liquids. Bomba rice does not release the “cream” that Arborio does for Risotto, rather this rice stays in shape, but holds the flavors of all the ingredients in the pan.
Serve with a simple large-leaf salad and fresh tomatoes and thinly-sliced, mild Walla Walla or Maui onions, dressed with Spanish olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon and generous pinch of sea salt and fresh black pepper.
Basque Pork Stew (for Eight), paired with the ’09 Pyrnees Pinot Noir
This stew is a terrific make-ahead, or slow-cooker recipe. The ingredients take advantage of the sweetness of tomatoes, the heat of pepper and the zest of citrus! Works well with fresh or canned tomatoes and can satisfy either in warm or cold weather.
- 3 pounds of lean pork shoulder, cut into med/large irregular chunks
- 3 T of good Spanish olive oil
- Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- 4 Large onions quartered
- 2 ½ C organic chicken stock or homemade broth
- ½ cup of dry white wine
- 2 ½ T tomato paste
- 2 red bell peppers, cored and cut into strips
- ½ lb of prosciutto, coarse chop
- 10 cloves of garlic, sliced thin lengthwise
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp dried thyme (or 2 tsp fresh chopped)
- ¼ – ½ tsp of red pepper flakes (to taste)
- 1 Valencia orange or Meyer lemon
1. In a good-sized, deep skillet, heat oil and brown pork in batches so that meat is not touching. This is important because if meat is crowded into pan, it steams rather than gets a crusty brown. Remove and transfer to plate to keep warm.
2. Add quartered onions to the same skillet and cook over medium to high heat, stirring until onions are translucent, but not golden.
3. Keeping skillet hot, add 2 Cups chicken broth or stock (reserving 1/2 cup), tomato paste. Deglaze pan, incorporating all bits left from pork and onion. Bring contents to a boil.
4. Add pork into the mixture, along with red peppers, prosciutto, sliced garlic, herbs and pepper flakes.
5. Using a zester, add peel from Valencia orange or Meyer lemon to the skillet.
6. Add the wine, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 1-1 ½ hours — stirring once in a while — and adding small amounts of left over chicken broth, if needed, until pork is tender. Taste to adjust for seasoning. Serve over rice or with boiled potatoes, drizzled with olive oil. A salad of butter lettuce, dressed with lemon and olive oil and sea salt is a refreshing side and crusty bread for sopping up the stew’s juices.