Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Nicki Peet's Favorite Paella

Coconut Curry Paella
Nothing says summer time like a gorgeous medley of seafood!  What is your favorite part of a good Paella dish?  My favorite Paella is at Ola on the post road in Orange.  I usually end up wasting half of it though after picking out the rice and my least favorite seafood...scallops ( i'll eat them wrapped in bacon though)..  In nicer restaraunts its almost as if the staff gets offended if you try and ask for a dish with-out something like the main part of the dish (rice).  I was at bistro basque with a group of friends last year and one friend asked if he could get the Paella without the rice (obviously a Paleo friend, who may or may not own crossfit milford) and the waiter looked at him like he was a crazy person. He quickly changed his mind and ordered something else. Why not make this delicious dish at home and put whatever the heck you want in it??  My Paella consists of shrimp, clams, chicken, spicy chorizo sausage, and spinach ( not my favorite thing but had to throw a bit of color in there).  I got the idea for this from a recipe on paleodietlifestyle.com.  It was a recipe for a coconut curried shrimp and spinach, and I thought it would be pretty amazing with a bunch of different proteins mixed in.
here is the recipe from paleo diet lifestyle for curried shrimp & spinach, I made basically the same exact sauce.
If you don't like seafood, this coconut curry sauce would be pretty delicious on just about anything, you can do just chicken and spinach, or maybe throw some sirloin strips in there.  As T.I would say " You could have whatever you likeee" ( I don't know much about rap but I do know that song...don't judge)

You will need: ( this is going to be a long one)
- one dozen little neck clams
-1/2 pound of shrimp (deveined/tails removed)
- 2 small chicken breast cutlets
-1/2 package of spicy chorizo sausage ( I got mine at whole foods already cooked--I usually buy the uncooked chorizo there, but they only had a mango chorizo today)  Find it right in front of the butcher counter at whole foods.
- about 1/2 bag of spinach ( or 2-3 tightly packed cups)
- 4 tbs coconut oil
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 of a 6 oz. can of tomato paste

You can get these both @ stop & shop
- 2 tsp curry powder
-1/2 cup  diced onions
- 1 clove garlic
- 4 small basil leaves
- 1/2 cup of white wine
- 3 tbs olive oil
- sea salt & pepper for taste

Phew, I think thats all the ingredients

** this should feed about 4 people

1. First I steamed the clams, in a medium sized sauce pan add olive oil, clove of garlic, basil leaves, and white wine.  Let simmer for about 2 minutes on med/high heat.  Then add your well washed little neck clams. Cover and let steam for about 8 minutes or until all clams are opened.  If after about ten minutes there are some that haven't opened throw them away that means they are no good.  If you are tired of cooking after this step then you can just eat the clams this way because they are yummmy in a white wine sauce. Take off heat and leave covered and set aside for later.

2. heat 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil in a large skillet. Add onion and sautee for about 3 minutes. 

3. Add curry powder to this mixture. sautee for another minute or two. -- while that is cooking, add tomato paste and coconut milk to blender or food processor.  After onions begin to soften add the onion/curry/coconut oil mixture to the blender. Blend until mixture is smooth.

I know, doesn't look so appetizing here
4. Leave mixture in food processor for now, and add two more table spoons coconut oil to the same skillet you used for the onions.  Heat for a minute then add your chicken cut into small chunks.  Let that cook by itself for about 2 minutes stirring frequently, then add the shrimp.

5. Sautee chicken and shrimp for another 2 minutes then add your Coconut curry sauce to the meat.
6. After that you can then add your sliced chorizo & clams to the mixture.  I added about 1/2 of the broth from steaming the clams as well.
7. Finally add the spinach, simmer mixture over medium high heat stirring freqently for about 5 more minutes or until the chicken & shrimp is cooked all the way through.

And there you have it, Nicki Peet's Favorite Paella.  Of course change this to add all of your favorite things.



  1. Nicki, this one looks great too. I've made the crab cakes twice now; Mike loves them and so do I. I'm excited to try this recipe next. Where did you get the clams?

  2. Whitney, I'm glad you guys love the crabcakes! they were a big hit with my family too! The Paella is probably one of my favorite recipes i've made yet (which is why I named it nicki's favorite paella). I got all the seafood at whole foods! It actually wasn't that expensive either. I got the little neck clams, and i got the shrimp already de-tailed & de-veined. As soon as I got home I realized I forgot to get Tilapia which is what I wanted to add originally instead of chicken. But the chicken was good too!

  3. Thanks, Nicki. I see a trip to Whole Foods in my future this weekend. They do have a great selection of seafood. Y-U-M!