We were searching for an adequate Christmas dinner recipe. One that would stand up to the expectation of "Christmas Dinner". I offered my sister the short list of Christmas-go-to-mains, but somehow came up with a lackluster response to rib roast, ham, turkey....I threw the idea of short ribs out there and she took off running. Kate and I are both runners, so as you can guess, we like an idea, and go with it. She searched our favorite places for recipes, namely epicurious and food network. Stout braised short ribs came up....now normally this would have sounded like a great idea, but today it was the perfect idea because I could vouch for a beef braised in high quality beer stew was the way to go. Just prior, I had one of the best concoctions from Aaron's roommate Crash, a budding brew-based culinary mastermind. With a small sacrifice of time (these dishes do better when slowly cooked over half a day....yes patience is a virtue here) a delicious Christmas dinner was going to happen.
This dish was inspired first by Spain, second by my awesome friend Rene, and third, by the baby octopus we saw at Sun Fat, the local seafood market. Rene makes a great paella, and not just any paella, this dish is one that adds a little more fresh veggies than your average, which I love, but it also has a spicy chorizo which gives it the kick necessary to wow your French guests...and yes, if it's a dinner party with Rene is SF, there will be French guests. The recipe was adapted from this recipe
The great thing about paella is that you can add anything you have on hand to it and it will taste great. I highly recommend mussels if you have access to them not only because they are delicious, but because they add an extra third dimension to the dish. In our case. the baby octopus became the larger than life addition. Don't forget the saffron!
We are two sisters who grew up in the Washington Metropolitan Area. In college we split ways, one sister heading off to the San Francisco area while the other making her way to Pennsylvania. Whenever we're together, we combine our bicoastal culinary influences to create gastronomic masterpieces, or just good old yummy food. As young kids we always tuned into Julia child or Two Fat Ladies, beginning a tradition of cooking that would kick off our collaboration in the kitchen.