Cooking with Nick: Harvey’s in Town to Eat Spare Ribs and Paella!
This is a special edition of Cooking with Nick: Harvey’s In Town! Frank and Nick’s cousin, Joey (also known as Harvey for his resemblance of Harvey Milk in a family photo taken this summer) came into town from Chicago. Naturally, a chair at the Cooking with Nick table had his name written all over it. Nick and I met up early on Saturday and headed over to Clancey’s in Linden Hills. If it weren’t so far from my house, I would get all of my meat there (not to say I don’t love the Seward Co-Op’s meat but it is a little selective in comparison).
So, as we’re perusing the meat selection and discussing good options, I pull out one of my favorite gifts from Frank: The Meat Bible (it arrived from Lobel’s shop in a Styrofoam box like it was meat. Awesome). I peeled through to the Thai- Style Marinated Spare Ribs recipe, and settled on this for the appetizer. For the entree? Braised pork shoulder, shrimp, clam and scallop paella. With meat purchased and menu planned, off Nick went to braise the pork shoulder and me to marinate the spare ribs and clean the house.
Harvey and his younger brother Ryan were the first to arrive, and so we put the spare ribs in the oven while we opened the first round of beers. The weather is just about to turn here, so it made me a little anxious we couldn’t just sit out on the porch to chat, but okay, summer is coming. I get it. When Nick, Chenny and baby Miles arrived, the ribs were just finishing up, so we made the Chile Herb Dipping Sauce that goes with. This was the first recipe out of The Meat Bible and it didn’t disappoint. I will be making those again soon, perhaps before summer as an entree with asparagus and mashed potatoes.
Onto the paella: I don’t even know where to start. Well, I do. First, you need a way bigger pan than I had if you’re going to cook for 6. Second, I loved the braised pork shoulder with the Spanish rice and seafood. It was different, in an excellent way. I’m thinking Frank’s favorite restaurant, El Meson, would have it on the menu, so we may head over there soon. So, the paella: this is Nick’s recipe, written in his own words. Take note – he’s Chef at Seven now, so you’ll want to follow the recipe exactly (yes, even I would)
3 mugs(yes coffee mugs) spanish rice
1 yellow onion
Chicken stock( amt varies by size and shape of hock, enough to cover)
1 red bell pepper
to start, place ham hock and 2 cups mirepoix in dutch oven and cover
with stock(can vary flavor with bay leaf, veg stock, mush stock,
peppercorns) slow simmer or oven braise at 300 for 4 hours until bone
falls off and meat is shred-able. reserve braising juice, but discard
mirepoix from liquid.
rough chop onions and garlic
take largest skillet available(17 inch or more) and heat olive oil.
High heat, to smoking, add red peppers and fry. as they color, lower
heat to medium and add onions, until the start to color, then add
garlic. add diced chorizo. season with salt and pepper. at this
point, take saffron threads and lightly toast and macerate with a spoon
in a small skillet(20-30 seconds) add grapeseed oil to cover(delicate
amount, just enough to incorporate threads. set aside.
while veg is sauteing, add shredded pork( with skin and bones) to
pan, and slightly brown for texture. add stock(reserved from
braising) ratio is one mug rice to 2 cups stock. as rice begins to
cook, add seafood and cover for about 10 min. add saffron oil, stir
once, and let paella cook uncovered until rice is cooked, and it begins
to stick to the bottom of the pan. the crispy almost burned rice is a
prized treat in spain, so make sure it does not get disturbed for the
last 8-10 minutes of cooking.
pair with a nice juicy albarino from spain, rolle from provence, maybe
a nz sauv blanc or provence rose(tavol, bandol or provence)