Sangria and Paella: Easy Summer Entertaining

Summer has arrived and if you are like me you are firing up the grill. But, when I’m tired of steaks and burgers and beer can chicken, and I’ve got a dozen people coming over, I put together a pitcher of sangria and scour the fridge for leftovers and assemble a paella.  Guests think I’m gourmet, but I know better.

Here are a couple of recipes to get you started.  Remember that with both sangria and paella, you do not need to follow the recipe exactly. In fact, when I make paella with my family, we do it authentically and toss in whatever leftovers look good and hope for the best.  For sangria, I roll the same way. To a bottle of wine, I add some juices, some sweetener, some hard alcohol, and some fruit and let it marinate. You then top off with club soda when you are ready to serve. We’ve yet to be disappointed.

Red Sangria

1 bottle of red wine

1/3 cup sugar

2 ounces lemon juice

2 ounces orange juice

1/2 cup brandy

8 ounces club soda

Mix all ingredients except club soda. Let sit overnight in the fridge.  Add in club soda to taste and serve with fresh fruit.

White Sangria

1 bottle white wine

6 ounces frozen lemonade

1/2 cup white rum

1/2 cup triple sex

1 can pineapple tidbits in juice

1 apple cored and sliced

8 ounces club soda

Mix all ingredients except club soda. Let sit overnight in the fridge.  Add in club soda to taste and serve with fresh fruit.

Pink Sangria

1 bottle dry rose wine

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup creme de cassis

1 cup water

1 1/2 cup assorted berries

2 ounces lemon juice

8 ounces club soda

Mix all ingredients except club soda. Let sit overnight in the fridge.  Add in club soda to taste and serve with fresh fruit.

Paella

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Base:

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 red pepper, chopped

12 ounces Arborio rice

5-8 cups chicken broth

Pinch of saffron

Add-ins:

Chorizo sausage (Mexican and/or Spanish style, we use both)

Chicken thighs, diced

Squid

Mussels

Clams

Peas

Shrimp

Tomatoes

Flank steak

Lobster

Other veggies?!

Heat olive oil in pan on grill. Saute onion, garlic and pepper. Add in meats you are using and brown. Add in rice and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in saffron, salt and pepper, and enough stock to cover rice.  Simmer until rice is cooked (around 15-20 minutes), adding more broth if rice become too dry. Do not stir because you want the rice on the bottom to crisp up into the “socarrat” (the yummiest and most sought after part of the paella).  When rice is tender, add in your seafood and peas and tomatoes and cook until those are done (another 5 minutes).

 

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