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Potato Paella


2 cups Idaho potatoes, diced small
3/4 cup fresh English peas, blanched until tender
½ cup chorizo, cooked, diced small
1 Tbsp. sliced blanched garlic
to taste, salt
to taste, cayenne pepper
8 slices of Idaho potato, blanched in salted saffron water
8 baby artichoke halves, sauteed until golden
1 tsp. olive oil

Tomato Broth:
2 cups fresh tomato juice
2 cups canned tomato juice
2 cups clam juice
1 cup good quality white zinfandel
½ cup + 2 Tbsp. sherry
2 bulbs garlic, halved
2 Tbsp. olive oil
½ tsp. fennel seed
½ tsp. cumin seed
½ tsp. crushed red pepper
¼ tsp. dried oregano
fresh thyme bouquet

2 1½-lb. fresh Maine lobsters
4 sweetwater prawns, peeled, deveined, with head on
8 mussels, debearded and washed
8 little neck clams, washed
1 Tbsp. olive oil
as needed, basil chiffonade
2 Tbsp. sherry
as needed, sliced blanched garlic
as needed, salt
as needed, crushed black pepper
as needed, fresh basil sprigs

DIRECTIONS: Blanch 8 slices of potato in salted saffron water until tender. Keep potatoes warm and save the saffron water. Saute the baby artichoke halves in 1 tsp. olive oil, season with salt, and keep warm. Saute the 2 cups diced Idaho potatoes in 1 Tbsp. olive oil until tender and golden brown. Add diced chorizo, garlic and peas. Saute 2 more minutes, deglaze with 5 Tbsp. of saffron water, then season with salt and cayenne pepper. Keep warm.

For Tomato Broth:
Sweat the halved garlic bulbs in the olive oil until golden brown; add fennel, cumin, crushed red pepper and oregano. Deglaze with white zinfandel, sherry and clam juice. Reduce by one quarter. Add tomato juices and thyme; simmer for 15 minutes. Strain through a cheese cloth.

For Shellfish:
Boil the 2 lobsters for 4 minutes; place immediately into an ice bath. Split lobster down the middle, reserving the tail meat and discarding the head sack and coral.

Heat 1 large or 4 small paella pans over moderately high heat. Place olive oil in pan; saute prawns, clams and mussels. Deglaze with tomato broth. Finish tomato broth with 2 Tbsp. sherry, 2 Tbsp. basil chiffonade, 1 Tbsp. sliced blanched garlic. Season with salt and pinch of crushed red pepper.

For assembly: Place diced Idaho potato mixture in the tail of the lobster. Arrange saffron potatoes and baby artichokes in the head. Arrange shellfish inside the paella pan, garnish lobster with potato tarts and a fresh basil sprig.

SERVINGS: 4 servings

From:Tracy O’Grady, Kinkead’s, Washington, D.C.