Spanish Flare

As part of my London Haul, you may remember that I snapped up some Spanish Chorizo.  While I LOVE Mexican Chorizo especially in my breakfast burrito’s from Cafe Rosalena (OMG TO DIE!), I like the firmness and taste of the Spanish Chorizo.  It’s almost like Chinese Sausage but not really.  So I thought I’d make some paella using Rocco Dispirito’s Now Eat This recipe.  Pretty tasty.  The one modification I did make is that I didn’t use brown rice as I didn’t have any, I used arboro rice.  I would’ve used sushi rice (got my husband to convert to sushi rice from jasmine rice), but I thought it would end up being too sticky.  I would’ve also used Jasmine (long grain) rice, but I didn’t have any.  PLUS the husband doesn’t believe that brown rice is real rice aka he doesn’t like that stuff.  LOL!  I’m indifferent.  Other than that I didn’t make any variations to this recipe.

Rocco Dispirito’s Shrimp and Chorizo Paella


2 ounces chorizo, halved lengthwise and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon saffron threads
1 cup long-grain brown rice
1 3/4 cups chicken broth, or more if needed
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
8 ounces medium peeled shrimp
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup frozen peas


Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add chorizo and cook until the fat begins to render (about two minutes).

Add garlic and saute until fragrant (about one minute). Add saffron, rice, and broth. Cover pot and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and cook at a gentle simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in diced tomatoes and juice. Cover pot, and continue to cook another 25 minutes.

Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Stir shrimp and peas into mixture, adding more broth if the rice appears dry. Cover, and continue to cook until shrimp are cooked through and rice is tender (about 10 or 15 minutes).

Allow paella to rest for five minutes, covered. Fluff rice with a fork.

5 ingredients or less

Actually, this recipe is 5 ingredients.  And that show 5 ingredient fix is alright.  Not the greatest.  The concept is great because sometimes simplicity is really needed when cooking.  However, the following recipe is my dad’s favorite.  It was adapted from the Singaporean Chili Crab recipe but was simplified.  I’ve used shrimp in the recipe, but you can easily use squid or crab.  The key is to briefly fry the shrimp, squid, or crab until about 75% cooked.



1 pound of Shrimp (deveined, headless, shell on)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 green onion stalk, cut at an angle
1 tsp of chili garlic sauce (or more if you’d like it spicier)
1 tsp of sweet chili sauce


Heat wok with oil.  When the oil is hot, fry shrimp briefly until opaque. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside.

Fry garlic and green onion until fragrant.  Then add the chili garlic sauce and sweet chili sauce into pan.  Stir ingredients together and heat the sauce for a minute.  Put shrimp back in pan.  Toss to coat shrimp with sauce.  Platter the shrimp and serve with rice.

This is a picture of the sauces that I use.  You could use a different brand if you’d like.  For the chili garlic sauce, I suppose you could use sriracha sauce.  However, I feel that sriracha has more heat and not as much of the garlic flavor as this does.  The sweet chili sauce is something I always have on hand for when I cook the frozen eggrolls (that I make).  I typically make eggrolls and freeze them for when I’m lazy or when I’m going out of town for a while and want the hubs to have something easy to make when he gets home from school or work.

See?  Super easy.  And with the sweet chili sauce and heat of the chili garlic sauce you’ll want to keep eating more.

i can make that!

The only Vietnamese food I would ever eat before was just Pho until some friends introduced me to Bun Thit and Banh Mi sandwiches.  It’s not so much I didn’t know but that was the only thing I was introduced to like everyone else at first.  But after my friends introduced me to anything else, I’ve been hooked.  I had leftover cilantro that I decided to use to make a vietnamese dish.  With the internet at my disposal, I looked for recipes.  The constant ingredient in both dishes is pickled carrots and daikon (asian radish) and cilatro.  I didn’t have daikon, so I just pickled carrots.  I think I like both recipes so much because of the use of cilantro.  I LOVE cilantro and it’s a hit or miss for most people.  You either love it or you don’t.  I do.  Something about that limey herb that I love so much.

Chicken Banh Mi


Pickled Carrots and Daikon (cut into matchsticks)
Sriracha Sauce
Sliced Cucumber
Hoagie Rolls/French Bread
Jalapeno slices
Roasted Chicken


Toast bread.  Spread mayo and sriracha on toasted bread.  Pile the remaining ingredients onto the  bread and enjoy.

I fell in love with Bun Thit Nuong (grilled pork with rice noodles) when I went to visit my girlfriend in Boston.  Since then I’ve been addicted to it.  I had it for my birthday dinner (in the filipino culture, you have to have noodles on your birthday which symbolize long life) at VungTau in San Jose and it was DELISH.  It’s pretty light and healthy.  I didn’t have any pork shoulder, so instead I used shrimp.  The recipe I used was okay but I was expecting more flavorful shrimp.  Next time I think I’ll try Rasa Malaysia’s version.

Bun Thit Tom Cang Nuong


Vermicilli Noodles (found in any asian grocery store.  they’re also called bun noodles or rice noodles)
Nuoc Mam (fish sauce)
Pickled carrots and daikon
Sliced Cucumber
Bean Sprouts
1 lb of shrimp
1  small onion (minced, rinsed under cold water, and drained)
Garlic (minced)
Vegetable Oil
Fish Sauce


For the shrimp:  Mix the onion, garlic, vegetable oil, and fish sauce to taste in a bowl large enough to hold the shrimp.  Add the shrimp, toss to coat evenly, and marinate, covered at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Preheat grill and grill for 2 minutes on each side.

For the bun:  oil the bun according to package directions. Run bun over cold water and drain.   In a bowl, add cucumber, bean sprouts, pickled carrots and daikon, and bun. Garnish with chopped mint and cilantro.  When the shrimp is done place shrimp on top of bun.  Add prepared Nuoc Mam (fish sauce) to taste.