My Xmas Cooking Extravaganza

I enjoy cooking, but I don’t get to do it as much as I’d like to. On Christmas I went all out and started cooking at noon.

First up, moutabel, a spicy eggplant dish similar to baba ganoush that i discovered when I went to Syria a couple of years ago. It didn’t really go with the rest of the menu, but I’ve been wanting to make it for a while and I decided now was the time.


It came out ok, but the texture was heavy instead of light and silky. For sure, you only need to do half of this recipe. It was time consuming, but I will try it again and see if I can get the right consistency. 

My other starter was tortilla espanola, using a recipe I probably got a decade ago from @anna_whitcher. I love this dish, but I only attempted it once a decade ago, and it was a disaster, completely falling apart. With a critical technological upgrade, a non-stick pan, I actually pulled it off! I was really psyched.


Despite the cheese mixup, I was able to pair these dishes with a few good cheeses, sliced chorizo, crudites, and marcona almonds.


The big success of the evening was spicy zucchini soup. Wow, was this good, and everyone loved it.


I made it a little more textured than pictured in the recipe, and it had great feel in the mouth with a vibrant taste. The spicyness was just enough to interest the tongue but did not overpower the other flavors or turn off people who don’t like spicy foods.

The main course was my signature paella, made from a recipe I’ve cobbled together from a few different sources.


The only problem is it’s been a couple of years since I’ve made it, and I forgot you can actually use too much saffron. The stuff is so expensive, I figured why not throw in a little extra? It still was good, but I put a note on the recipe not to mess with that measurement again. And to tone down my use of chili flakes when cooking for spice-wary folks :P.

It was a fun and delicious day. I need to do more dinner parties.





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