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Sunday Supper: Fireside Paella

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A few years ago, I hosted a paella party and photo shoot for Atlanta Magazine’s Home it was actually the first feature in the reintroduced version of the magazine.It was a fabulous evening where I pulled together my colorful and delicious fireside paella recipe. I prepared it over an open flame, and it was such a wonder to see it come together in front of the guests eyes.

Paella is a wonderful way to entertain guests while providing them with a delicious meal. Make this on a warm, spring Sunday afternoon and enjoy it with friends and family. Time to make the Paella.

Annette’s Fireside Paella

You will need:

– 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
– 1/3 cup olive oil
– 1 tablespoons paprika
– Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
– 1 cup crushed tomatoes
– 1 red bell pepper, cut into quarters, stemmed, seeded, and ribs removed
– 1 green bell pepper, cut into quarters, stemmed, seeded, and ribs removed
– 2 tablespoons saffron + 2 cups warm water
– 6 cups homemade or store-bought chicken stock
– 1 pounds chorizo cut into 3 inch pieces
– 2 cups pounds haricots verts trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
– ½ onion chopped
– 4 cloves finely chopped garlic
– 1 pound pounds calamari, cleaned and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch rings
– 16 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
– 1 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
– 1 dozen mussels, scrubbed
– 4 cups *Bomba rice
– 1/2 package frozen lima beans
– 2 cups fresh or frozen peas
– 2 freshly squeezed lemons

To prepare:
Place chicken in a large bowl and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle chicken with paprika and 1/2 teaspoon salt; turn chicken to coat. Cover chicken and let marinate, refrigerated, at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

Cut peppers crosswise into 1/4-inch strips; set aside. Using a mortar and pestle, grind together saffron. Add saffron mixture to a medium bowl and add 2 cups water. Whisk until well combined; set aside.

If using a charcoal grill, make a fire in your grill. When the charcoals are completely covered in gray ash, hold your hand about 5 inches above the grill grid; count how many seconds you can comfortably leave it there. When you can hold it there for 1 to 2 seconds, you have high heat and are ready to cook. Alternatively, you can cook the paella on a stove over high heat.

Place a 20-inch paella pan with 3-inch sides over desired heat source. Coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil and heat, until pan is very hot, about 5 minutes. Add chicken thighs and cook, turning, until golden brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Add sausage and cook, turning, until browned, about 3 minutes then pull from the pan and set aside.

Put onions, garlic, into the pan sauté until transparent and caramelized. Add rice and saffron water to onion garlic mixture, stir to coat, cook about 1 minute. Add 3 cups of stock and bring to a boil.  Add tomatoes, and haricots verts. Cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Add chicken and sausages and add calamari, and shrimp, and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes more; add clams and mussels. Cook until rice is tender, about 15 minutes, adding more stock as necessary.

Add lima beans and peas and cook, until tender, about 3 minutes more. Season with salt and lemon juice; serve immediately.

* Bomba Rice is a specialty Spanish Rice

xx Annette

Photos by Nicole Letts 

Sara Dorio

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Florida Strawberries are HERE which means Crostata time!


If you live anywhere near Florida like we do in Atlanta, chances are you’ve already seen Florida strawberries make an appearance at your local markets. They’re plump, sweet, and perfect. In Italy, people often have things like cake or sweet breads and crostata for breakfast.

This recipe for strawberry crostata is a great way to put those plentiful strawberries to good use. I’ve also included a recipe for Balsamic Roasted Strawberries which is a lovely accompaniment. Serve both dishes with a side of ice cream. The ingredients are simple and the taste divine. Enjoy!


Strawberry Crostata
Serves 8

You will need:
– 1 1/2 cups pastry flour
– 1/4 cup sugar
– 1 1/2 cups cold butter cut into slices
– 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1 cup strawberry jam

To prepare: 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

In the bowl of a standing mixer, place flour and butter combine on low speed until crumbs form.

Add sugar, salt, and eggs. When combined about 3 minutes, place in plastic wrap and into the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Cut the dough in 1/2, roll 1/2 the dough out on a floured surface into a round disk. Place disk into the bottom of a fluted 11″ tart pan.  Roll the other half and with a pinked pie cutter cut 1″ strips.

Spread the strawberry jam on top of the crust, then lay the 1 ” strips in a lattice pattern on top of the jam.

Place in the oven for 30 minutes. Until golden brown. Cool and serve at room temperature.

Balsamic Roasted Strawberries

Balsamic Roasted Strawberries
Serves 8

You will need:
– 4 cups cleaned strawberries
– 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
– 1/4 cup sugar

To prepare:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

In a bowl toss strawberries, vinegar and sugar. On a parchment lined lipped cookie sheet, place balsamic soaked strawberries. Roast for 30 minutes, then place in a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. This can be served warm with the crostata over ice cream.

Serve a slice of the crostata with a scoop of ice cream and warmed strawberries.

Enjoy xx

Top photo credit : Bill Addison

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Go Green for St. Patrick’s Day with Kiwi Pavlovas

It's fun to dream-up green foods for St. Patrick's Day. These kiwi pavlovas are a cute and simple way to celebrate.

Happy March! St. Patrick’s Day is this month, and while you know I’m an Italian girl, the truth is, I’m a party girl at heart. I love any excuse to celebrate! Plus, it’s fun to dream-up green foods for St. Patrick’s Day.

I’m not one for green beer, but give me some green fruits or veggies any day. These kiwi pavlovas are a cute and simple way to celebrate. Pavlovas can seem intimidating, but I promise this recipe is foolproof. Let me know if you give it a try!

Kiwi Pavlovas 
serves 8-10

For the Meringues:
makes 36 meringues

You will need: 
– ¼ cup cornstarch
– 1 tablespoon white vinegar
– 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
– 2 ½ cups sugar
– 8 egg whites room temperature

To prepare:
Preheat the oven to  225 degrees F

In the bowl of a standing mixer (with a whisk attachment), place sugar and egg whites on low speed until combined, raise speed to high, beat until soft peaks form. In a separate bowl mix cornstarch, vinegar, and vanilla. Add the cornstarch mixture to the mixer and beat until glossy.

With a pastry bag fitted with a round tip, pipe meringue on to a parchment lined cookie sheet. Pipe 3 inch round swirls. Bake for 45 minutes on 225 degrees F. Let cool.

For the Kiwi Sauce:

You will need:
– 4 kiwis, peeled and cubed
– 1/2 cup of sugar
– 1/2 cup of water

To prepare:
Place all of the ingredients in a small sauce pan and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes. With a handheld blender combine sauce until smooth. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve in to a small bowl and press with a spoon. Place sauce into the the fridge for an hour until chilled.

For the Pavlova Garnish:

You will need:
– 4 kiwis cut into 1/2 inch cubes
– 16 small mint leaves for garnish
– 4 cups of whip cream

To assemble Kiwi Pavlovas:

Place 1/4 cup of whip cream on a plate, add 2 Meringues, top with 4 tablespoons of kiwi, drizzle with sauce, garnish with mint leaves. Serve immediately.


xx Annette

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Beautiful Briny Sea Salt meets Stuffed Leg of Lamb

Unicorn Salt

Full disclosure, I am a big lover of salt. As most chef’s will tell you, a dish that is not seasoned perfectly, that’s salt and pepper, is kind of not worth serving. A few weeks back I received an unexpected surprise: a box chock-full of salty and sweet treats from local Atlanta artisan food purveyor Beautiful Briny Sea, along with sugars that I will be using for baking, but most importantly be using for cocktails (watch out for these new recipes on the blog soon).

I decided to try these flavor salts, thoughtfully infused with herbs and spices on a few of my favorite recipes. Last weekend for Sunday supper I made one of our family favorites from Picture Perfect Parties: stuffed leg of lamb, generously stuffed with Meyer lemons, green olives, rosemary and garlic. I liberally used my favorite salt, Magic Unicorn (it is indeed magically delicious) on the outside of the lamb. It was spectacular. Here’s the recipe below, I used about 1 tablespoon (plus a little more:-) and massaged the salt into the lamb before stuffing and tying it up.

Unicorn Salt

Roast Stuffed Leg of Lamb with Lemon and Herbs
Serves 6-8

For the lamb, you will need:
– 1- 4 Pound boneless leg of lamb +kitchen string. Note: Some stores sell this already rolled and secured in a netting. You need to remove this if so.

To prepare the lamb before stuffing:
Liberally sprinkle then rub the outside of the lamb with Magic Unicorn salt, about 1 tablespoon, plus a little extra. Set aside and prepare the stuffing.

Lemon and Herb Stuffing

You will need:
– 3 tablespoons olive oil
– 3 tablespoons butter
– 4 cloves chopped garlic
– 1 cup panko bread crumbs
– ½ cup green olives chopped
– ½ cup raisins *optional
– 2 small lemons cut into small wedges, toss the lemon wedges in ½ teaspoon sea salt *note Meyer lemons , should be used if available
– 3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
– 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
– ½ cup chicken stock
– 1 teaspoon pepper to finish stuffed lamb

To prepare stuffing:

Heat oil and butter add garlic sauté until lightly browned medium heat 3 to 4 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and sauté for 5 minutes until combined. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F

Place the leg of lamb on a cutting board lined with butcher or parchment paper lie the lamb flat top side down.

Place the stuffing into the middle of the roast mounding it into the middle.

Wrap the sides of the lamb around the stuffing tuck in the ends and tie the lamb with kitchen string, sealing the stuffing.

Place the stuffed lamb on a rack in a roasting pan fattest side up.  Roast at 425 for 15 min. Reduce heat to 325 and roast 30 to 45 minutes or until desired degree of doneness., for medium rare it should read 130 degrees to 135 degree F. Once it’s reached this temperature, remove it from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes.

Carve into slices and serve.

salts sugars





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Galentine’s Day Cocktail: Pink Mimosa


Parks and Recreation‘s Leslie Knope coined the term “Galentine’s Day” eight years ago, and ever since it’s become just as much a part of Valentine’s Day traditions as chocolates. A few years ago, I teamed-up with a few of my favorite gals for a Galentine’s Day brunch full of festive fun and of course, lots of pink.


One of my favorite results of that party was a new twist on a classic drink: the pink mimosa. Made with pomegranate juice, grapefruit juice, and bubbly, this pink mimosa is perfectly ladylike, but I’m sure guys will love it too.

Let me know if you give it a try for Galentine’s Day, or any other event coming up this spring.


xx, Annette

Grapefruit and Pomegranate Mimosas
Serves 6
You will need:

– ½ cup granulated sugar
– ½ cup water
– 2 cups grapefruit juice*
– 1 cup pomegranate juice – such as POM
– 1 bottle Rose Champagne, well chilled
– Pomegranate arils to garnish

To prepare:

Heat the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat – until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and cool completely. Refrigerate until cold – at least 2 hours. Combine the simple syrup, grapefruit juice, and pomegranate juice in a large pitcher and chill for at least 1 hour.

Combine 2 ounces of the grapefruit mixture with 4 ounces of the chilled rose in a champagne flute. Garnish with a few pomegranate arils.

*Fresh squeezed grapefruit juice is simply stunning in this festive take on a traditional mimosa, but for a time-saver look for fresh squeezed grapefruit juice in the produce section of your local market.

Photography by Lesley Graham
Recipes Meghan Splawn

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