Most people resolve to lose weight or to exercise more each New Year’s.
My New Year’s Resolution: Go to Costco and actually come home with ONLY the item I went there to get.
My resolution lasted exactly twenty-nine days…
Here is how it happened.
When I woke us this morning, there was a pressure in my chest. Or should I say, ON my chest. Speck, the little dog we adopted, was sitting on my chest and staring at me. I pushed her away and tried to go back to sleep. Undaunted, she climbed up on the pillow and started licking my ear.
I was awake!
Stumbling out of bed, I went for a drink of water and tripped over Apollo and he had THAT LOOK.
We were out of dog food and you NEVER run out of dog food if you have a Giant Schnauzer. I may have been imagining things but I could swear Apollo was sizing me up for a barbecue.
Time for a Costco trip.
Rule Number One:
ALWAYS make a list before you head to Costco.
There are too many distractions so you must have that list at the ready. Grip it hard and keep your head down or —
Oooow! Free Samples!
Rule Number Two:
Never go to Costco hungry.
The company is very clever in that they have free samples at the end of every aisle during their busy times. Most of them are things you would never dream of actually buying. Every time I turned around there was another free sample.
Goat Cheese? Okay.
Pomegranate – cranberry relish? Noooooooo. (I almost reflexively added that but had to stop myself from buying that – CRANBERRIES?!? Ugh!)
Heirloom tomato bisque? Why not? (That went in the cart.)
Quinoa chips? QUINOA?!? Better than I thought.
My cart was half full by the time I got past the free samples but I wasn’t hungry any longer.
What was it I came here for?
Dog food, that’s right.
Turning my cart around, I caught a whiff of something wonderful.
“Care for a sample of paella?” the young woman asked.
“Sure.” I popped it in my mouth.
The paella was good. BUT, I could do better.
Let’s see: I needed to get rice. That’s the aisle.
Maybe seafood paella? That would work. Where were the mussels? There are the langostinos. How about some tiger shrimp?
Grabbing a couple of lobster tails, I added them to the cart and headed for the checkout aisle.
I was third in line when it struck me. DOG FOOD!
I pulled out of line and headed back towards the dog food.
Rule Number Three:
Stay on target!
What was that? Self-inflating Queen-size camping bed complete with headboard. Nice! Contoured top and soft as a baby’s bottom. I flopped down on it and thought how nice it would be when next I went camping in Pennsylvania.
Into the cart it went.
Oh, the video section. Red Dwarf, Series Ten. It says it is the series finale! How did I miss that?
Popping it in the cart, I knew I better be getting home.
I got to the truck before I realized I had forgotten the dog food.
(Yes, I did go back and get it. Grrrrrr.)
NOW LET’S DO IT RIGHT!
Chicken stock, premade – 2 quarts
Shrimp, 2 lbs.
Freshwater mussels, 3 lbs. in shell
Langostinos, 2 lbs.
Garlic, 2 full heads
Salmon or Tilapia (your choice), 1 lb.
Onion, 2 large
Scallions, 1 bunch
Green pepper, 1 large
4 cups rice (I prefer Texmati aka Basmati grown in Mexico)
Tomatoes, 2 large
Fresh Parsley, 1 bunch
Peas, shelled, 1/2 lbs.
Carrots, sweet, 1/2 lb.
Extra Special Ingredient:
Lobster tails, 2 small
First, take the shrimp and langostinos and clean them. Save the shells.
Next, finely chop the onions and garlic.
Roughly chop one tomato and add to a large stock pan with the onions and garlic along with the chicken stock and shells from the shrimp and langostinos. Seethe for 45 minutes then strain and return to low heat.
Chop the scallions and add to a large skillet with about 1/2 cup olive oil. Lightly brown but do not burn.
Roughly chop the salmon/tilapia and add to the scallions.
Add the rice and lightly brown it as if you were making Rice-A Roni from a kit BUT DO NOT BURN IT. (If you burn it, start over.)
Rough chop the carrots, green pepper and remaining tomato and add to skillet.
Pour in about 3/4 of the stock and cook over a low heat.
Add the seafood and place on a low heat. Cover.
Use the remaining stock as needed to prevent clumping.
Mix in the peas.
Add spices to taste.
You will know it is done when the mussels open.
Here’s the secret…the special ingredient, smoked paprika, should be used sparingly but will add a unique and defining flavor.
For display sake, heat the remaining stock and lightly boil the lobster tails. Use them to garnish the plate (but they are very tasty as well!)
Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley.
Copyright Mike Hobbs 2017