One of our favorite restaurants in the Kansas City area is La Bodega, a lovely Spanish Tapas Bar.  We first went years ago for their Saturday afternoon Happy Hour, with Tapas and their Sangria half price.  What a feast of new flavors to try with a group.  Then we saw them make a Spanish coffee as we were leaving one time and we asked about the drink being made tableside and knew we had to return for that treat.

This last weekend to celebrate 31 years of love we decided it would be a glorious evening to sit on their patio and enjoy some good food and end the Anniversary celebration with some Spanish Coffee’s.  We had 5 days of bizarre, cool, low humidity days which are just not the norm for August around here which made sitting out on their patio even better. We had barely been seated two minutes when suddenly about a football field length away a surprise popped out of the trees.  It was a beautiful evening for someone to enjoy a hot air balloon ride.

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We decided to start with two different Paella.  Neither of us had tried it before and I knew after a couple of bites that I had to come home to search for a recipe. There is a part of me that wants to try it with Quinoa instead of rice, we shall see if that works.  My husband’s had chorizo mixed in with the chicken and seafood and mine had more seafood options with out the chorizo.  They were both very tasty.

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This is just one of many basic recipes I found online.  Some had more saffron and paprika than others so again I will have to experiment to get the flavor we enjoy, but the basic recipe is a good place to start for me.

Easy Paella

(allrecipes.com……http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Easy-Paella/Detail.aspx?nextItemId=84137&position=0&prop24=RD_RecipeArrow_Left)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil             1 tablespoon paprika              2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • salt and black pepper to taste        2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch pieces                    2 tablespoons olive oil, divided              3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 t crushed red pepper flakes         2 cups uncooked short-grain white rice
  • a pinch saffron threads                1 bay leaf            1/2 bunch Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 quart chicken stock            2 lemons, zested               2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Spanish onion, chopped            1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound chorizo sausage, casings removed and crumbled
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined.
  • Mine had baby squid, calamaria rings, mussels and clams also without the chorizo.
  • Directions

    1. In a medium bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons olive oil, paprika, oregano, and salt and pepper. Stir in chicken pieces to coat. Cover, and refrigerate.
    2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet or paella pan over medium heat. Stir in garlic, red pepper flakes, and rice. Cook, stirring, to coat rice with oil, about 3 minutes. Stir in saffron threads, bay leaf, parsley, chicken stock, and lemon zest. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer 20 minutes. (or quinoa according to directions)
    3. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a separate skillet over medium heat. Stir in marinated chicken and onion; cook 5 minutes. Stir in bell pepper and sausage; cook 5 minutes. Stir in shrimp; cook, turning the shrimp, until both sides are pink.
    4. Spread rice mixture onto a serving tray. Top with meat and seafood mixture.

    Then came the fun…we stretched out our meal until it was getting darker, enjoying conversation and letting the food settle. But it was finally time to order our coffee’s.  Our sweet waitress was really zippy at making these things.  It is fun to watch and you end with a lovely flavor to savor for a bit.

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  • I never could find a recipe online like La Bodegas method so I’m giving estimates.  Many Spanish coffees have orange liqueur and I’m not really into that so I’m throwing out a guess on the recipe that we will try and use.
  • 1/2 shot of rum in a wine glass.  Swirl that around and tipping it sideways a bit, light with a long handle lighter.  Our glasses had been dipped in water and then sugar to rim the edges.  Sprinkle cinnamon from about 6-8 inches above the burning glass and the sparks will fly.  This really is to taste.  Our glasses were nicely coated with the cinnamon.  Then they placed a small plate over the flaming rum to put that out and when they were sure it was out they poured in the Kahlua.  They poured in enough that the glass looked 1/3 full.  Then they poured in strong, hot coffee and topped that with fresh whipped cream.  HEAVEN people, I tell you it was heavenly.  I have a lovely spiced rum that we will use.  NOT sticking a lighter down in the glass would be my only advise.  Once you’ve swirled the rum around the glass there will be enough fumes to catch if the flame even comes close to the glass.  It is a lovely drink to sip and enjoy some good conversation with friends or family.

Disclaimer:  DON’T MAKE THIS DRINK WHILE DRUNK.  Playing with fire requires clear thinking in my book.

NOTE:  some of the recipes I found online did not flame the rum before adding everything.  That might be fun to try as well.  I have some Spiced Rum that I want to try in this as well.  Life is an adventure, why leave a recipe alone.  I believe in tweaking most recipes.