…with admittedly mixed Results.

We listened to one of of my favorite Sonos playlists … my Rat Pack & Friends playlist includes deep catalog runs with Sinatra, Dean and Sammy, but also throws a kitchen sink blend of guys (Jack, Jones, Matt Monro, Tony Bennett, Bobby Darin, Johnny Mercer…) and gals (Peggy Lee, Doris Day, Billy Holiday, Julie London…) to tap out at around 600 tracks of complete Rat Pack era immersion.

Last night I took the RP&F tour to Spain for dinner: a gazpacho driven ceviche appetizer (served in “Martini In The Morning” martini glasses!) followed by a Crabmeat Paella with Peas (from Penelope Casas’ excellent Paella! cookbook).

The ceviche was pretty good but needs to be served a bit more chilled. My version last night landed at room temp (per the recipe) and could have benefited from more fridge time. I also spiced it a bit more than the scallops probably needed. BUT, it was a cool dish and I will certainly hit it again (and put up the recipe after I get it dialed in … nobody needs my misfires!).

The paella was likewise a mixed result. Everything cooked up perfectly and the rice tasted great, but the dish is pretty subtle with the crab flavor really an undertone. I expected a more “forward” crab flavor. I’ve made many different paellas out of Penelope’s book and they are typically outstanding … authentic ingredients and a rock solid cooking method that has never failed to result in both a beautiful and easy dish.

This was not a disappointment as much as unexpectedly tame. I’m not sure I’ll make it back to this dish — as I said, so many of her other paella recipes rock and life’s short!

UPDATE – Holy crap, I forgot to mention the wine!

That’s just not right … so we had one of my favorite Spanish whites — Vi√Īa Esmeralda (Torres). A really nice bone dry, but well rounded wine that pairs nicely with the paella.

We had a Malbec rose with the gazpacho-ceviche but I can’t recall the name … uh, sort of normal for me on a Saturday night ūüėČ