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Chef's Kitchen

Each month, a guest chef gives us a tip that elevates their cooking or simplifies things in the kitchen; something a home cook might not know. They also provide a recipe that uses the tip, so you can practice at home. Our guest chef this month is Executive Chef/Owner Clara Carroll Gutierrez of Castilla Spanish Restaurant & Tapas Bar in Bellevue. Chef Clara uses contemporary cooking techniques to produce traditional dishes, paying respect to the Pacific Northwest. Choose an entrée like paella or several hot or cold tapas.

Clara grew up on her family's farm in Spain where she learned what it takes to bring food to the table, producing grains, vegetables, fruits, and butchering pigs to make cured meats. She worked at her aunt's restaurant during high school, then earned her college degree in International Business and Trade. She moved to the U.S. in the late '90s and started a tapas catering business, Vino Espaῆol. She worked at Madrid 522 in Belltown, catered a reception for the king and queen of Spain in 2004, helped open Kafe Neo in Edmonds and was Executive chef/GM, then Kafe Neo in Mill Creek Town Center, followed by Tablas Mill Creek and Demetri's in Edmonds where she was co-owner and executive chef at Tablas. She opened Castilla in November 2019.

Using shrimp shells to create a seafood paella stock, by Executive Chef/Owner Clara Gutierrez Carroll

Yes, shrimp shells are edible! Based on recent scientific research, they may also provide health benefits like lowering cholesterol and improving cartilage and joint health. Plus they make a delicious stock.

Seafood Paella

Serves 6

Shrimp stock

Shells from 1 lb. of shrimp
1 cup of olive oil
5 cups of water

In a cup of olive oil, fry the shrimp shells until golden and crisp.

Add the toasted shells and oil to a strong blender, like Vitamix, with 5 cups of water and mix until shells are pureed.


4 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
½ cup diced onion
½ cup diced green pepper
Salt and black pepper to taste

Mix together.


¾ cup sofrito
1 pinch saffron
2 cups Bomba rice
1 cup white wine (verdejo)
5 cups shrimp stock
¼ cup green peas or beans
¼ cup roasted red pepper strips
1 lb. mussels
1 lb. clams
1 lb. shrimp
Salt to taste
Parsley and lemons for garnish

Cook sofrito on medium heat.

Add rice, wine, and stock to sofrito.

After 10 minutes, add seafood.

Lower heat until most of the stock is consumed.

Serve with a side of aioli.

Castilla Spanish Restaurant & Tapas Bar
504 Bellevue Square
Bellevue, WA 98004

June/July 2020

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