I made that!

Paella!

Posted in I Like Salt Too by brandi on April 10, 2009

The sun’s been shining (intermittently at least) and dammit I want paella! I’ve never made one (well, except for this one time 8 years ago, but all has been forgotten), so some research was needed. I went to my source of all things paella related, my architecture boss (and self declared paella aficionado) Joe. He hooked me up with the basic steps and traditional spices. I scribbled it all down like a mad woman, went shopping for a paella pan (because sometimes you just need a new toy), and promptly lost the notes. So I was mostly working from memory, but I think I got the gist of it right.

I wanted to keep it simple, since I was entering uncharted waters. Plus my dinner guests were pescatarian, so no crazy chicken/chorizo/every other meat you can think of combination for this little paella {insert sad face emoticon}. I decided to go with shrimp, along with a bunch of spring veggies.

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First I fried up my sofrito, which is just the mirepoix (which is the soffritto (which is the sofrito of Italy) of France) of Spain: onions, garlic and red peppers. Basically the holy trinity of Western European/Mediterranean/Caribbean cooking. I cooked those down with some olive oil, paprika, cumin and cayenne.

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Then I threw in my rice and let it toast for a while before adding some white wine. I let that cook for a few minutes and then added some saffron, veggie stock and clam juice.

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Once it looked like the rice had about 15-20 minutes left, I piled it high with shrimp, English peas, artichoke hearts and asparagus.

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I put a lid on it and let it keep going until everything looked all yummy and my shrimp were all pink. It was tasty! Most importantly, I got a delicious layer of crust on the bottom, pretty much what makes paella fabulous. Not bad at all for a first (though technically second) paella!

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