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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One Response

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  1. Kate said, on December 20, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    Just tried this recipe, and although I haven’t dug in just yet (it’s still on the stove), it smells and looks pretty awesome. I have two suggestions for any other folks that plan to try this –

    1 – If you can’t find clam juice, or are just trying to be a little frugal (I now understand why paella costs so much in restaurants!), an alternative is to save your shrimp peels and add them to your broth for 10 minutes or so while it boils, covered. Adds a nice flavor to the veggie stock (I use this for pescatarian gumbo, too).

    2 – Depending on your shrimp size, you may want to throw them on a little later. I followed the instructions to add them when the rice had about 15-20 minutes left, but the shrimp were done after maybe 5-10 minutes. I pulled them off, re-covered the pan and let it keep going. No one likes rubbery shrimp. The ones in these pictures look bigger than what I used (and perhaps you left them in their shells?), so they may have taken longer to cook.

    All in all, this recipe was super helpful – I’ve been trying to figure out how to make a seafood paella and have only found vegetarian/vegan recipes – so this recipe is going to be a keeper for me! Thanks – love the blog 🙂


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