Paella

Paella is one of those dishes which is readily adaptable and varies with the region of Spain. Paella Valenciana is from Valencia, Paella de marisco is seafood paella and Paella Mixta is a blend of meats. Regardless, Paella is primarily a rice dish from Spain.

Tonight’s dinner was Paella Mixta.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 red sweet pepper, diced
  • 2 links hot Italian Sausage, cut into small pieces. Paella usually calls for Spanish chorizo or Andouille Sausage, but I had neither in the house.
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 2/ to 1 tsp. saffron threads, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 C frozen peas
  • 6 mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 pkg. frozen artichoke hearts
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 3 C chicken broth
  • 2 C short grain white rice (I used Jasmine today, since that’s what I had in the house)
  • 3 C Left over pork roast and chicken breast (without skin)
  • 18 raw, peeled shrimp (31-40 size)

OPTIONAL: Chicken drum sticks, mussels, clams, pieces of lobster, pieces of meaty white fish, i.e. halibut, bronzino, sea bass would all work.

Preferably, you would use a paella pan, however, I didn’t feel like running downstairs to get mine, so, I just used a large, 12″, 2″ deep, ovenproof skillet.

On the stove top, add 1 or 2 tbsp. of olive oil to the pan, just enough so the onions don’t stick. Add the onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, red peppers, saffron, and saute until the onion is translucent but not browned. Add the sausage and start it cooking. Once it is browned add the mushrooms and cook a minute or two, then the artichoke hearts,  bay leaves, rice, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken broth, pork and chicken.

Now add the raw shrimp, and if you’re using other seafood, add it now as well, making sure it is completed covered by the liquid in the pan.

CAREFULLY cover the pan with foil, or if it has an ovenproof lid, add the lid,  sealing it as best you can without getting burned, and put the pan into a pre-heated 375 degree oven, in the middle of the oven. Cook the paella for about 25 minutes, then remove the foil and cook and additional 10 minutes. The rice should be fully cooked and all the liquid gone. If not, continue to cook open until the liquid is gone.

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Remove the pan from the oven and let it rest for about 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

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