Paella is a recent addition to my repertoire. It has a reputation for being complicated, but I was recently shown an easy recipe by my sister. One of the beauties of it is its versatility (and the colours). It is not, as many think, a seafood dish with rice, but rather a rice dish, which can accommodate almost any taste or diet. This is quick and easy, but learning to make it also represented one of the things I cherish most about cooking, the sharing and exchange of ideas, knowledge and creativity, followed by a shared meal and lots of laughter.
We used jasmine rice for this and it worked really well. Traditionally, one would use short grain Spanish rice, often marketed as paella rice. Don't use arborio rice though as we aren't looking for the glutinous texture of risotto but rather for the grains to stay separate.
2 tbsp olive oil
2 chorizo sausages
3 c of rice
4 1/2 c. chicken stock
2 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
10 strands of saffron, re-hydrated
1 c peas
Juice of one lemon
1) Heat the oil in a deep pan and add the onion and leek. Stir until they are translucent. Add the chorizo and allow it to render.
2) Pour rice in and coat it in the oils, stirring until it is translucent. Add spices, then stock.
3) Bring to a simmer. Stir occasionally, allowing the rice to absorb the liquid. Don't stir too much or too often though. As stated we don't want glutinous rice, and stirring will do that. Also, some crisping on the bottom is nice. :)
4) Add the peas, and then the shrimp. Allow to cook 5 more minutes, until shrimp are just opaque.
Squirt with lemon juice, serve hot and enjoy! This paella pairs well with red wine too :)
I really enjoyed cooking this and sharing it. The paella has a lovely deep flavour, a very well rounded profile. It is moist and yet has body. And bonus, it is quick, easy and has few dishes! It stands up well without seafood, with more seafood, with pork or chicken, or vegetarian. More vegetables like broccoli or spinach work well. It also reheats well if need be for packed lunches or simply enjoyed as left-overs.