We’ve never made Paella before. Actually, we haven’t done much in the way of Spanish cooking (expect churros con chocolate). Since I have a Spanish last name (and a great grandfather from Spain), I figured this is something I should figure out.
Growing up my grandpa would prepare something similar called Arroz Valenciana. The Philippines adapted much of the Spanish culture while under Spanish rule for 333 years. Instead of saffron for coloring, my grandpa used achuete and the mixture also had raisins in it. The paella we made yesterday tasted very nice but I kept wanting the taste of my grandpa’s. I’ll have to call him and get the recipe for a future post.
Next time we’ll try to follow the tradition recipe more and see how different it is, but this method worked well for us. The entire meal with prep time only took an hour and a half. The rice absorbed all the flavors and was perfectly done and not mushy. I even got a little crust at the bottom of the pan which was excellent! The key is to only cook the rice halfway and not use to much liquid.
First cook the rice in a rice cooker. Rinse 4 cups of rice and add about half water and half stock. Make sure the liquid only goes a little above the rice so that it will not cook fully. Add a few saffron threads.
- 2 T. Spanish olive oil
- 1 whole onion
- 1 rib of celery
- 1 poblano pepper
- 1 handful shitake mushrooms
- 2 T. minced garlic
- 1 smoked andouille sausage (from Gorman’s Meat Locker in Lone Rock)
- 2 T. capers
- 1 large tomato
- 2 T. tomato paste
- 2 c. low sodium chicken/vegetable stock
- a few saffron strands
- 1 t. cumin
- 2 t. paprika
*I used a 12 inch cast iron pan.
Clean and chop everything into small cubes except for the pepper and sausage. Slice sausage on the bias. Sautee onion and celery in olive oil until semi translucent. Roast pepper in an open flame or broil in the oven. Chop and add to the pan. Add the rest of the solid ingredients and cook until the tomato breaks down. Add the stock and mix the rice into the pan. Flame should be on low to medium. Cover with foil. Check once in awhile to make sure there is still liquid. Add more stock as you go.
Meanwhile clean the shrimp and trout. Thankfully the trout was already deboned. The only thing I had to do was scale it.
- 1 lb. shrimp
- 1 whole trout (Artesian Trout Farm in Westfield)
The rice should be almost done. You might need to add a little more stock/water. Place whole trout in the center and bury it in the rice mixture. Add shrimp, peas, and fresh herbs then cover.
- 1 c. green peas
- 3 T. chives
- 2 T. parsley
- 1 T. rosemary
It should be done once the shrimp is pink. Let it sit and prepare the plantain.
- 1 med. size semi ripe plantain (sliced on the bias)
- 1 T. sugar to sprinkle
- 2 T. oil
The fruit should smell sweet and have a black and yellow peel. Slice and sprinkle sugar on it. Fry until golden brown. Serve with the paella.
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