Friday, September 25, 2015

Easy Paella

Here's an easy recipe for Paella that you can whip up on any weeknight. But first things first- the rice, saffron and the pan. These are of utmost importance, especially the rice and saffron.

*The rice must be short grained and be able to absorb as much flavor as possible and not become creamy and mushy in the end. The kind that works really well is Arroz "Calasparra" from Spain (you can order it online from amazon).

*Saffron is the exotic spice that has a very interesting flavor profile, is not as overpowering as turmeric, and a little goes a long way.

*And then the pan- well, I am not sure that a paella pan is a *must* (I mean, for that matter, you should be cooking your paella on open fire outside, not on the stove in your kitchen!). However, if you intend to make paella often, and believe in presentation, that do invest in a decent paella pan.

As for me, I got lucky- my dear bro and sister in law gifted me with a nice paella pan as well as the rice! ;)

The Rice

Arroz Calasparra 

Paella Pan 

Yield: 2 adults, 2 inconsistent teenagers

Time: < 1 hour (prep time+cooking time)

This recipe incorporates salmon and shrimp. Other seafood such as clams, calamari, etc work well too. Vegetables such as peas, carrots, green beans will be good as well. 


1. Calasparra Rice: 2 cups 

2. Broth (of your choice): 4 cups (and 1/2 cup extra just in case)

3. Tomatoes rough chopped: 2-3 cups (OR 3-4 tbs tomato paste)

4. Saffron: 10-12 strands

5. Garlic minced: 2 tsp

6. Salt to taste

7. Freshly ground pepper: 1/2-1 tsp (or more if you like pepper!)

8. Crushed red pepper or paprika for kick: 1-2 tsp (adjust to taste)

9. Cooking oil: 3 tbs

10. Oregano: a pinch (italian seasoning will work just fine)

11. Salmon (boneless skinless) cut into 2 inch pieces- approx. 2 pieces per person 

12. Shrimp (raw, peeled, deveined, tail on): a couple handfuls so everyone gets enough


1. Pour oil into your paella pan, get the heat going. Add oregano (or italian seasoning), minced garlic, tomatoes and fry for a couple minutes. Then add the rice (tip: soak the rice in water for 10 minutes prior to cooking for faster cooking) and stir for 2-3 minutes. 

2. Now add broth, pepper, paprika/crushed red pepper, salt to taste, and saffron and bring it to a boil. Then lower the flame, and continue cooking, without covering the pan for 15 minutes. Do not stir. The rice should have softened a bit at the end of 15 minutes. 

3. Now gently fold in the salmon and shrimp. You might have to add 1/2 cup broth at this point if you think that the rice needs some more cooking. Don't worry, it won't get mushy! Let it all cook for another 7-10 minutes, until the liquid is all absorbed and the shrimp is pink. Cover until ready to be served. 

Garnish with fresh parsley, zing it up with freshly squeezed lemon juice. Pair it up with some Spanish wine and enjoy! 


Paella- mm mm! 


No comments: