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To Paella, or Not To Paella

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While on a walk this afternoon with my pooch, I was mentally bouncing around the walls of my fridge and pantry, trying to brainstorm on a simple but flavorful dinner for tonight. My mission was only use what I have, but to make it spectacular.

(darn cooking shows.)

Freezer: shrimp, chicken sausage, corn (yeah, okay, okay)

Pantry: rice, saffron, paprika (uh huh, soundin’ good)

Fridge: onions, broth, cilantro, lemon (whoa. yes.)

Duh duh DUUUUH: Paella was born.

Well, in my mind. On my walk.

I gotta say, in less than 30 minutes I was sobbing into my food. It was easy, budget-friendly and…oh yeah, pretty dang spectacular. Promise me you’ll give this a go!

A Most Simple Paella:

What it takes for 4 servings:

* 15 frozen shrimp, thawed and deveined

* 2-4 chicken sausages, casings removed and cut into 1-inch slices

* 1 cup frozen or fresh corn

* 1 cup long grain rice (I used basmati)

* 1/2 large, white onion, coarsely diced

* 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil, divided

* 2 large carrots, cut into 1/2 inch slices

* 3 cloves garlic, minced

* pinch of saffron

* 1 Tbs. smoked paprika

* 1/4th cup white wine or vermouth

* 1 cup chicken stock

* 2 cups water

* 2 scallions, sliced thinly on the diagonal

* 1/4th cup fresh cilantro, chopped

* 1 lemon

* coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

In a medium saucepan, heat the broth, water and the pinch of saffron. Keep on a very low simmer.

In a wide skillet, heat 1 Tbs. oil. Add the chicken sausages and cook about 2 minutes, until they start to brown up nicely. Remove from skillet and set aside. Add the other Tbs. oil and add the onions and carrots. Saute 2 minutes, then add the garlic. Add the paprika at this point and let bloom with the veggies for 30 seconds. Add the rice and toss to coat with the oil. Toast 1 minute, then add the vermouth. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Y’all, that’s flava. I mean flavor. Add the saffron infused broth, put a lid on the skillet and let cook away for about 15 minutes. Taste the rice, done? Done. Add the corn, sausages and their accumulated juices and the shrimp. Toss around with your spoon to incorporate everything. Cook until the shrimp is opaque, 2 minutes. Taste. Season with salt and pepper. Add the scallions and cilantro, stir around and taste once more. Spritz with fresh lemon juice and serve her up! Heck, eat right out of the skillet. I won’t tell.

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2 Responses to To Paella, or Not To Paella

  1. Tracey August 14, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    Thanks Bev! I really love this idea. I have 2 bags of frozen shrimp in my freezer and one of them has this recipe written all over it! :)

  2. Siba-Rita September 13, 2012 at 6:04 am #

    That rice looks really good… but if some here in Spain finds out you call that paella you can be in big trouble :P. We don’t put nor sausages, corn, carrot, cilantro, paprika or vermouth… but I insist, it looks good :)

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