At least once a month I make Paella, the Spanish dish that started out as a poor man's fare but are now one of the regions most popular dishes. Why? Because just smelling the paella cooking makes me feel good. Eating it afterwards is even better! I think, hands down, that this Paella is one of the very few things that can make me forget about chocolate. It is actually that good.
I wrote down the recipe from a TV-show long time ago. What show it was, I no longer remember. But, as with all recipes, this one is also best when shared.
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 large red pepper, seeded and finely chopped
4 tomatoes, skinned and chopped
3 to 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon sweet paprika powder
1/2 teaspoon hot paprika powder
1 teaspoon saffron
1 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cup rice (Calisparra rice or Arborio rice)
2 quart bullion
3 oz Choritzo (a Spanish sausage), roughly chopped
1 pound cubed fish and/or other seafood like shrimp, lobster and crab meat.
1/2 cup frozen peas
salt and pepper to taste
This dish is best prepared in a large paella pan, alternatively a large wok.
Fill a small casserole with water and bring to a boil. Cut a cross on the opposite side of the stem on the tomatoes. Place the tomatoes in the hot water for a minute or two, until the skin starts to peel off. Lift out the tomatoes, let cool a little and peel off the skin. After the tomatoes are skinned, chop them roughly and set them aside.
Heat the bullion in a casserole. Keep the bullion on low heat once it's warm.
Heat the oil in the paella pan, and add onions and paprika. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt.Sautè for about five minutes.
Add Choritzo, hot and sweet paprika powder and garlic.
Sautè for a few more minutes before you add the tomatoes and the saffron.
NOTE: Add the saffron after the tomatoes, as the saffron burns easily and the liquid from the tomatoes will keep it from burning.
Add the rice and wine.
Let the wine evaporate before you start adding more liquid (the bullion).
Add the bullion a little at a time. I usually add a cup, then I let the rice absorb the liquid before I add another cup.
Let the rice cook for about 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add the fish and seafood, and let it sit in the paella until it's cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir very gently in the paella at this point so the fish and seafood doesn't fall apart while cooking.
Add the peas, stir gently, and wait another couple of minutes until the peas are heated through.
Serve the paella with a green salad.