Oh! When I saw Lululu’s paella the other day, I immediately had a hankering for some. I hadn’t eaten paella in a very long time. Her’s looked so appetizing and the best part of the recipe for me was that the ingredients were simple. I’d made paella a long time ago (a recipe by Tyler Florence), the ingredients were many (chicken, chorizo, saffron, clams, shrimp, lobster tails…) and I’d spent a fortune buying the ingredients. Although, the paella tasted really terrific and the recipe was tasty and definitely worth it, I was happy to see a simple, yet delicious-looking paella recipe.
Over the weekend, I went grocery shopping and bought my ingredients, mainly the shrimp and squid. The recipe called for arborio rice. However, despite going to three stores, I couldn’t find that rice. There was one more store to try but by then, I was too tired. It’s no fun lugging several grocery bags around the city. I had long grain rice at home and planned to use it, even though I wasn’t sure how that would turn out. Thankfully, Rosa’s Yummy Yums encouraged me to use what I had, although there’d be a difference in the recipe.
Feeling a bit tired
lazy tired on the day I prepared this dish, I found that it wasn’t as labor intensive as expected. The only part of the recipe that was a pain in the neck was shelling and de-veining the shrimps. Yikes! Next time, I’ll consider paying a little extra for shrimps already de-veined. De-veining more than five shrimps is NOT fun. It took me FOR-EVAH to de-vein the darned things.
At the last minute, I realized that I didn’t have any white wine. So, I used vermouth. *shrugs*
To my delight, my paella with chorizo and seafood turned out really well. I loved it. My dog loved it, too. We were the only two at home, which was okay. More for us.
Paella with Chorizo and Seafood
Lululu at Home
(serves 6 persons)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 to 3 pieces Spanish Chorizo hot sausage, sliced
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
1 28-oz can tomato
3 cup warm chicken stock
1 Tbsp dried herbs of your choice
1lb shrimp, deveined
1 squid tube, cleaned and sliced
pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup frozen peas
In a large pan, brown sausages with olive oil over medium heat. Remove from pan and set aside.
Keep fat in pan. Sautee onion and garlic for 5 minutes until onion turns pale gold, but not brown.
Add rice and wine, and stir for 2 minutes. Add tomato, and keep stirring occasionally until 1/3 liquid is evaporated. Pour in 2 cups of chicken stock and herbs, cook uncovered until 1/2 liquid is absorbed by the rice. Add the remaining cup of chicken stock, stirring. Cover and simmer gently for about 15 minutes. Add sausage (push them into the rice).
Preheat oven to 400F.
Tuck the shrimps and squid rings into the rice. Sprinkle salt and pepper on seafood with the peas. After placing seafood ingredients in pan, sprinkle them with peas, salt and pepper. Place pan in oven to cook for 5 minutes until shrimps become pink and squid is slightly brown at the edge.
Squeeze fresh lemon juice on top of each portion before serving.
Orzo! I love this rice-shaped pasta and jumped at the opportunity to make Orzo Paella when I saw the recipe on Haalo’s blog, Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once. Orzo Paella? Never heard of it before. Gotta try it, I thought to myself. Try it I did. And did I like it? Did everyone else at home like it? Yup. Like it we did.
One of the things I liked about this recipe was that it’s quick and easy to make. The ingredients are very simple. I didn’t have to go to Timbuktu in search of anything special or exotic. I had almost all the ingredients right there in my kitchen. The only ingredient I didn’t have was the chorizo. I could only get it in a store a couple of blocks away. But I was feeling too lazy to walk down there. So I called another store closer to me (about a block away) and had them deliver Italian sausage since they didn’t carry chorizos.
Haalo suggests topping the orzo paella with shards of manchego or grated Mizithra/Myzithra. I didn’t have that either, so good ole Parmesan cheese substituted. I’ve never tasted Manchego or Mizithra cheese. I’ll have to go buy some one of these days because I’ll definitely make Orzo Paella again. Thanks, Haalo!
Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once
2 red onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 red capsicum (bell pepper), sliced thickly
4 skinless chicken thighs, sliced thickly
1 chorizo, diced
chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned)
Heat a little oil and butter in a large pan and saute the chicken in batches until browned. Set to one side and in the same pan, saute the onions and garlic until softened.
Add the diced chorizo and cook until golden. Add the sliced capsicum and continue to saute for 5 minutes before adding the tomatoes, peas and chicken. Stir through and add enough water or stock to just cover the mixture. Simmer until reduced.
The orzo will only take about 5 minutes to cook so make sure that this chicken mixture is cooked and seasoned to your liking.
Over a very low flame, stir in the orzo and top with enough water to just cover the mixture. Place a lid on the pot and let it cook undisturbed for about 5 minutes.
After this, stir the mixture and taste — check that the orzo is cooked through and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Serve at once. Top with shards of manchego or grated Mizithra/Myzithra.
After watching Tyler Florence on his food show called Tyler’s Ultimate, I decided to go for it and try his Ultimate Paella recipe.
His food show is interesting. He picks a themed ingredient or food and travels around the world to find out the history of the food and how it’s made it that part of the world. Then he returns home, to the U.S., and makes the dish with his own spin on the recipe.
In the episode of The Ultimate Paella, Tyler first traveled to Spain to watch the preparation of authentic Valencia paella (Paella Valenciana). I found the main ingredients very different to what I’m used to eating – snails, rabbit, and something else I don’t remember. The man from Valencia said that the locals there don’t use seafood because they are farmers and use meats around them.
Next, Tyler went to Miami, Florida to watch two guys make their version of paella –Cuban style (Paella Cubana), in which they included chorizo sausage and lots of seafood.
Finally Tyler came home, to New York City, to make his version of paella, which he called The Ultimate Paella.
When I first made the paella, I mentioned it to my friend Nancy. She’s lived over 20 years in Spain and told me that paella is very much a traditional Sunday family meal in Spain. There are different varieties of paella. The best is made along the Eastern coast of Spain, from Valencia to Alicante, a rice-growing region.
She enjoys a paella mixto (mixed paella), which is made with chicken and seafood like shrimps, clams, mussels and calamari. Recently, she tried arroz negro (black rice), which she said is delicious. Apparently squid is a part of the ingredients and its ink gives the rice a black color. Interesting. I think I’d like to try it.
Nancy also told me that there is a type of paella, which consists mostly of vegetables, including green beans and “habas,” which are like lima beans. A more liquidly and soupy paella version, called “arroz caldoso” is very good, Nancy said. She and her husband have their favorite paella places, which they like to frequent. Sometimes a few scoops of paella are given to the patron when he or she has a beer or wine.
I can’t wait to try some paella in Spain, but until then I plan on making some at home. So far, I’ve made it twice.
My paella came out okay for a first timer. I enjoyed the taste of the clams, shrimp, chicken and chorizo sausage, but I had a problem with the way the rice cooked. The recipe calls for short-grained rice, but I used a long grain Jasmine rice because that’s what I had in the house. Nancy confirmed that it’s important to use short-grained rice for paella.
The more I cook, the more I discover that the proper pots and pans make a big difference in the outcome of the food. The first time I made the paella, I used a deep pot to make it and realized that the rice would have cooked better in a large paella pan or a wide shallow (none of which I had.).
When I visit Spain, I plan on buying a nice authentic paella pan, but in the meantime, I decided to buy one from Amazon.com. The second time I made my paella, I used the paella pan and I cooked with short-grained rice. While the pan has served its purpose for making paella, it is a cheap, but it will do for now. Nevertheless, my paella tasted even better the second time around, and so I dedicate this post and my meal to my two friends in Spain — Nancy and Tattum. Paz
THE ULTIMATE PAELLA
Spice Mix for chicken, recipe follows 1 (3-pound) frying chicken, cut into 10 pieces 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 Spanish chorizo sausages, thickly sliced Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 1 Spanish onion, diced 4 garlic cloves, crushed Bunch flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped, reserve some for garnish 1 (15-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained and hand-crushed 4 cups short grain Spanish rice 6 cups water, warm Generous pinch saffron threads 1 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and de-veined 2 lobster tails 1/2 cup sweet peas, frozen and thawed Lemon wedges, for serving Special equipment:
Large paella pan or wide shallow skillet
Rub the spice mix all over the chicken and marinate chicken for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
Heat oil in a paella pan over medium-high heat. Saute the chorizo until browned, remove and reserve. Add chicken skin-side down and brown on all sides, turning with tongs. Add salt and freshly ground pepper. Remove from pan and reserve.
In the same pan, make a sofrito by sauteing the onions, garlic, and parsley. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes on a medium heat. Then, add tomatoes and cook until the mixture caramelizes a bit and the flavors meld. Fold in the rice and stir-fry to coat the grains. Pour in water and simmer for 10 minutes, gently moving the pan around so the rice cooks evenly and absorbs the liquid. Add chicken, chorizo, and saffron. Add the clams and shrimp, tucking them into the rice. The shrimp will take about 8 minutes to cook. Give the paella a good shake and let it simmer, without stirring, until the rice is al dente, for about 15 minutes. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, when the rice is filling the pan, add the lobster tails. When the paella is cooked and the rice looks fluffy and moist, turn the heat up for 40 seconds until you can smell the rice toast at the bottom, then it’s perfect.
Cook’s note: The ideal paella has a toasted rice bottom called socarrat.
Remove from heat and rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with peas, parsley and lemon wedges.
Spice Mix for chicken: 1 tablespoon sweet paprika 2 teaspoons dried oregano Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Combine ingredients in a small bowl. Rub the spice mixture all over the chicken; marinate for 1 hour, covered