Last night it was like, definitely for sure going to snow, so we went out and drank a lot and ate a lot for dinner and then it didn't snow.
Don't worry, though, the local economy is better for it due to all the extra bread and milk sales.
Anyway, it's super sunny and slightly cold, so we got all excited for nothing. I like snow A LOT, so I'm super bummed.
You need to make this, guys. Paella. Rice cooked with veggies and seasonings with seafood and sausage topped with parsley and lemon and scallions.
MAN. So good. I made this last weekend, and it's such a great cozy dinner. It's not hard, but there are a few steps to get everything cooked evenly and at the same time.
Also, full disclaimer: I read a few places that traditional paella is "better" with crusty rice on the bottom of the pan that you achieve from not stirring the rice too much. Well, I didn't stir too much, but the rice was so crispy that it just....stuck. So...the dishwater enjoyed the crispy bits on the bottom of the pot. Any advice on this besides adding gallons of extra oil and butter? Please help me.
Either way, this was delicious. Here's what you need, for 4 large servings:
- 1 cup calamari rings
- 10 - 15 live mussels or clams
- 2 links chorizo or spicy sausage
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups white rice
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 fresh red chili peppers (I had some pepper halves frozen)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 medium onion
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained (about 1/2 regular can)
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 large pinch saffron threads (1/2 to 1 teaspoon)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 lemon
- 1 scallion
- 1 handful fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds), optional
First, let's get started on the seafood and sausage. You can mix this up any way you like - I've seen paella with chicken, fish, lobster...it's your call! Be sure that whatever you're using is thawed and cleaned.
Let's get to work on the sausage. In a large pot (I used one pot for all these steps), bring 3 inches of water to a boil. Add the sausage, and let it boil for 5 minutes to start cooking. Remove the sausages from the water and discard the water. Turn the pot to medium heat and add the olive oil.
When the sausages are cool enough to touch, thinly slice them on an angle.
Put the sausage pieces back into the pot - see how the sausage is only partially cooked?
Let the sausage slices get crispy and cooked through on each side. This will take 5 - 7 minutes, depending on how hot your pan is. When the sausage is done, remove it from the pan.
Now, let's start on the rice!
While the sausage is cooking, finely chop the onion, garlic, and red pepper. If you don't have a fresh pepper don't freak out - 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper will work just fine!
Add the vegetables to the pot with the sausage drippings. Reduce the heat if the pan is too hot. We want the veggies to sizzle, but not turn dark until a minute or two has passed.
Add a sprinkle of salt, and stir the veggies for 3 - 4 minutes until they're soft and slightly darkened.
Then, add the rice and the leaves from the thyme sprigs.
Yum! Stir the rice into the veggies, and let the rice toast for 3 minutes.
When the rice has turned slightly golden, add the wine and stir for one minute to reduce it slightly. Then pour in the tomatoes and stock.
Stir everything together, and then crush and add the saffron threads. THE SMELL HERE IS AWESOME. Seriously. You're going to love this.
Now, cover the pot and let the liquids come to a simmer - I let the stock boil at medium heat, then reduced the heat to low for 7 minutes. We're going to cook the rice halfway. Look how pretty and yellow it is!
Give the rice a stir, then add the seafood and sausage to the pot.
Move the seafood around so that it's nestled in the rice, then cover for 10 more minutes. During this time, the rice will finish cooking through, the liquids will absorb, and the seafood will cook.
While the paella is cooking, prep the toppings! You can use whatever you'd like, but this combo of fresh herbs, onions, lemon, and the salty crunchy pepitas was super delicious.
Roughly chop the parsley, thinly slice the scallion, and cut the lemon into wedges for serving. Yum!
Now, the paella should be done. If the shellfish hasn't opened completely, let the rice steam for another 2-5 minutes until all the shells are open. Discard any shells that don't open during the cooking time. Look how lovely this is! Add the butter and half the parsley and scallion, and stir everything together. Taste the paella, and add some more salt if you'd like.
Here we have it. Paella. So cozy and delicious.
Serve it with more parsley, scallions, the pepitas, and lemon wedges. I LOVE this, and I know you will too.
Submitted to Weekend Potluck. So delicious, it needs to be shared!