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My husband lived in Rota, Spain for 6 1/2 years while he was in the US Navy. He really developed a love for Spanish cuisine and paella is one of his favorites. I’ve tried Paella from a box before and it’s not all that great. I wanted to try a more authentic recipe and scoured my Spanish cookbooks and a few others. I found a recipe in Rocco DiSpirito’s cookbook Now Eat This!: 150 of America’s Favorite Comfort Foods, All Under 350 Calories.
It’s a slimmed down version of traditional paella substituting brown rice for white and a few other minor changes. Hubby and I are not the biggest chorizo fans, so for our Paella, I substituted a large can of clams for the chorizo and also cooked up some chicken drummettes to put on top. For the recipe below, I left the chorizo ingredient in there in case you choose to use it. I noted my substitutions in a different color.
2 ounces chorizo, halved lengthwise and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons (or substitute clams like I did)
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon Watkins All Natural Spice
1 cup long-grain brown rice
1 3/4 cups chicken broth, or more if needed
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
8 ounces medium peeled shrimp
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup frozen peas
Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add chorizo and cook until the fat begins to render (about two minutes).
So for my Paella, I started here:
Add garlic to the pan and saute until fragrant (about one minute). Add saffron, rice, and broth. Cover pot and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and cook at a gentle simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in diced tomatoes and juice. Cover pot, and continue to cook another 25 minutes.
Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Stir shrimp, clams and peas into mixture, adding more broth if the rice appears dry. Cover, and continue to cook until shrimp are cooked through and rice is tender (about 10 or 15 minutes).
Allow paella to rest for five minutes, covered. Fluff rice with a fork. Serves four.
I cooked some chicken drummettes on the stove to pair with the paella. I heated some olive oil in a pan, added a large clove of chopped garlic and cooked them on medium-high, turning on occasion for about 15-20 minutes (some drummettes can be larger then others).
Hubby loved it. Said it was a bit too tomato-ey for him, but the flavor overall was close to authentic. The best part is that it is slimmed down so you can enjoy paella without any guilt.If you want to try paella but don’t want to dive right into this recipe, you can start with this Vigo paella mix from Cost Plus World Market. I’ve used this as well when I’ve had a Paella craving but didn’t have the time needed to make this gem I posted here. I just add additional shrimp and it cooks up in a jiff.
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