This week, I am inspired by peas. I have a ton of peas from my garden, and on top of that, we visited the Calgary Farmer’s Market this week-end and came home with another big bag of peas. We are pea-rich!
The inspiration (above).
Now I don’t know why, but when trying to figure out what to make with all my peas, I couldn’t get paella out of my head. Maybe it’s because one of the key ingredients in paella is saffron, and given that I decided to name my blog Sweet Peas and Saffron, it’s about time I posted a recipe containing saffron!
The thing I love about paella is that you can modify it a hundred different ways depending on what you have on hand. I like to add lots of veggies to make it a little healthier. I have made this recipe enough times that I actually felt comfortable modifying it.
Seafood Paella (adapted from Bon Appetit)
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 tsp saffron threads
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp black pepper
3/4 of a spicy Spanish chorizo, sliced thin
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 red and 1 green pepper, julienned
olive oil, salt to taste
2 cups arborio rice
2 cups chicken broth
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes in jar
1.5 Tbsp Sriracha
2 cups sugar snap peas, trimmed
1 cup garden peas (Lincoln Holmsteader), shelled
approximately 15 shrimp
approximately 15 mussels (+ 1/4 cup more wine and 1 tsp minced garlic for cooking mussels)
1) Pre-heat oven to 400 F. Combine wine and saffron. The saffron makes the wine turn a beautiful yellow color (see above).
2) Fry chorizo over medium heat in a 4L pot until it begins to brown. Set aside on a paper towel to drain excess oil.
3) Fry onion and garlic in oil from chorizo. You may need to add more oil. Cook onion until transparent. Set aside.
4) Fry red and green peppers until almost cooked through, around 3-4 minutes. Set aside with onions.
5) Add rice, paprika and pepper. Stir to coat rice. Add saffron-wine mixture to pot, bring to a boil
6) Add tomatoes, chicken stock, sriracha, onions and peppers. Bring to a boil, adding salt if necessary. At this point it is fairly soupy, as above.
7) Add chorizo, and cover pot with aluminum foil. Normally paella is made in a special paella pan, but this alternative solution seems to work just fine.
8) Put the pot in the oven. Cook until rice is almost cooked through (~15 minutes with arborio rice), then add snap peas.
CAUTION: always handle the pot with oven mitts! I once made the mistake once of trying to take the pot lid off with my bare hands (duh! it’s really hot!). I got a third degree burn on my finger as a result.
9) Cook snap peas for around 5 minutes, then add shrimp. Cook paella until shrimp is cooked through, around 10 more minutes.
10) for mussels:
I tried adding mussels on top of the paella with the shrimp but only five of them opened. Instead, I recommend the following for the mussels (from this website
-heat pan over medium. Add 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tsp of minced garlic.
-cook garlic until golden, then add the mussels to the pan.
-add 1/4 cup of white wine, stir to coat the mussels, and cover pan with a lid.
-cook for 4 minutes, at which point you can sneak a peek. Hopefully they are all open. If not, continue cooking for another few minutes.
-scatter mussels over paella and ENJOY!
This paella turned out wonderfully! I absolutely love the texture that the rice gets, I have never tasted anything that compares! My boyfriend actually turned to me and said “I love paella, it’s my favorite”, so that alone was worth the effort involved. Plus there were enough left-overs for lunch for the next few days. Woo hoo!