This is a surprisingly easy to make one-pot dish that will inspire sighs of gustatory enjoyment. Anything from fresh garden produce to holiday left overs can be used to create create an original version of this one-dish feast! The dish was named after the pan it is cooked in, a paellera, but if you don’t have a paella pan, a very large frying pan will do. Paella pans are readily available on line. This is only one possible recipe. Use your imagination and the ingredients at hand.
1 ½ cups uncooked Arborio rice.
4 ¼ cups vegetable stock
1 cup white wine
20 threads saffron per person dissolved in 1/8 cup white wine
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 veggie chorizo (soyrizo), available at most health food stores and at Trader Joe’s
2 ½ teaspoons Spanish sweet pimentón or smoked paprika (not hot) if you can’t find pimenton.
8 cloves garlic per person, minced
1 large cup diced onion
1/4 cup grated tomato (cut in half, grate and discard the skin)
1/2 sweet red or orange pepper diced
12-16 artichoke hearts
1 can check peas
1 small can cooked sweet peas
1 roasted, sweet red pepper, cut into strips
12 or so asparagus spears, steamed and cut into thirds
lime wedges for garnish
chopped cilantro for garnish
salt to taste
- Heat stock and wine in a separate stock pot. Crush saffron and add it to a little bit of white wine. After the saffron has soaked for about 15 minutes, add it and the 1/8 cup wine to the stock pot.
- Heat paella pan over medium heat, add olive oil and sauté onions and sweet red pepper until onions are translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for 3 more monutes.
- Add the soyrizo and cook until heated, stirring all the while.
- Add the rice, stirring until well coated with oil.
- Add the paprika and grated tomato. Stir while cooking for a few minutes.
- Add saffron flavored wine and hot stock. Bring to a boil while scraping the bottom of pan. By now, the rice should be level in the pan and you will not need to stir from this point on.
- Adjust heat to maintain a nice simmer and cook uncovered.
- When the rice has absorbed most of the liquid but still has a soupy appearance push the artichoke hearts into the rice.
- Once the rice is mostly cooked arrange the rest of the ingredients in a decorative pattern on top. During this time the rice should be caramelizing on the bottom of the pan or creating what is called the socarrat. It will make a faint crackling sound and smell toasty sweet but not burnt. Set aside to “rest” for 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro, garnish with lemon wedges around the side and serve.