I have always wanted to make a paella. I’m not even sure why…maybe I saw it on a cooking show or something. This past week I finally got up my nerve to make one. And it’s really not a hard recipe. The challenge I found with the paella is the same challenge I have as a novice cook. I’m not sure how to spice up a recipe when it tastes a little bland. Do I add more salt and pepper? Does it need garlic (isn’t every recipe better with garlic?) Or should I leave it alone and trust my cooking? I think the only real answer is to season it how you like it!
Every good recipe starts with fresh vegetables. And the brighter the color the better. This Shrimp Paella recipe calls for red and green pepper, yellow onion, garlic, lemons, diced tomatoes and Italian parsley. You will need to slice the peppers into thin slices, chop the onion, garlic and parsley.
While the chicken stock is boiling, put the veggies into your skillet or paella pan. I don’t have a paella pan so I used a deep skillet. Over medium heat, heat the olive oil, onions, the garlic, the peppers, and the saffron. Be careful not to over cook the veggies. Overcooking will take away all the flavor.
Then you will add the canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and the white rice. Cook for 5 minutes then add the boiling chicken stock little by little. Stir until all the ingredients are mixed together. Cover the skillet or paella pan and cook for 20-25 minutes. Once the rice in tender, you can add the shrimp. Cook the shrimp covered for 5-7 minutes more.
- 1 pound raw large Shrimp peeled
- 3 cups Chicken Stock
- 3/4 cup White Rice
- 1 small Yellow Onion chopped
- 1 Red Pepper. sliced thin
- 1 Green Pepper sliced thin
- 2 Garlic Cloves chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon Spanish saffron pistils only
- 1/2 can Diced Tomatoes with chiles
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Tomato Paste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/3 cup Italian Parsley chopped
- Lemon wedges
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Chop all vegetables and set aside
Wash and peel shrimp and set aside
In a medium saucepan, boil 3 cups Chicken Stock
In another skillet or paella pan heat the olive oil over medium heat
Add the onion, garlic, red pepper, green pepper and saffron. Cook for 6 minutes or until vegetables are soft
Stir in rice, canned tomatoes and tomato paste until well mixed. Cook for 5 minutes
Add the boiling chicken stock a little at a time until stock fills the pan
Cover the pan and cook for 20-25 minutes or until rice is tender
Add the shrimp and let cook covered for 5-7 minutes more
Add salt and pepper for taste and sprinkle with Italian parsley.
Use the lemon wedges for additional flavor
I adapted this recipe from a Paella recipe I found on the Food Network. The original recipe calls for sliced chorizo sausage. I wish I had used the sausage, I think it would had given it more flavor. If you want to try the chorizo, use about 2 links sliced.