Thursday, March 13, 2008

Paella tiempo!

Last evening there was a whole lot of cooking going on here! The barefooted cooks were fabulous in the kitchen. We dined outside on the Paella, bread, wine all from the freshest ingredients possible to find in Mexico. Spectacular end to our day.

Spanish Paella Serves 6-8

2 pinches of saffron threads
1 7/8 cup of short grain rice
16 live mussels (*instead, I generally throw more shrimp in South of the Border)
6 Tbsp. oil
6-8 unboned chicken thighs, excess fat removed, skin on
5 oz chorizo sausage, cut into 1 inch slices, as much casing removed as possible
2 med. onions, chopped
4 lg. garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp. mild or hot Spanish paprika, to taste
3 1/2 oz. green beans chopped
7/8 cup of frozen peas
5 c. chicken or vegetable stock
salt & pepper
16 uncooked shrimp, shelled & deveined
2 sweet red peppers, sliced
3 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped finely

1. Put the saffron threads in a small bowl & pour in 4 Tbsp. hot H2O, set aside. Scrub mussels, removing any beards, & discard any with cracked shells or open ones that do not close when tapped, set aside.

2. Heat 3 Tbsp. of oil in 12-16 in. Paella pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken thighs, skin sides down & cook for 5 min. until golden & crispy. Transfer to bowl.

3. Add the chorizo to the Paella pan & cook for 1 min. until it starts to crisp. Add to the chicken.

4. Heat another 3 Tbsp. oil in Paella pan. Add the onions and cook for 2 min. then add the garlic & paprika & cook for an additional 3 min. until the onions are soft, but not brown.

5. Add the rice, beans, and peas to the Paella pan and stir until coated in oil. Return the chicken thighs & chorizo & any accumulated juices to the casserole Stir in the stock, saffron liquid *or saffron Paella powder, salt & pepper & bring to a boil stirring.

6. Reduce the heat to low & let simmer, without stirring, for 15 min. or until the rice is almost tender & most liquid is absorbed.

7. Arrange the mussels, shrimp, & sweet pepper strips on top, cover the casserole/Paella pan & continue simmering, without stirring for about 5 min. until shrimp become pink & mussels open.

8. Discard any mussels that do not open. Taste & adjust seasoning. Sprinkle with parsley. Cover pan with foil then cover that with a clean large towel. Let rest for about 4-5 min. Serve with lemon wedges & crusty bread.

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