Simple and tasty: paella
Yesterday I felt like cooking something fun, and turned to a long list of ‘world cuisines’ to try to get inspiration. When I read the word Spanish, I instantly decided I’d make a batch of Paella. Paella has been one of my ‘go to’ dishes during the summer for the last few years, because it is simple to make and goes very nicely with a variety of crisp summer drinks.
For those unfamiliar with the dish, it contains rice, olive oil, and saffron, along with some variety of vegetables and proteins. Most commonly you’ll see chicken and/or seafood varieties, but sausage is also often an ingredient. Since I’m a pseudo-vegetarian and don’t eat chicken or sausage, I used a vegetarian ‘sausage’ (tofurky!) and shrimp in this version.
Adapted from a recipe on Epicurious
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2/3 cup onions
1/4 lb kielbasa, quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices (not low-fat), (I used tofurky ‘sausage’ instead here.)
1 1/3 cups long-grain rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/8 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
15 frozen cleaned medium raw shrimp
1/3 cup small pimento stuffed olives
1/3 cup frozen peas
1. Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over high heat until just smoking, then sauté garlic and onions, stirring until garlic and onions are golden, about 2 minutes.
2. Add kielbasa (or tofurky) and cook, stirring, until kielbasa is lightly browned, about 2 minutes.
3. Add rice, wine, broth, saffron, and shrimp and cook, covered and undisturbed, over high heat until most of liquid is absorbed and shrimp are cooked through, about 6 minutes.
4. Stir in peas and olives and cook, covered, for about 2 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, until all liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
I served mine with a delicious glass of sangria. Or actually, to be honest, quick and easy ‘Sangria’ which is actually Tinto de Verano. Just take a glass and toss in a few ice cubes, then fill about half way with red wine. Fill the rest of the glass with lemonade or lemon-lime soda (try to get one that isn’t too sweet). Add a few lemon pieces and you’re done.