I've cooked my way through all 264 recipes
in The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook!

May 27, 2011

Paella (p. 238)

I love paella -- to me, it's a pretty perfect dish. Luckily, this recipe kept me believing that, and this will definitely be added to the list of recipes to make again some day.

Paella is pretty time consuming (this took me about an hour and 45 minutes) but, I think, worth the time.

Start your pre-soaked white beans at a low simmer and cook them until they're done. Start this at the very beginning because it takes a while for them to cook, and you can work on preparing everything else during that time.

You can use a variety of different meats for paella. I used chicken legs, chicken thighs,  pork spare ribs, and shrimp, browning each (or in the case of the shrimp, pinkening) in olive oil and then setting aside.

In the same olive oil, sauté chopped onion until soft, and then add chopped tomatoes. Cook this down into a sauce. Add green beans and the white beans with their cooking water. Stir in a healthy does of paprika and cook until everything has become thick.

Now all the meats (except the shrimp) go back into the pan, and this is where things get tricky. You really need a super huge pan to make paella. Even after cutting the recipe in half, my 12 inch sauté pan was really too small, as evidenced by upcoming pictures.

Pour simmering chicken stock into the pan and add lots of coarse sea salt and rosemary. Pour the rice in around the meat, so that it is fully immersed in the stock. Cook until the rice is completely done (I took mine off the heat a few minutes too early because I was worried that everything was going to overflow the pan.) Add the reserved shrimp, set aside for a few minutes, and serve.

Despite the rice being a tad bit crunchy, this was super delicious. Changes I'd make next time would be cutting down the quantities even more, and using cut pieces of meat instead of meat on the bone -- I think that would make it easier to cook and eat.

pork ribs -- $4.58
chicken stock -- $3.49
shrimp -- $4.16
chicken -- $4.69
onions -- $.65
green beans -- $.56
Total Cost of Paella: $18.13
($3.02 per serving)

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Thanks for dropping by! Love, Katrina.