I was inspired from my trip to Spain to make this amazing regional dish! Full of bold flavors, spices and the most amazing rice you will ever taste! Paella is definitely my new favorite food and I was so excited to come home and attempt to make it myself. The concept is very simple – just rice, veggies and any meat or seafood. It turned out so amazing and I am happy to share the recipe with you!
- ½ cup Arborio rice
- 2 cups approx. chicken or veggie broth
- 1 cup red and green bell peppers
- ¼ cup frozen green peas
- ¼ cup artichokes
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- 1 tsp. black pepper or cayenne pepper
- Sea salt to taste
- Your choice of seafood: I used shrimp & mussels
- 1/8 cup fresh parsley
- Prep rice, seafood and broth ahead of time – cut peppers and veggies into bite sized pieces
- In a cast iron pan or deep skillet, cook peppers in olive oil for 4-5 minutes until slightly softened.
- Add rice and “toast” for 2 minutes
- Add peas, garlic and any other vegetable, stir for 1 minute. Artichokes and green beans are also common.
- Add broth to the mixture and let it simmer for 30-40 minutes until rice is cooked. Cover and stir occasionally. Add more broth or water as needed.
- During this time you can cook the seafood separately or add it on top of the rice 5-10 minutes before it is done. The heat from the pan will cook the seafood. Be sure to cover with lid.
- Top with parsley and serve
- Saffron is usually used to give the rice a golden color. Since it is the most expensive spice in the world, I used turmeric as a substitute. Real Paella uses saffron! If you can find it, use it!
- Traditionally, Arborio rice is used for paella, but I used a combination of short grain brown rice and Arborio. Use what you have! Any rice will work.
- Make your own chicken or veggie broth! If you have leftover chicken or old veggies you need to use up, there’s no excuse not to make one! I made my own veggie broth using leftover carrots, celery, onions, tomatoes, basil, oregano, bell peppers, and zucchini. I simply sautéed the veggies in some olive oil and poured in 2 ½ cups of water once the veggies had cooked for 6-7 minutes. I let is simmer for about 20-30 minutes.
- Adjust amounts of broth and rice accordingly. If you like your rice more tender, add more broth.
- Add any seafood, meat, or keep it vegetarian! In Spain I had both chicken paella and seafood paella. Use what you have and make it work for you!
- If you like your veggies to keep more texture in the dish, saute them less time in the beginning of the recipe. I like my peas and peppers to keep their color (and nutritional value!)