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Friday, July 5, 2013

Shrimp Mussel & Chorizo Paella!

The sofrito!

Mussels and peas are now added.

Way too much shrimp but what can I say :)

Sopping up the socarrat!

My sweet lovely Mother in law aka Paella  sou chef : )

My son not at his best but enjoying some paella indeed!

Hubby and me sharing a mutual love for shrimp.

All done!

And I mean ALL done!
When I was growing up my godfather Manny Vasquez and my Father used to make Seafood Paella every time they got together for holidays and is still one of my favorite celebratory meals in the world! But this Paella was very special in that it was my first "solo" Paella and when I say "solo" I don't mean I attempted it without some help because my dear sweet mother in law helped me tremendously but rather I mean my very own first Paella where I was the main cook and not my dad's sou chef :) For years the very thought of making a solo paella was something that was rather intimidating and even a bit scary but a recently gifted Paella pan finally broke me down and I made it...... all I can say is that it wasn't that scary after all.
Ingredients (My recipe has been adapted from the  La Paella pan booklet)
(14 inch pan which serves 4 see modification chart for different sized paella pans below)
6 ounces shrimp (we used twice as much since I had some shrimp lovers in the house)
pinch saffron threads
3 cups water
1/2 cup white wine
sea salt to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 pound mussels
4 ounces frozen peas
1 medium chorizo sausage peeled and cut up
6 garlic cloves minced
1 onion chopped fine
1 tomato peeled and grated on large grate
1 red bell pepper diced small
1 1/2 cups medium grain rice (My Dad always used Uncle Ben's Converted rice)
2 lemons cut into wedges
Note: The paella pan must be turned through out the cooking in a circular motion for even heating.
Boil the water with salt and saffron covered for about 10 minutes, taste for salt, turn off heat and set
 Heat oil in paella pan on medium high and saute the shrimp and chorizo until the shrimp is just starting to turn pink, remove from pan set aside on plate.
Turn heat down to medium and in the oil saute the sofrito:onion, pepper, garlic, and tomato until dark burgundy adding a little water here and there if starting to burn, about 10-15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste again..

Bring broth back to boil.
Add the rice and saute for 1-2 minutes.
Add the wine and most of the saffron broth at this time (reserve a bit for end if needed) stir or shake to evenly distribute rice turn up heat to a vigorous simmer.
At this point no more stirring of rice but turning of pan is needed.

After rice and liquid are at same level (8-10 minutes) lower heat to medium and arrange the clams and peas on top simmer gently for another 10 minutes or until rice has absorbed all the liquid about 10 more minutes.Turning pan as needed.
If it is not finished (check a rice grain and it should be al dente or chewy with tiny white dot in the center) add more broth and continue cooking a few more minutes.
Arrange the shrimp and chorizo on top and turn up heat to high, turning pan in circles to create  a crust on the bottom (socarrat) but be careful not to burn  this only takes 1-2 minutes!
Squeeze lemon all over and arrange more wedges on top of paella.
Serve right away with bread and a good Spanish Red Wine!

Modification Chart by Size of Paella pan
16 inch pan serves 6 multiply recipe by 1 1/4
18 inch pan serves 8 multiply by 1 1/2
22 inch pan serves 10  multiply by 2
26 inch pan serves 12 multiply by 3
32 inch pan serves 14 multiply by 5
 (A larger pan will require 2 burners)

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