Paella~ need I say more! This paella cooking class was fantastic. The setting-a beautiful summer Sunday afternoon, not a cloud in the sky and 10 lovely women learning to make Paella. We had so much fun learning the basics of creating this beautiful one pot meal. We made two delicious Paellas : a seafood and a vegan version. Both very different but easy to make with practice.
A few tips:
Add your shrimp and fish at the very end but cook the clams separately and transfer to the Paella at the end. This way the clam/mussel liquid doesn't add to the rice at the end and create a soupy mixture and all your seafood will be perfectly cooked.
The secret to creating this flavorful Paella is the Healthy On You® Savory Paella Spice. It gives your Paella a beautiful and vibrant color along with the must have smokey paprika flavor.
You should use short grain Spanish Bomba Rice from Calasparra. These are special Spanish rices that absorb large amounts of the broth without becoming creamy or sticky, as arborio and Asian rices do.
Sauté the onion in the oil in a 16-inch paella pan until soft, stirring often. Stir in the garlic, and before it begins to color, add the tomatoes. Add the sugar, salt to taste, 1 tbsp. paella spice, and saffron, stir well, and cook until the tomatoes are reduced to a jammy sauce and the oil is sizzling. Add the rice and stir well until all the grains are coated. (You can prepare the dish to this point up to an hour in advance.)
Bring the stock and wine to a boil in a saucepan then add last tbsp of paella spice and stir. Pour over the rice, bring to a boil, and add salt to taste (even if the broth tastes a bit salty, it will not be salty when it is absorbed by the rice). Stir well and spread the rice out evenly in the pan (do not stir again).
Cook the rice over low heat for 18 to 20 minutes, moving the pan around and rotating it so that the rice cooks evenly. Add the seafood mix and frozen peas. Cook, stirring, for a minute or so. Lay the shrimp & sliced red peppers on top and cover. After 10 minutes and they are starting to turn pink, turn them.
Add a little more hot stock toward the end if the rice seems too dry and you hear crackly frying noises before it is done. Steam the mussels/clams with a finger of water in a pan with a tight-fitting lid. As soon as they open, they are cooked. Throw away any that have not opened. Arrange the mussels on top of the paella.
NOTE: The rice is done when tender and still a bit moist; if the mixture has stuck to the bottom of the pan, you have socarrat, a characteristic of good paella!
Healthy On You Recipes and cooking tips by Samantha Binkley. Many of these recipes use Samantha's 100% Organic Spice Blends that take the guess work out of cooking.