Paella is a delicious dish from Spain, one of my favorites, especially for family and friends gatherings. Did you know that it is not hard to make and is very nutritious? We just need to follow some basic steps, have the right ingredients and add some love to the cooking.
• ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• 1 red bell pepper, diced
• 1 large garlic clove, minced
• ½ onion, minced
• 2 small red tomatoes, diced
• 1 pound shrimp (I prefer small size for increased flavor), shelled (or beef chunks for a meat paella)
• ½ baby squid, bodies cut into ¼-inch rings (or chicken breast for a meat paella)
• “Bomba” Rice (this is Valencia rice)- 1 cup (per person) per 3 cups of broth
• 1 small pinch of Spanish Saffron (ie. Azafrán)
• Fish, clam or seafood broth (ideally homemade but it can also be bottled)- or chicken broth for a meat paella
• Add water if needed
• 1 “paellera” (Spanish Paella Pan, see picture)- This is key!
1. In a “Paellera”, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the garlic and onion until golden. Then, add the pepper and tomatoes, lightly cook. Season the shrimp with salt and add to the skillet. Cook until lightly browned on one side, 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a plate.
2. Add the rice to the “paellera” and cook, stirring, until opaque, about 2 minutes. Stir in the saffron and cook, stirring, until the rice is toasted, sizzling and yellow, about 1 minute. Add the broth in the right proportion and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil until the rice is still a bit crunchy and about half of the broth is absorbed, 10 minutes. Lower the heat and simmer until the rice is nearly tender and the liquid is soupy but slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Add some water if the rice is till too crunchy. Stir in the squid, and then lay the shrimp on top, cooked side up. Cover and simmer until the squid and shrimp are cooked through and the rice is tender, about 2 minutes longer.
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