Paella. I’ve never ordered it in a restaurant and I’ve only prepared it twice…and used the same recipe both times. In other words, I’m far from an expert. Actually I know hardly anything about the dish except that it’s Spanish and that you’re supposed to have a paella pan…which I don’t. About ten years ago, I saw this recipe in Cooking Light and made it and we loved it. It’s been sitting around in my recipe database all this time. I just served it for the second time last night and we still love it.
This recipe is bursting with flavor. How can you go wrong with andouille sausage, shrimp, hot chiles, cumin, cilantro and lime….and that’s only a partial line up. There’s so much going on in this recipe that one might think the flavors would compete, but it all comes together nicely with an incredible end result. It makes enough to feed an army and it takes a bit of doing to get it to the table. Let’s take a look.
- 1 dried New Mexican or Anaheim chile
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 4 C. chicken broth
- Herb Blend:
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 24 unpeeled large shrimp (about 2 pounds)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 (3.5-ounce) andouille sausages or chicken sausages with habanero chiles and tequila (such as Gerhard's), cut into ½-inch pieces
- 2½ cups finely chopped red bell pepper
- 2 cups finely chopped onion
- 2 cups sliced zucchini
- 1 cup canned diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 teaspoon hot paprika
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups uncooked Arborio rice or other short-grain rice
- 1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn
- 8 lime wedges
- To prepare the broth, remove stem and seeds from chile. Combine the chile, cumin, cinnamon, and 2 garlic cloves in a food processor; process until minced. Combine chile mixture and broth in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.
- To prepare herb blend, combine cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, and 2 garlic cloves; set aside.
- To prepare paella, peel and devein shrimp, leaving tails intact; set aside. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in large paella pan or large skillet over medium heat. Add sausages; sauté 3 minutes. Remove from pan. Add shrimp; sauté 2 minutes. Remove from pan. Add bell pepper and onion, and sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add zucchini; sauté 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, paprika, salt, and 3 garlic cloves; cook 5 minutes, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add rice; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Stir in broth, herb blend, sausages, and corn; cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Arrange shrimp, heads down, in rice mixture; cook 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Cover with a towel, and let stand 10 minutes. Serve with lime wedges.
A perfect salad for that paella is this fennel, olive and orange salad. Crisp and refreshing it will complete this lively Spanish meal.
Spicy Paella…It’s What’s for Dinner.