Friday, November 16, 2007

Weeknight Paella

Since Bill is enamored with all things Bittman these days, I took Bittman's "quick paella" recipe and tweaked it a bit in order to come up with this dish. It was verrrrrrry tasty and easy to make, taking less than 30 minutes to complete from start to finish.

2 cups shrimp shell stock or clam juice or chicken stock, or some combination of the above
pinch of saffron or 1 teaspoon of bijol or tumeric
1 link chorizo or andouille sausage, sliced into thick coins
4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon pimenton
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup arborio rice
1 cup raw peeled shrimp
6-8 littleneck clams
1/2 cup frozen green peas, defrosted
1 pimento, julienned
Minced fresh cilantro, for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Warm the stock in the microwave along with the saffron. Place an ovenproof 10- or 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat and add the sausage until it browns slightly and renders some of its fat. Saute the garlic until golden. Add the olive oil. A minute later, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent and soft, about 5 minutes. Add the paprika and cumin and cook 1 minute more.

2. Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until glossy, just 1 or 2 minutes. Add the warm stock, taking care to avoid the rising steam. Arrange the shrimp, clams and peas in the skillet, nestled into the rice. Transfer the skillet to the oven.

3. Bake about 15 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is dry on top. If the rice is undercooked at all, add another 1/4 cup of liquid, cover the dish and let it sit for ten minutes. Taste for salt, then garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.
Serves 4

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