Paella Tejana (pronounced “pa-EH-ya”)
Paella is known as the national dish of Spain. It must have something from the earth, the sky and the sea. This is why it includes shrimp, beef, pork and chicken. You can create your own variations. In Spain you will find that paella is different across the regions.
This recipe features a unique Texas version, create by Salud de Paloma’s co-founder and president, Rosa Rios Valdez!
Ingredients (serves 10 people):
- 1/2 cup of extra virgin garlic-infused Salud de Paloma olive oil
- 2 packs of Spanish rice (Virgo)
- 4 small cubes of Knorr concentrate (tomato/chicken)
- 4 Elgin sausage links cut in round slices (about ¼”) or beef kielbasa (polish) sausage
- 1/2 pound of fresh shrimp (cleaned and de-headed)
- 10 to 12 mussels OPTIONAL
- 1 red pepper (cut in slices, or small cubes)
- 1 small box or package of frozen green peas (thawed)
- 1 small onion diced small
- a few saffron threads (or powder)
- 1 to 2 pealed/ mashed garlic cloves
- 1 tsp. ground (preferably coarsely ground) black pepper
- 5 cups cold water
NO SALT because the Knorr is salty enough (you may use extra salt to taste, but it’s not recommended).
Put half of the oil to heat in a frying pan. When hot, add the onion (minced) and then stir in the rice. Stir for a few seconds with a wooden spoon – do not allow the rice to get toasted or fried. Add cold water and break the Knorr cubes and sprinkle into the pan with rice. Set the burner to medium and don’t put any ‘instruments’ inside the paella or stir its contents from this moment!
Meanwhile, using a mortar/molcajete, crush the garlic, add two spoonfuls of warm water to the garlic, and pour into the rice. Place your sausage throughout the pan and then sprinkle the saffron and stir gently. When 50% of the broth is left, add the shrimp and the peas.
From the moment when the rice is added it usually takes 20 minutes, but that depends on the type of rice used. Once the rice is tender and the broth has been consumed the paella is moved away from the fire and left apart for a five minute ‘rest’ (important). Getting the socarrat. Socarrat (soh-kah-raht, from the verb socarrar, which means to “toast lightly”) is the caramelized crust of rice that sometimes sticks to the bottom of the pan. It is the prize in a well-made paella!
Serve the paella with a side of shredded roasted chicken (some people like to squeeze lemon on the rice, so be sure to provide one slice per person.
¡Buen provecho! Enjoy with your family and friends!