Thursday, March 26, 2009

Veggie Paella

When my mother-in-law visited India, she brought back quite a bit of saffron and I was a happy recipient of some. This is such good quality stuff, I almost feel guilty using it for anything as simple as a paella. Still, it has a shelf life, so I'm using it (you can only bake so many saffron buns) and really enjoying it.

You can ask a hundred different cooks and get a hundred different paella recipes. We thought this one was quite good, but I really only added the veggie chorizo because I had a bit leftover from another dish and didn't want to waste. It didn't add much to the dish, and you could easily omit it.

It was really my day for finishing off odds and ends-the last of my Basmati rice, half a bag of frozen peas, a couple bunches of scallions. I love when I can use up every last bit of something-I almost feel like a competent homemaker.

You Will Need:
1/2 teaspoon saffron soaked in 1/4 cup water for at least two hours
1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoon olive oil
3 small carrots thinly matchsticked
2 red peppers, thinly matchsticked
1 tablespoon preserved lemon peel, chopped
2 bunches scallions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 Italian Roma tomatoes, quartered and seeded
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 cups cooked peas
Veggie Chorizo, if desired
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup Basmati rice

In a large pan that has a lid, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the carrots, garlic, peppers, and peel. Cook until softened-about five minutes. Drain the saffron and add with paprika to pan. Add the rice and cook about a minute, stirring to coat the rice well. Add the tomatoes and cook another two minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Boil two minutes, then add the peas. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook ten minutes. At this point, stir to prevent the rice from sticking and check to see if it needs more water-it should not be all absorbed. Add up to 1/4 cup more water if needed. Add parsley, replace lid and cook another 5-7 minutes until water is absorbed. If using chorizo, add the cooked sausage at the last before serving.

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