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I Made It!

March 3, 2011

It’s been a while since I made anything new. But tonight I made

Paella

a quick paella. I was inspired, since someone I know recently used it as an example of the sort of dish that’s difficult and expensive — “something rich people eat”. And it’s simply not true.

So start by cutting up 3/4 pound of chorizo sausage into chunks. You can use linguiça if you’re not so much for the spicy foods. Heat a quarter-cup of olive oil in a large skillet — one that comes with a lid — over high heat until just barely smoking and add the sausage. Stir it every so often until browned, about five minutes.

While that’s going, drain out a can of small artichoke hearts, packed in water, and a 12-ounce jar of roasted red peppers, also packed in water. Slice the red peppers into strips. Put them into a medium bowl with a pound of saffron rice.

When the sausage is done browning, pour the contents of this bowl into the skillet and stir a bit. Then pour in two cups of dry white wine and two cups of water. Bring it to a boil, cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for about twenty minutes, until almost all the liquid is absorbed.

The saffron rice here is the biggest time and expense saver in the whole recipe. You’ll often find it as “yellow rice”, but look to make sure it lists saffron — or azafrán — in the ingredients. It’s not necessarily the highest quality saffron, but it’s all in there already. If you absolutely can’t find it, you can get by with a pound of jasmine rice and just add a half-teaspoon of saffron threads and a half-teaspoon of turmeric (for extra color), but be warned that the saffron you can buy on its own is pretty expensive.

Anyway, after the simmering, stir in a pound of peeled large shrimp and a defrosted ten-ounce package of frozen peas. Cover again, and let it cook for about seven minutes until the shrimp are cooked through.

So there you are: it uses simple techniques, it’s about half an hour or so of work, and it won’t break the bank either.

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