Sunday, January 27, 2013


A Paramount Preparation To Pamper The Palate

Paella, the colourful, internationally known Spanish dish is a triumphal culinary rice preparation that developed in the fields by laborers using local foods. It is named after the wide shallow pan it is cooked in and can contain almost anything, including chicken, pork, shellfish, beans and peas; in short, whatever particular vittles you care to use. So what defines a paella? Olive oil, rice and saffron is the heart of a paella. Ask a hundred Spaniards what goes in a paella and you'll get 100 different answers, or more if they tell you how their mom or aunt makes it.
When the Moors ruled most of Spain, they popularized rice eating with the casseroles they prepared and subsequently established the custom of eating rice on that Iberian peninsula
In Spain, families like to take a paella pan and the paella ingredients and picnic by building a fire and cooking the paella al fresco. When cooked, they all sit around the paellera and eat communally.
If you have ever tasted a paella, you know what an extraordinarily delectable dish it is but were perhaps put off by the tedious time-consuming effort required to prepare this precious gustatory sensation. I thought about this and have actually prepared a stripped down recipe that still tastes like a paella should. This paella pronto compares with classic paellas taste-wise and takes little time to prepare.
Pronto Paella            serves 4
2 Tablespoons highest quality olive oil
2-3 links of hot Italian sausage (about a half pound) casings removed
1 Cup of medium-grain rice (not long-grain)
2 cups of clam broth, seafood stock or water
½ Teaspoon salt (omit if using seasoning mix below)
½ Cup white wine (optional)
1 Sixteen oz can of stewed tomatoes
1 Cup frozen shelled edamame, cut-up green beans or frozen peas, partially thawed
1 Pound of large (15-25) shrimp, shelled and deveined *
1 Red bell pepper (capsicum), cleaned and chopped
1 Tablespoon paella spice mix (see below) OR:

½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon smoked paprika. Less than 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves , ½ teaspoon saffron, and quarter teaspoon dried rosemary
  • Heat a wide skillet (ten inch or wider) over medium- high flame and add the oil
  • Put sausages in skillet and cook, breaking up as you stir, until browned
    • Remove the sausage to a bowl
    • Put the raw rice in the skillet, lower flame to medium heat
    • Stir the dry rice in the fat for a couple of minutes
    • Add the salt and broth,stock or water and turn up the flame
    • When liquid boils, lower heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes
    • Add wine if using
    • Add edamame or green beans and cook 5 minutes (if using peas, wait)
    • Add red pepper and tomatoes and spices and turn heat to boil
    • Add the shrimp, stir and when comes to boil, lower flame
    • Cook the shrimp three minutes only and then add the peas if using
    • Cook one minute, just to heat the peas
      * If you so desire, you could boil the shrimp shells in water to cover for ten minutes and make a lovely seafood shrimp broth.
    • I think this is pretty simple to prepare; a pretty paella made pronto. I hope you will try this paella soon and remember: once you have the olive oil, saffron and rice you can choose your own vegetables and meats or just vegetables only would be good.
    • Paella Seasoning Mix
      50 whole saffron stigmas
      4 Tablespoons paprika, Hungarian or Spanish or both
      1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
      2 Teaspoons onion powder
      1 ½ Teaspoons garlic powder
      1 Teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
      1 Teaspoon dried rosemary
      2 teaspoons salt
    • Thoroughly combine all and store in an airtight jar.
    • The Moors (Muslims originating from North Africa) did a lot of good in Spain. They encouraged learning and the arts. Although the rest of Europe was mired in the dark ages, the Moors studied and kept alive the works of the classical Greeks and Romans. The Moors are also responsible for the exquisite architecture to be found in Spain. Not only did the Moors introduce rice from Asia to Spain, they also started the cultivation of oranges and a complex system of irrigation that made Spain a prosperous group of kingdoms. They were expelled right before Christopher Columbus set sail for India. But you can enjoy the fruits of the rice they favoured
      Happy eating


Kalyan Panja said...

looks teasing inviting and mouthwateringly delicious!

Eat To Live said...

I am not sure why, but I hardly ever eat rice. This dish sounds like one my Husband would very much enjoy.

Manzanita said...

I've seen it made many different ways too.I used to use left-overs, add to rice and called it Paella. Your recipe sounds much better.

Torviewtoronto said...

I like the combination flavours looks wonderful

anthony stemke said...

KALYAN P: Thank you, you have put it very nicely.

MY JOURNEY WITH CANDIDA: I buy rice 20 lbs at a time. I hope your spouse gets to try some, and perhaps you could have a little rice with a dash of fish sauce or soy sauce.
Take care.

MANZANITA: I could easily see this as a go-to dish to use up left-overs; my mom used to take left-over beef and make "chop suey" using green peppers and a cornstarch thickened gravy. Well,it was like the only time I got to eat rice, so I liked it for that.
Take care Manzanita.

TORVIEWTORONTO: Your pancakes were wonderful, refreshingly different from the standard kind I normally prepare. Thanks for visiting.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Oooh, it sounds mighty appealing to get the taste without taking as much time to achieve it. The older I get, taking all day to prepare a meal that takes fifteen minutes to devour doesn't hold nearly as much appeal as it once did.

cookingvarieties said...

hi anthony, how are you? been a while. i likened this to our oriental fried rice, where the ingredients varies to the chef's choice. a very versatile recipe. But of couse, the seasonings are different from your delicious looking paelia.

anthony stemke said...

SUDSAN FLETT SWIDERSKI: Funny was your comment on all day cooking vs 15 min devour time, my sister-in-law mentioned tht to me. I do kinda' like gwtting in the kitchen with my music cassettes and cooking. People are surprised that I have 2 pressure cookers, 2 food processors, 2 slow cookers et al. We are way up in Northeast Georgia (USA, not the country) and our children are over an hour away (one is, the other 9 hours ) so they seldom visit us. My lovely spouse is my biggest fan, so I love to spend time on dishes. I am "old school" and those fast food chains have no appeal to me (except for Captain D's, love fish and cole slaw and their steamed broccoli). So, I still love taking the time to prepare food for us.
Take care.

Nate Wilson said...

Mmm... paella. I finished our left over paella yesterday, but now -- thanks to this recipe -- I won't have to wait as long for the next batch. (Even if I'll be a seafood wuss and leave out the shrimp. Or, more accurately, ask my wife to leave out the shrimp. I'm much better at eating than cooking.) Thank you, sir.

Carol Pereira said...

That Paella looks delish Anthony. Always love the pronto approach to cooking ...makes life so much easier....thanks for the recipe and all the history behind paella...surely bookmarked to try....yumm!!

Swathi said...

Delicious pallela, I made a vegetarian version of it,

Unknown said...

Delicious looking Paella!! I love that you've inlcuded the seasoning ingredients in such detail, looks like a versatile dish.

Joanne said...

YUM!!! paella is one of my all time favorite dishes! Thank you for this recipe
Blessings, Joanne

anthony stemke said...

COOKINGVARIETIES: Hey there, how are you? Fried rice is very nice too, I always use day-old cooked rice.
Take care of yourself.

anthony stemke said...

COOKINGVARIETIES: Hey there, how are you? Fried rice is very nice too, I always use day-old cooked rice.
Take care of yourself.

anthony stemke said...

NATE WILSON: I get the idea you don't like shrimp. Scallops,oysters or anything you desire could be substituted by you; or more accurately by your spouse. Thanks for calling.

CAY SERA: I like your style "The pronto approach". Enjoy.

anthony stemke said...

SWATHI IYER: Oh yes, great potential for a wide variety of vegetables here. Thank You.

MALLI DAS: Thank You, seasoning is very important to me and a lot of spices are also very healthy to eat.

anthony stemke said...

SWATHI IYER: Oh yes, great potential for a wide variety of vegetables here. Thank You.

MALLI DAS: Thank You, seasoning is very important to me and a lot of spices are also very healthy to eat.

anthony stemke said...

SWATHI IYER: Oh yes, great potential for a wide variety of vegetables here. Thank You.

MALLI DAS: Thank You, seasoning is very important to me and a lot of spices are also very healthy to eat.

anthony stemke said...

JOANNE: Hi, you are very welcome. Take care.

Pat Hatt said...

Sure looks and sounds good here in your hood.

anthony stemke said...

PAT HATT: Thanks for your visit, you rhyme like a wizard.

Joyti said...

That looks pretty delicious...and quick and not too difficult. Perfect!

anthony stemke said...

DARJEELING: Correct. You are very perceptive and succinct in your comment. Thank You for visiting.

Joyce said...

I love paella, but have never made it myself. Your recipe looks user friendly so I may give it a try. Thanks for sharing!

anthony stemke said...

JOYCE: Hi Joyce. This is a great recipe for people who want something good AND easy. Please give it a try, you will want it often.

Roz | La Bella Vita Cucina said...

I've never made paella before Anthony, and your recipe sounds simply delicious! Miss your food recipe posts!


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