Paella Inspired Saffron Rice with Seafood

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

This dish came out very yellow. However, my cell phone picture doesn’t quite capture the beauty.

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  • Big Pinch of Saffron Threads (I used Iranian)
  • Couple teaspoons of Better Than Bouillion Chicken Base
  • 1 can of Swanson Chicken Stock
  • 2 stalks of celery chopped in 3 – 4 inch pieces
  • 1 to 1 and a half white onions chopped
  • 2 – 3 bay leaves split
  • paprika (big pinch or 2)
  • majoram (big pinch or 2)
  • oregano (big pinch or 2)
  • black pepper (big pinch or 2)
  • olive oil
  • peanut oil
  • Trader’s Joe’s precooked (black) Wild Rice (1/2 cup)
  • Veggies (I used edamame, carrots, mushrooms, peas)
  • About 12 – 15 raw shrimp
  • About a dozen Jumbo Tender Scallops cut in pieces
  • 3 minced cloves of fresh garlic
  • About a 1/2 cup or less of Goya Sofrito
  • 2 cups white rice

I was trying to use up things in my refridgerator and use what I had on hand when I came up with this recipe.  I kind of fumbled through creating this recipe but it came out really good. I could improve my timing next time.  I have only had Paella a handful of times and each time I was a little disappointed but thought the dish had potential.

Here’s what I did.  I sauteed onion with half olive oil and half peanut oil.  While the onions were in the pan, I put in the bay leaves (halved), the spices (except the garlic).  A Persian friend showed me to crush the saffron with a few grains of salt in a mortar and pestle. I added that to the onions sauteing. Just before the onions turned clear, I added the rice and sauteed it briefly almost like you would a pilaf.  Then I added the chicken broth. Since I only had one can of broth on had, I used a big teaspoon of Better than Bouillion Chicken Base and some water to create “the rest of broth” to cook the rice. I covered the rice, brought it to a boil and then turned it low and cooked it till it was done. The rice came out perfect.

I had meant to add the veggies (mixed in the wild rice with them) a little bit near the end of the rice cooking but the rice cooked faster than I expected. I used my veggies from the freezer because I’ve been trying to clean out my freezer. So to get the veggies to match the flavor of the cooked rice, I recreated the same seasoning and sauteed the veggies (timed appropriately individually layering in specific veggies).  Then I added some Better Than Boullion to some water and put a couple of ladles into the veggies to simmer them and get out the frozen taste also.

I took out the veggies and mixed them into the rice but kept the flavorful liquid in the pan and added the shrimp. I simmered those with garlic until they were tender and then added those to the rice and veggie mix.

I had intended to marinate and pan grill the seafood, but this recipe was all about making lots of spontaneous choices since I didn’t know what I was doing.  When I took out the shrimp, I still had some remaining liquid in the pan. To that, I added some sofrito and the chopped scallops and simmered the scallops briefly until tender. I then fluffed the scallops into the mix.  The whole dish came out extremely good.

I’ll continue to tweak this recipe. I really love Shrimp and Rice dishes. So this will become one of my staples.

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