Angel requested Paella for her birthday because she’s never had it. So she threw it out there for someone to make it for her birthday. I grabbed it because I’ve never made it and if someone else was going to make it I’m sure it would have meat in it. So I selfishly volunteered so I could eat paella at Angel’s birthday party too!
Research showed me to a ton of postings on the interweb. They were all a little different but basically the same. I mean it’s just rice! So I found myself in Sur la Table to look at paella pans. Now that I’ve made it, I think it’s a must. Proper equipment for the job. Since I wasn’t sure of what I was doing I got the inexpensive $20 pan. I also got the correct rice, Bomba. Not sure if aborio rice would do the trick but the Bomba was da bomb! One final kind of cheat that I got at Sur la Table was a jar of sofritto. All paellas start with sofritto which is a mix of onion, tomato and garlic. This is a cheat but man is it gooood. I already had the smoked paprika which I had on hand from a trip to Penzey’s in Santa Monica and I already had saffron – both of these ingredients are a MUST.
For the “meat” and vegetables I used a jar of roasted marinated artichoke hearts (which were soooo good), red bell pepper, frozen peas and tofu. The tofu wasn’t that great so next time I make this I’ll try other fake meats.
12” paella pan
4 cups vegetable broth
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jar Matiz Valenciano paella sofrito (or 1 choppped tomato, 10 cloves garlic & 1 onion)
1 large pinch saffron
2 tsp Spanish Style smoked paprika
¼ tsp Turmeric
salt & pepper
1 jar roasted marinated artichoke hearts
2 small red bell pepper cut into strips
1 cup fake meat of your choice (tofu, seitan, etc)
2 cups Bomba rice
½ cup frozen peas
1 lemon cut lengthwise into 6 slices.
Heat ¼ cup olive oil in paella pan, add artichoke hearts, bell pepper and fake meat. Saute for about 5 minutes until bell peppers are soft. Remove from pan and set aside.
In the meantime put saffron in ¾ cup hot water to soften.
Back in the hot paella pan add sofrito, paprika, turmeric, garlic, salt & pepper. Sauté for a few minutes then add saffron with water, rice and stir. Then add the vegetable broth and stir. Rice will be covered.
Cook on medium high until the whole thing comes to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes.
Place the cooked artichoke hearts, bell pepper and fake meat on top of rice. Then throw on the peas. Reduce heat to very low and cover the whole thing with aluminum foil for another 15 minutes.