Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Shelled pea and artichoke paella

This is generally how to make paella, as far as I can tell. Substitute the peas and artichoke hearts with anything else you feel like. If your main ingredients are less acidic than canned artichokes, add some white wine or more lemon juice for extra zing.

generous pour olive oil
1 small onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 small portabella mushroom, sliced
~dozen cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 t paprika
2 c hot water
1 cube not-chicken broth
generous pinch saffron
1 bay leaf
1 c sushi (or arborio) rice
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
juice of 1 large Meyer lemon
a bit more than a pound English peas, shelled (1/2 c or more)

Heat the oil over medium in a large thin-bottomed frying pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent, then add the mushrooms and cook until all the liquid has been absorbed/evaporated. Add the tomatoes and paprika and cook until broken down and saucy. Meanwhile, assemble the broth by stirring the stock cube, saffron, and bay leaf into the hot water. Stir the rice, artichoke hearts, pepper, and lemon juice into the tomato sauce until well combined, then cover the rice with about a cup of the broth. Leaving the heat on medium and without stirring, let the rice cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Sprinkle the peas over the paella and continue to cook until the rice is done and the peas are tender, about 10-15 more minutes. To help it cook evenly, move the pan around on the burner from time to time, and pour a few tablespoons of broth onto parts that are looking dried out on top (I ended up using all the broth). Turn off the heat and cover with a lid for a few minutes while you set the table, then serve 2 or 3 housemates, making sure to scrape up the nicely caramelized bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan (this is why you didn't stir).

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