Let's make paella! You can absolutely do it, and for this veg-centric, California-inspired take on Spanish classic, you don't need a special baking pan. Many paellas have different meats and seafood, but vegetarian paella can be a revelation. This version is fully loaded with a rainbow of seasonal vegetables cooked in a saffron and rice-based appetizer of rice.
Once you have the technique down, the adjustments can be endless. Paella is a great way to use random seasonal vegetables in your crunch, and the leftovers are A-plus. And I'll tell you how it can be evening friendly. Really!
You don't need a special Paella palette
If you have a traditional paella palette, great! Use it. Having said that, do not let the lack of a special panorama palette make your efforts. I have successfully cooked pella in bronze pans (a favorite), as well as in stainless steel and cast iron. Use what you have, the wider the better. I include instructions for two different sizes of pans in the recipe, see head notes.
How to Make Paella Weeknight Friendly
Paella can be a great, realistic recipe for a night out if you do. Hold this sofrito in hand. Have some ready in the fridge, hold it back in the freezer. If you have a little saffron and paprika around, with some broth, rice and seasonal vegetables, you're ready to make paella. And it's very simple.
The best rice for Paella
Choosing the right paddy rice is the key. Ideally, you want a short grain, plump pella rice, something like this, or that. Look for Bomba. Paella kits are celebrated for being able to absorb more water (or broth) from other mice, while maintaining structure. This translates into a pellet by definition between grains – without intense rice. I also love this article about choosing paella rice with Russ Moore (of Camino in Oakland, CA). It uses a well-fleshed, local, Japanese variety of short grain, and its paddle gorgeous. If you try rice varieties that are not paella, you will need to play a little and adjust the liquids.
Can I use Brown Rice?
I tried. I've tried 100% brown paella rice, and blends. Here's the problem. Brown rice takes much longer to cook comparatively. So, the way I get along is the following. You can take all of your ingredients in the pan, mix it once, and then leave it alone. This is half the battle when it comes to reaching a gold-crushed bottom (desirable!), See below. When using brown rice, you end up with over-cooked vegetables, because you have to cook it for so long. My advice? Follow the tradition and use a small paella rice.
The trick to achieve Socarrat Magic
Today's recipe focuses on the indoors, in a modern kitchen. That said, many paella are cooked on the grill over an open flame. One of the things you hope to achieve in each scenario is socarrat – that golden walnut rice. Skill, of course, comes only from the right amount of toast – not too little, it doesn't burn. If you are brave, give your pallet a burner for a moment, after being removed from the oven, to increase the chance of a good scab! It takes some practice.
How to Make Paella Vegetarian Awesome |
Here's the deal, you need to load up on seasonal vegetables. Experiment! There are so many ingredients that are a good game here. I like ingredients with a small structure that can handle some cooking time. Asparagus (artichoke), artichokes, summer squash, beans, cherry tomatoes, peas etc.
Variation of Paella Verde
The green version of the puzzle you see here is fantastic. Simply mix in 1/4 pound of well-spiced spinach or cabbage with the other vegetables.
This recent pickle was inspired by a beautiful birthday cake dinner that my friend Bonni Evensen cooked. You can see photos on my Instagram feed.