Paella is a traditional food of Spain, there are many variants, practically you can make paella with anything but.. not anyhow. Paella is the expression of the Iberian cuisine, colorful, lively, exciting and full of flavor. Paella is a complete dish that contains rice, vegetables, wine, olive oil, spices, different kinds of meat, herbs and citrus (lemon, lime). Golden yellow rice is offered by saffron, an expensive and fine spice, which you have to compulsory use in paella.
When cooking paella, you must embrace the Latin spirit, do not be afraid to combine ingredients, colors, let your emotions create a magical taste, but also to be very careful in the preparation of rice.
A true paella requires you to use a certain type of rice (the oval grain, Arborio type, not the round one, even the long grain, Asian), fresh vegetables, colorful olive oil of high quality and various kinds of meat. It is better to add chorizo (a kind of sausage Iberian region specific) because it will give a special taste, original. If you choose a spicy chorizo, then it's perfect, because it will release slowly both the taste and the aroma of paella.
Meat used in paella is good to be contrasting. I mean, if you use chorizo, combine it with a light meat (chicken, shrimp, and rabbit). The more you put different kinds of meat, the greater the taste is.
Today we make a paella with spicy chorizo and shrimps and I will present the simplest technique of cooking (there are several techniques, but I'll show you one by one :) ).
-350 gr oval grain rice
-2 spicy chorizo sausages
-1 package of 400 grams of shrimps with tail
-2 medium red onions
-3 cloves of garlic (choose the garlic from the garden, not the imported one; the taste is very different)
-1 red pepper
-2 colored peppers
-1 cup of peas
-10 cherry tomatoes
-1 lime - optional, but is indicated for that special perfume and goes so great with the shrimps
-herbs: thyme (if you have the version with round leaves and citrus aroma, it's great)
-spices: saffron (a pinch), sweet paprika, Cayenne pepper (or hot paprika), black pepper
-dry white wine (use dry sherry)
First make the shrimps soup. In any case do not use instant soup cubes (taste is alike, but quality of the recipe is lost). So make the effort to prepare yourselves the soups that you use as a base for cooking. It should not be very elaborate, just boil the meat and possibly some vegetables.
In this case, with so many vegetables in the paella, the soup broth will boil only two minutes with the shrimps. Boil on very low heat, in water with a pinch of salt.
Remove the shrimps with a wide, taking care to not break them.
Add the magic flavors which give color and flavor: saffron, one teaspoon of paprika and a pinch of Cayenne pepper (it's very spicy).
Mix and see how saffron dissolves instantly and the soup will get a nice golden color. Grind two cloves of garlic; keep one for the final phase.
Mix the soup and it's ready.
Meanwhile, wash the rice in several waters.
Remove the outer membrane and cut chorizo into slices. Fry the slices in a little olive oil.
Remove the browned slices of chorizo and add chopped onion.
When the onion is well softened, add the diced peppers.
Let the pepper simmer for 1-2 minutes.
Add the rice and stir well.
Pour white wine (100-125 ml) over the rice and let it boil over high heat for a few seconds until the alcohol evaporates, then add soup with the ladle (3-4 ladles), until the liquid covers the rice. Reduce heat and let boil. You should not mix.
Let boil for about 10 minutes and meanwhile, if the sauce boils down too much, add ladles of soup one by one. Finally, the rice should be firmly made, but not very hard, without sauce, and a little simmered. So it's good to taste from time to time, not to put too much soup.
While the rice boils, simmer lightly the pre-cooked shrimps, in a little olive oil. After 1-2 minutes, remove them from the pan.
If you want the paella to be a little spicy, add a little hot pepper. I had some small but strong hot peppers so I put a half.
Sprinkle thyme leaves over paella, salt, pepper, hot pepper.
When the sauce boiled down and the rice is almost done, add the peas and the cherry tomatoes cut in half. If the peas are fresh boil it with the rice, if frozen (as I had), put it in the end, because it boils very quickly.
After about a minute, add the chorizo slices. Be sure the fire remains very small because there is no sauce in the pan and we do not want to burn the rice.
Let it boil for 2 minutes with chorizo, then add the shrimps.
Sprinkle with lemon juice just before you stop the fire. Cover paella with a lid and leave it for 5-10 minutes. The rice will absorb all the sauce.
When serving, decorate with slices of fresh lime and lemon and thyme leaves.
Squeeze lime slices before serving.