We celebrated Mother’s Day a week late with my inlaws, but I’d say it was worth the wait. We went to see the Miró exhibit at the DAM and continued with the Spanish theme by whipping up some Paella. Paella has always been one of those dishes that intimidated me, which is a bit silly because the origin of the dish is that you use what you have left in your house. Thankfully through making this, I learned that there really is no reason to be intimidated! The other cool thing about making this dish with my mother in law is that she grows her own saffron. How freaking cool is that?! Growing your own saffron makes this dish wayyy less expensive. The one important thing is not to be afraid of leaving the dish alone while it’s in the oven. You don’t want to stir the rice or it will become gummy and you won’t get the crispy edges that give paella its signature texture! —Bethany Cornish Smith
peeled and deveined shrimp
olive oil, divided
cloves of garlic
lemon, ½ juiced and the other ½ used for serving
To start, mix a ¼ cup of white wine, the juice from half of a lemon and saffron threads together and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Place the stock in the saucepan and bring it to a low simmer. In a paella pan (or very large skillet), heat 1½ tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the shallots until they have softened (about 3 minutes). Next, add 6 cloves of the garlic. Once the garlic is fragrant (about 30 seconds), add the rice.
Stir the rice and make sure it is coated with the oil. Then, add the wine mixture and allow the liquid to absorb into the rice. Next, mix in the tomatoes, paprika and cayenne pepper. Then, add the stock. Bring the entire mixture to a boil and cook over high heat for about 6 minutes. During that time, it the liquid should reduce by about a third.
Next, place the paella pan in the oven and bake, uncovered for 16 minutes. After 16 minutes, the rice should be tender and the liquid should be mostly absorbed. If the rice is too dry, add a couple tablespoons of water and bake 1 minute longer. If the rice is too wet, place the pan back on the stovetop and cook it for a few minutes until the liquid has evaporated. Once the rice is the right consistency, remove it from heat and cover with foil for 10 minutes. This will allow the rice to finish cooking and become beautifully fluffy.
While the rice is under the foil, heat the remaining 1½ tablespoons of oil in a large skillet. Add the remaining 2 cloves of garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Next, add the remaining ½ cup of white wine. Bring the mixture to a simmer and add the mussels. Place the lid on tightly and allow the mussels to steam for 3 minutes. After that, add the shrimp and cook for an additional 4 minutes. Once the shellfish are done, place them in the rice mixture. Sprinkle with parsley and serve!