I call this “poor man’s paella” because it makes a super easy Spanish style paella in about an hour. Paella is tricky to make because you have to get the right amount of water to cook the rice so it’s not too mushy and not too dry or undercooked. Here’s what you need for this super tonic and delicious meal:
1 or 2 cans of diced tomatoes with optional onion and garlic
Saffron (don’t get cheap paprika and sazon)
lime juice (fresh)
Salt and pepper to taste (adobo is cool)
Rice (Jasmine rice works just fine)
Sausage (chorizo is traditional but chicken/turkey sausage works)
Garbanzo beans and/or black beans
Use as needed:
from the sea:Mussels, Clams, Shrimp, Lobster Tail, Sea Scallop, Octopus, Salmon, etc.
from the land:Chicken Thigh Meat
up to you: anything you think works…
The idea is that you can put anything in a paella..think of it as the Spanish version of Chinese Fried Rice. As long as you have good quality saffron, rice, some kind of meat and seafood you’re all set. It’s hard to mess it up.
The secret to easy paella is to cook the rice in a rice cooker with the soup stock, saffron and diced tomatoes. Measure the right amount of soup stock you need instead of plain water. Most rice cookers are a 1:1 ratio of rice to water. In my rice cooker, I have to add extra water to make the rice come out just right.
Get a deep pan and spread some good quality olive oil. When the rice is done (smells yummy and aromatic) spread it out in the pan. Add all the other ingredients and bake it in the oven for about 45-minutes to an hour. Cook it just enough to cook your meat and sausage. You can pre-cook some of the meat with garlic and spices while the rice is cooking to speed up the bake time.
What makes this approach good is the rice is cooked perfectly because it’s done in the rice cooker.
Paella made old school in a deep pan with the water the rice is great because all the flavors cook together, but honestly, the method above is fool proof and just as good.
Try it..and feel the effects of a traditional Spanish tonic recipe.