Originally, paella was a rice dish served with some vegetables but primarily seafood. I recently ate at restaurant that served vegetarian paella and got the idea that I could make it at home. The paella at Cravings is very good. Just can't always go out to eat all of the time, ya know. There are dozens of recipes available and many methods. I believe that mine is simple and delicious. I'm sure traditionalist would scoff at my version but that's okay. I believe in freedom in the kitchen.
- Brown jasmine rice (or rice of choice)
- 1 red bell pepper (cored, seeded and chopped)
- 1 green bell pepper (cored, seeded and chopped)
- 1 zucchini (ends chopped off and the rest sliced in half moons)
- 1 yellow squash (same as zucchini)
- 1 sweet onion (peeled and coarsely chopped)
- 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 cup sliced celery
- 1/2 cup sweet peas (frozen and then thawed)
- 1 or 2 serrano peppers (stemmed and diced)
- 2 cloves garlic finely diced
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/2 tsp saffron threads (optional $$)*
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1 quart vegetable stock
- salt & pepper to taste
Cook the rice according to package directions substituting water with the stock. While the rice is cooking stir-fry the vegetables (in a tiny bit of oil) for about 5-10 minutes. I prefer my vegetables to be cooked but still crunchy. Towards the end of the stir-fry time add the garlic. When vegetables are done add them to the cooked rice. Stir in the cilantro, turmeric, and saffron threads. Mix well. Add additional stock to moisten everything and simmer to ensure everything is piping hot. Season with salt and pepper. Plate and generously sprinkle each serving with the chopped parsley.
As with everything serve with a side salad.
*I am cooking paella tonight for the first time using saffron. It's pretty expensive so unless it drastically adds "that something special" to the dish I will omit in the future.