So fun to get out of your comfort zone and do something that we have not done before. Thank you Divya Jhaveri for inviting me (Footprint The World -RGK to be a guest chef on In-Fused Living on a cook-along journey to Spain. We cooked a spicy paella and a tofu appetizer(video listed below).
Every Friday I try and post recipes from around the world that require No passport, no suitcase or shoes, just an apron. It was such a culinary adventure to travel to Spain with our taste buds. Please note the Video recipe is with 1 cup of rice and the printable recipe is for 2 cups of rice but the cooking method is the same.
Paella is a rice dish and is one of the most popular dishes in Spain and is a combination of vegetables and meat. The word Paella literally means frying pan and originates from the eastern region of Valencia in Spain. Most people believe it’s not a Paella unless it has seafood in it, but interestingly enough, the real Valencia Paella has a mixture of chicken, rabbit, and snails with green and white beans seasoned with saffron.
My paella recipe here is a vegetarian version but you could always add shrimp, seafood, or chicken. The paella is usually made using Bomba rice or any other short-grain rice but I have made it multiple times with Basmati and it turns out great. It is customary to make it in a Paella pan which is wide and shallow and you can even serve it directly in there. But you can use any wide-mouth shallow skillet. I use an 11″ skillet from Hexclad that works really well and it is perfect.
Meat: When I cook it with chicken, I do the easy way and quickly sauté pre-cooked chicken strips or Chicken Jalapeño sausages(sliced in circles) and set aside. I Add it to the pan just after all the veggies are cooked and before I add the rice, so it is nicely mixed in with the veggies and absorbs the flavors.
Spices: Saffron is key for this recipe and would not be the same if left out. I love the Spanish saffron, as that is the kind that my mother always used. I also love using smoked paprika over the sweet kind. I like to use organic turmeric powder, not only for this recipe but in all my cooking. Studies have shown that Turmeric is known for its health benefits to the body and the brain. So do try and incorporate more of that in your everyday cooking.
I use the Trader Joes Italian Bomba Hot Pepper sauce but if you do not have a Trader Joe’s then you can use a crushed Calabrian Chili sauce.
As always have FUN IN YOUR KITCHEN as every creation is your very own, and one of its kind masterpieces.
This is my creation that I am sharing. If you try the recipe, do tag me on Instagram – Footprint The World and add the tag #footprinttheworld as it’s always so fun to see the different variations.
Spanish Spicy Veggie Paella
- 2 cup Washed Rice short grain rice preferred Soaked for 30 mins
- 2 or 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 or 3 Bay Leaves Fresh
- 5 cup Vegetable Broth or Chicken Broth
- 1 tsp Saffron Threads
- 1 Onion medium sized Diced
- 1 Tomato Diced
- ½ cup Asparagus cut
- 1 cup mushrooms cut
- 1 cup Mixed peppers red/ yellow
- 1 cup Frozen Petite Peas
- 5 cloves Garlic diced
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 2 tbsp Italian hot pepper sauce Trader Joes or can use red chili powder
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Fresh-cut parsley for garnish optional
- 1 can/jar Artichoke
- Simmer broth and saffron threads while you prep cutting the vegetables. Once it comes to boil, let it simmer on low.
- In a stainless steel wide mouth pan or paella pan add oil and sauté onions, and after a few minutes add peppers, mushrooms, and asparagus
- After a few minutes, add garlic and sauté again
- Add tomatoes, paprika, hot pepper sauce, and sauté for a few mins
- Add rice to the veggies (without any water) and lightly mix together for a few minutes for the rice to soak in the flavor
- Slowly add the broth, salt, and pepper. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil
- Turn the heat down to medium-low – until rice is al dente. (Don’t stir the rice).
- Slowly the broth will boil away…watch the rice carefully to make sure it doesn’t burn, stick a fork on the edges to see if the broth is all gone.
- Once the rice is done and the broth is boiled away, add the peas to the top of the rice (do not stir).
- Cover and let it sit for like 10 mins
- Sprinkle with fresh-cut parsley, cracked pepper, and serve while hot.