Someone asked where I found my latest, most updated, best paella recipe so I promised to share this one I found on allrecipes.com.
Paella is of Spanish origin; I first ate it in Spain in 1982. My current recipe includes a good number of red pepper flakes in the rice, which makes it somewhat more Mexican (hot) in taste than the classic Spain version, which is “zesty” but with lighter spices and very little “heat.”
Along with saffron rice, paella has chicken, shrimp, and chorizo sausage; it sometimes has clams, in the shell, also.
My husband usually picks up French or New Orleans andouille sausage if he can’t find chorizo, which is the usual story in our nearby military commissary. It works just as well.
Now, for those who don’t like spicy food (usually half of every crowd invited over . . .) . . . that handy trend of “deconstructing” food works well here. I make one crockpot full of the full spice pepper flake paella, but I also deconstruct my paella into several other dishes as I cook it.
After I stir fry the chicken in onion and red pepper, I pull out a small bowl of chicken. Then I do the sausage and the shrimp the same way, pulling out small bowls of sausage and shrimp to the side.
I found a great use for those small fondue pots that sometimes come free with a crockpot purchase–I put some of the rice into a fondue pot before I add the red pepper flakes into the main crockpot.
Voila! The non-spice eating friend now has rice, three meats, and a bowl of peas (which are not called for in this particular paella recipe, but which I make separately, as I got used to eating peas with paella in Spain). She can build a non-spiced paella on her own plate.
I also serve a fruit platter, a salad (with nuts and croutons to the side to be added, as desired), and a plate of Jacobs cream crackers (British) with cheddar cheese slices to round out this meal.
And flan for dessert (with icecream for the kiddoes). But that will be a separate post . . .