If you don’t have a paella pan, use a 13-inch or larger skillet, or divide the ingredients between two medium skillets. Stainless-steel or anodized-aluminum skillets work best. Don’t use cast iron or nonstick.
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Spain’s best-known red, Rioja, made from the tempranillo grape, is a great choice for a paella with sausage and red meat. It will also highlight the big, rich flavor, caramelized onion, and browned chicken in the recipe here. Bodegas Montecillo and Conde de Valdemar are reliable producers.
If you make the seafood variation, keep the party mood going with cava, Spain’s answer to Champagne; try Castellblanch Brut Zero or Segura Viudas’ Aria Brut. For still wine, look to dry whites with crisp, dry, apple-and-apricot-fruity acidity, such as Albariño.
Can’t decide between white and red? Strike a happy medium with rosé (rosado in Spanish). Spain makes some of the best. Try Señorio de Sarria (Navaraa), Marqués de Cáceres (Rioja) or Jaume Serra Tempranillo (Penedès).
— Rosina Tinari Wilson
Seafood paella: Sauté very briefly shrimp, scallops, and calamari (cut in rings), returning the seafood to the end of the cooking. Bury scrubbed clams or mussels in the broth while the rice cooks. Serve with alioli (the Spanish version of aïoli): smash garlic and salt to a paste in a mortar and add olive oil and lemon juice to taste.
Vegetable paella: Sauté green peppers, green beans, cauliflower, and artichokes; make a sofrito of tomato and parsley. Add shelled fava beans with the rice.
Sausage and chickpea paella: Try using chorizo sausage, red peppers, a whole head of garlic, and cooked chickpeas (use the cooking liquid for stock, or combine it with a meat stock). Make a sofrito of garlic, tomato, and paprika and add the chickpeas with the rice.
Norberto's explanation of why and how to makke the rice the star is spot on. My family loves my paella and begs for it on holidays and birthdays.This Easter, after reading Norberto's article, I put more focus on the rice. Prepping the saffron his way with a mortal and pestle brought out its full bouquet, enhancing the aroma and flavor beyond my expectations and to everyone's delight, proved by my family sliding the scallops, muscles and fish aside to scoop up the rice.
I've made a number of paellas before and this is one of the better ones! I did take a few short-cuts because I already had some of the ingredients on hand, such as frozen roasted red peppers and frozen blanched green beans, both from my garden. I used a jar of marinated artichoke hearts, which I rinsed. I used chicken drummettes, large shrimp, and mussels for the meat. I did grate the onion which worked great, but I used tomato paste and a little of the broth to thin it out. I only used 1 cup of arborio rice and the broth was the perfect amount.
This week’s Moveable Feast saddles up for a chuck wagon dinner in Greenough, Montana. Our host chef Pete Evans joins chef Ben Jones, of Paws Up, and grilling master Rory…View all Moveable Feast recipes and video extras
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