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Paella

The amounts of any particular ingredient are not critical.  The basis is rice, flavored with saffron and broth, with (usually) one seafood product and one light meat or sausage product, with a lot of prime veggies.  Here is how I do it:

1/2 pound boned chicken, cubed (Pheasant or Grouse)
1/2 pound cleaned Shrimp (some people add or substitute Crab legs, Scallops, clams, oysters, or chunks of white Fish like Halibut)
1/2 pound mild sausage, cooked & sliced in cartwheels, or else cooked up in medium crumble (I always liked using Swedish sausage)
1/2 to 1 onion, sliced and then quartered (not finely chopped)
Half a dozen fresh mushrooms, sliced in “T” shapes
1-2 cloves garlic
chicken broth or bouillon cubes
1 to 1/2 cups long grain white rice
Healthy pinch saffron (cannot make paella without it)
Julienne strips of bell peppers, red and green (maybe a half cup)
1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
Any other fresh veggie in season – small broccoli trees, sliced asparagus spears, steamed and halved Brussels sprouts, fresh green beans, snap peas, etc.
Chopped parsley (a couple tablespoons)

Use a large open pan – this should be done horizontally, rather than in a deep soup pot type thing.  Pre-cook the chicken, seafood, and sausage.  Pre-steam (or microwave) the veggies (but don’t let them lie around a long time).  Sauté the onion and mushrooms in a little oil.  Remove and set aside.  Put a tablespoon or so of olive oil in the pan, add the chopped garlic (use real garlic, not powder), and add the RAW UNCOOKED rice to the pan over medium heat.  Stir around for a few minutes while the rice gets a light oil coating.  Before the garlic starts getting over-browned or burned, add broth or bouillon and water.  The amount is variable, since you will undoubtedly have to be adding water several times while it cooks.  Start with 2 cups liquid for each cup of raw rice.  Add the saffron.  As the rice is starting to get al dente chewy, add the other ingredients – except the parsley – and the juices from them.  You don’t want the veggies, or seafood, to be overcooked, so they just pretty much reheat in the rice matrix.  If using frozen peas, either add them slightly earlier, or thaw/nuke them prior to adding.

When everything is heated and done and not dried out, serve with crusty French bread.  Sangria was made for this dish.

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