March 27, 2014


Dinner-Party Paella

3 cups basmati rice
3 tablespoon butter
3 teaspoons saffron threads (divided use)
1 dash salt
olive oil, as needed, to coat the pan
1 pound rock shrimp
1 pound Prince Edward Island mussels (optional)
splash of wine
1 pound Andouille sausage, sliced
1 pound chicken, cooked and diced
2 tablespoons chopped garlic (divided use)
1 cup diced onion
3 cups canned diced tomatoes in juice
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 cup diced pasilla pepper
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
½ cup chopped fresh oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Cook rice in boiling water with salt, 2 teaspoons saffron and butter until tender. Drain rice in a colander and transfer to a large bowl that can accommodate all the other ingredients. Set aside while preparing remaining ingredients.

In a sauté pan, sauté shrimp just until done, and set aside. If using mussels, sauté in olive oil and garlic until warm, then add a splash of your favorite wine and cover to finish. Mussels are cooked when they open. Remove from heat immediately. Set seafood aside.

Sweat onion and remaining garlic. Add peppers, sausage, chicken and tomatoes with juice. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add remaining saffron and simmer for 15 more minutes to blend flavors. Add herbs and seafood, and season with salt and pepper. Pour into rice and combine. Reheat in a 425°F oven for 15 minutes, uncovered.

Paella is traditionally served in a large, shallow cast-iron skillet. A chafing dish can be used, or a large platter is nice, to show how grand this dish truly is.

Serves 8-10.

– Chef Robin A. Lehnhoff-McCray

After your guests have had their fill of paella, get them dancing. With new recipes and experiences, it will be a get-together to remember!