Original Paella

(Recipe from Mark Bittman’s The Best Recipes in the World)

Chicken Stock: 3.5 cups
Saffron Threads: 1.0 pinch
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: 3.0 Tbs
Onion, Minced: 1.0 medium
Rice, Short/Medium Grain: 2.0 cups
Shrimp, Cut Up: 2.0 cups
Salt, Pepper: to taste
Parsley: for garnish

Pre-heat the oven to 500 F, and warm the stock with the saffron.

Heat oil in 10-12 inch overproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, and cook until translucent (4-5 minutes).

Add the rice and cook until “glossy” (whcih I take to mean “all the grains are well coated with oil”), 1-2 minutes.

Add salt, pepper, stock, and shrimp. Stir to distribute shrimp evenly.

Bake uncovered for about 25 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is dry on top.

We made this last night, omitting the onion because it aggravates Kate’s heartburn (mine, too, at least in principle, but I can drink beer to compensate…). Also, I didn’t know what I was going to make for dinner, so I didn’t actually buy an onion when I was at the store.

Even without the onion, this is very tasty, and dead simple. If I were making it for company, I’d put the onion in, and brine the shrimp before peeling and chopping them, but it was pretty good as is. For just us, I might replace a cup or two of the stock with water (Kate thought the chicken stock flavor was a little too strong, and added some Parmesan cheese to cut it down a bit), but this was a very successful recipe.

(Alternatively, I might try it with a different sort of stock. I wonder how it would be with dashi (Japanese fish/ seaweed stock, which is the other thing I have on hand…)?)