Paella!

The sun’s been shining (intermittently at least) and dammit I want paella!

I wanted to keep it simple, since I was entering uncharted waters. Plus my dinner guests were pescatarian, so no crazy chicken/chorizo/every other meat you can think of combination for this little paella {insert sad face emoticon}. I decided to go with shrimp, along with a bunch of spring veggies.

First I fried up my sofrito, which is just the mirepoix (which is the soffritto (which is the sofrito of Italy) of France) of Spain: onions, garlic and red peppers. Basically the holy trinity of Western European/Mediterranean/Caribbean cooking. I cooked those down with some olive oil, paprika, cumin and cayenne.

Then I threw in my Calasparra Rice and let it toast for a while before adding some white wine. I let that cook for a few minutes and then added some saffron, veggie stock and clam juice.

Once it looked like the rice had about 15-20 minutes left, I piled it high with shrimp, English peas, artichoke hearts and asparagus.

I put a lid on it and let it keep going until everything looked all yummy and my shrimp were all pink. It was tasty! Most importantly, I got a delicious layer of crust on the bottom, pretty much what makes paella fabulous. Not bad at all for a first (though technically second) paella!

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