Wednesday, July 4, 2012


One Mother's Day, several years ago, I prepared a traditional Spanish dish called Paella (pronounced:  pie aye ah) for my mother-in-law for dinner.  For those who are not familiar with this dish, it is a wonderfully hearty, festive, and exotic looking dish.  It can be made with many ingredients and wonderful spices, with one key spice being saffron, which is very pricey.  A very brief history of Paella is that agricultural laborers in the Valencia region of Spain would prepare this dish with rice, vegetables, and a variety of meats and snails over and open fire.  Today there are many ingredient variations, only now it is made with seafood instead of snails, and it is cooked in a very shallow pan.  It can be economical or pricey to prepare, depending on the ingredients added.  Whatever the case, it is one great dish to serve for special occasions or for a party. 

Here is a yummy picture of Paella:

The reason I am sharing information about this dish is that while I'm waiting for the attic renovation to get finished, I'm finding inspiration for future quilts I intend to make.  Paella will be one of them!  Look at the pinks, yellows, golds, oranges, creams, and blacks.  Yep, I'm going to make a quilt incorporating these colors and will name it Paella!  I think I will also make this dish when the sewing studio is all done; that will be an awesome reason to celebrate!

This is the recipe I've used and it is a great one.


From the April 2004 issue of Cuisine at Home

Makes: 8
Total Time: 90

Pinch saffron (20–30 threads)
Add; Simmer:
3 cups chicken broth
1⁄2 cup dry white wine
2 bay leaves

Shrimp shells from 1/2 lb. large or jumbo shrimp
Add and Steam:
16 green-lipped mussels, cleaned
Saute in 2 T. Olive Oil; Remove:
4 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on, seasoned with salt
1⁄2 lb. kielbasa, sliced
1⁄2 lb. large or jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined
1⁄2 cups yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, cut in strips
Stir in:
1⁄2 cups raw medium-grain rice
1⁄2 cup tomato, seeded, minced
2 T. garlic, minced

Warm strained broth

Sauteed chicken and sausage
Top with:

Reserved shrimp and mussels
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
Serve with:

Lemon wedges

Preheat oven to 400°.
Toast saffron in a large saute pan over medium heat until slightly darkened.
Add broth, wine, bay leaves, and shrimp shells; boil 3 minutes.
Add mussels to boiling broth; cover and steam until mussels open, 5–8 minutes. Transfer mussels to a bowl, discarding those that do not open. Strain broth and keep warm over low heat.
Saute chicken in oil in a large nonstick saute pan over medium-high heat. Cook until brown on both sides, about 8 minutes (do not cook through); remove. Add kielbasa; saute until brown, 3 minutes, then remove. Add shrimp and cook until just cooked through, 4 minutes; remove.
Saute onion and bell pepper, stirring occasionally, until they brown around the edges, about 8 minutes.
Stir in rice to coat with oil. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2–3 minutes.
Add tomato and garlic; cook until garlic is fragrant, 30 seconds. Stir in warm strained broth, then add the browned chicken and sausage. Cook, uncovered, over medium to medium-low heat for 15 minutes; the liquid should be at a low boil. Don’t stir the rice anymore—it may turn starchy. Transfer pan to the oven and cook, uncovered, another 15 minutes, or until rice is tender but not mushy. Remove from the oven and check for the socarrat—if it hasn’t formed, place the pan over a low burner.
Top paella with reserved seafood; sprinkle with the peas. Cover pan for 5 minutes with a lid or foil to warm seafood through.
Serve with lemon wedges on the side to squeeze over paella.

If you try this recipe or have questions, let me know.  I would love to know how you and or your family liked it.