How to Make Paella |A Budget Recipe for Paella
Some things are just timeless, classic, traditional and word spreads about how good they are. An export of Spain, paella is a dish that has become very famous in the United States. I have enjoyed paella at various restaurants and as I often discuss in my recipe hubs on HubPages, when a dish at a restaurant was delicious and memorable, I sometimes work to recreate a similar flavor when cooking at home. For example, the carrot cheesecake recipe hub was inspired by the delicious dessert that I ate at the Cheesecake Factory. The maple roasted chicken recipe hub was inspired by the very tasty rotisserie chicken offered at Boston Market, the fast food restaurant chain that offers wholesome and hearty flavorful dishes that are often like homemade.
There are numerous versions of paella recipes out there, some asking for you to stick as close to the tradition as possible. This can involve purchasing a special type of pot to prepare paella or buying the spice saffron, which is very expensive. You will find that bottles of various spices range from as little as 99 cents to around $4. Saffron on the other hand will cost you around a hearty $18!. Therefore, saffron has been eliminated from this version of the recipe. Additionally, please feel free to use whatever pot you have in the house! I use a frying pan.
For this recipe discussing how to make paella, you will need a medley of meats and seafood. Choose four to six different ones to suit your taste and budget. Examples are mussels which I do not use because I don't like them, lobsters, which I do not use because they are too expensive. Perhaps I would use the latter on a special occasion when opting to cook instead of dining out, but the recipe below is economical enough to prepare for routine dinnertime. The meats/seafood I suggest, if you eat any/all of them are:
- 2 Chicken thighs or breasts (cut into small pieces)
- 2 Pork chops
- 3 Lean turkey sausages
- 1 cup of shrimp
Here are the steps to making this delicious meal:
1. Cut all thawed meats (chicken, turkey sausage, and pork) into small cubes, through the bones if there are any, with a sharp knife.
2. Rinse the meat with water and a tablespoon of white vinegar.
- Remove all the water and place the meat in a large bowl.
- Pour 3 tablespoons or olive oil, 1 tablespoon of paprika, and one tablespoon of garlic on the meat.
- Mix well and allow to sit for several minutes in the bowl, while you prepare other ingredients.
- The longer the meat marinates, the more flavorful it will be, so you can even do this step several hours before and allow the bowl of meat to sit in the refrigerator with plastic wrap on it.
3. Take one large green bell pepper, one large red bell pepper, and one large onion, wash them and cut them up into small pieces. Set aside.
4. Add the meat to a preheated pot that has been coated with olive oil.
- Allow it to cook on the stovetop on high heat for the first twenty minutes, stirring as needed for even heat distribution.
5. Sparingly sprinkle some additional spices directly into the pot:
- black pepper
- cayenne pepper
6. Add 2 cups of water, 1 1/2 cups of rice and a pat of butter to the meat in the pot.
- As it returns to a boil, bring the heat down to low and cover the pot or frying pan.
7. After 10 minutes, add the green bell pepper, red bell pepper and onion that were cut up.
8. Also add 1 cup peeled raw shrimp.
9. Cover the pot again and turn off heat after 15 additional minutes.
10. Done. Enjoy!