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The dish Paella is one of the most delicious combinations of flavors I have ever enjoyed. So much so that I have gone a bit crazy making different versions of it  - but here is the one that I teach my patients to make. 


You can make several versions of Paella: 



Plant Based

So depending on your flavors or choices, this is an amazing dish that you will enjoy again and again.



This is the basic ingredient of the dish and the way that it is made one has to use rice that is not standard rice you would find. My favorite kind of rice for this is from Spain called Bomba Rice. You can purchase this at some stores, but I ordered mine from Amazon. You can also use Risotto or from my state of California, Calrose rice.  Do not use long-grained rice.




1 cup of Rice (Bomba, Calrose, or Risotto)

1 yellow or white onion diced small

2 10 oz cans of diced tomato

2 garlic cloves - sliced not minced

one bell pepper (I like red for the color)

Saffron (just a pinch) - and if you cannot find that Turmeric 1 Tablespoon

Vegetable or Chicken stock or water. For Bomba rice use 2.5 cups of liquid, for Arborio or Risotto use two cups.

1  can 13.75 oz  of Artichoke hearts

1 15 oz can of Lima Beans or Butter Beans

6 ounces of Green Beans. Remove the ends, and cut in half

1 Tablespoon of Paprika 

1 bag of frozen peas

Kosher or Sea Salt


For shrimp - you want 10 ounces of deveined shrimp

For chicken - you want chicken thighs - average one per person

Heat stock in a separate stock pot. Once warm take a ladle full of the stock and put into a bowel. Then take the pinch of saffron and add it to the bowel.

Heat a skillet - over medium high heat and place in two tablespoons of olive oil.

Chicken recipe:

If you are using chicken then pat dry the chicken thighs with paper towels and cut them into about one inch pieces. Then  and season  with kosher salt and pepper. 

Once the olive oil has a glaze pace the chicken thighs into the pan and cook Add the seasoned chicken. Cook 6 to 8 until browned and cooked through.  

Move the chicken thighs to the outside of the pan and now we add the vegetables.

Cooking the Vegetables.

First add your green beans. Gently stir until they become a brilliant green. 

Add your beans (lima or butter beans) and gently stir.

Add your artichoke hearts. I prefer canned because the work is done for me, but you can buy fresh and cut them and quarter them.

Once the vegetables are heated through and soft it is time to add the Sofrito.

Move the vegetables to the side of the pan and make the sofrito in the middle.


Sofrito is the onions, tomato, garlic, bell pepper and olive oil. This is the basis of all forms of Paella. You can start with this, or put this in the middle. You can make Sofrito ahead of time and keep it stored. Sofrito is magic. 

In some recipes I have seen them take the onion and grate it instead of mincing it. This is fine, but it will take much less time to make the sofrito.
Adding the Rice and Spices:
Add your rice on top of the Sofrito and mix them together until the rice and sofrito are mixed.
Add your cup of water with Saffron and mix with the rice
Add Paprika and if you wish add Turmeric
You should have a sticky mix of rice with sofrito and spices
Once they have mixed together it is time to add either the water or the stock
Add your water or stock and mix all the ingredients of the pan together so there is a uniform distribution of ingredients. Once you have finished this  you won't stir again. Now it is heat and time.
Increase the heat and allow to come to a boil for six minutes.
Decrease heat to low and allow to sit until the rice has soaked up all the liquid
If you are adding seafood - add when the liquid is almost soaked up. Nestle the shrimp into the mix.
Now add frozen peas right on top of the mix! Makes it look beautiful
Once rice has soaked up increase the heat to high for two minutes - BY THE CLOCK During this time the rice should be caramelizing on the bottom of the pan or creating what is called the socarrat. It will make a faint crackling sound and smell toasty sweet but not burnt.
If it starts to smell like it burns, turn off the heat.
Put the dish on the table and don't let anyone start to eat it for five minutes. I sit it on the table, then put out the wine and pour it and then the plates.


I serve with lemon wedges. I don't put the lemon into the paella - the citrus is best served fresh when you have plated the paella.

Socarrat is the best - and when I am romantic I don't call my wife "honey" I call her, "My Socarrat" 


A few points:

This is not a dish of perfection, like a pastry, this is a dish of love. This was the food that was originally gathered from the area to feed the people. They had huge paella pans and they made this over a wood burning fire.

We have a large family - between in-laws and us there are 6 or 7 of us living under one roof at anytime. So the large paella pan gets plenty of use.

You can buy a paella pan or use a deep skillet. Just a couple of you -use a skillet

You can also buy a propane unit to cook the paella pan over - its ok, we all have things we like.

You can camp and take your skillet with you and make this dish over an open fire.

I am looking for an induction top that is 14 inches - then I will be really happy. 



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