Friday, June 12, 2009

//Pretty Perfect Palette Pleasing Paella


Summer Spanish Paella

1 lb slender asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1-inch lengths
5 cups (about) low-salt chicken broth, divided
1 lb uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails left intact, shells reserved
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 tsp crumbled saffron threads
1/4 cup olive oil
2 chorizo sausage links (6 ounces), casings removed
2 1/2 cups chopped onions
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large tomato (12 to 13 ounces), halved, seeded, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1/3 cup roasted red peppers (either canned, or made at home)
2 tsp Spanish or hot Hungarian paprika
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups Spanish Bomba rice, Italian arborio rice, or medium-grain white rice (about 17 ounces)
18 small littleneck clams (about 1 1/4 pounds), scrubbed
24 mussels, scrubbed, debearded
5 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed
Lemon wedges

Cook asparagus in large saucepan of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water, and drain again.

Bring 4 1/2 cups broth to simmer in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add reserved shrimp shells; simmer 10 minutes. Bring wine to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat; add saffron and set aside 5 minutes to steep. Strain saffron-infused wine into 8-cup measuring cup. Strain in shrimp broth. Add enough chicken broth to measure 5 cups broth mixture.

Heat oil in large wide pot or paella pan (at least 3 inches deep) over medium-high heat. Add chorizo and sauté until lightly browned, breaking into 1/2-inch pieces with side of spoon, about 5 minutes. Add onions. Reduce heat to medium and sauté until onions are slightly soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir 2 minutes. Add tomato and peppers. Sauté until tomato is soft and juices evaporate, about 3 minutes. Mix in paprika and salt, then rice. (Asparagus, broth mixture, and rice mixture can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Let each stand at room temperature.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Add broth mixture to rice mixture and bring to boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low and simmer 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove pot or paella pan from heat. Scatter shrimp over. Tuck clams and mussels into rice mixture, hinged side down. Place pot or paella pan in oven and bake paella, uncovered, 15 minutes. Sprinkle peas and asparagus over. Continue to bake until broth is absorbed, rice is tender, and clams and mussels open, about 5 minutes longer. Cover with foil once you've removed it from the oven; let stand 5 minutes.

Transfer paella to large shallow dish. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve (hopefully to a group of at least 3 people, otherwise you'll be eating leftovers for days).


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