Paella is one of our more traditional dishes being cooked in many Spanish households lon Sundays. The dish is originally form the Valencia region, and people from Valencia are quite protective of the original Paella, and get very upset when someone calls "Paella" to rice with stuff that doesn't have the typical ingredients they would use. Remember what happened with Jaimie Oliver and his Paella recipe, just because he added chorizo.
However, Paella is cooked everywhere in Spain, and the majority of us do not follow the original recipe (and everybody that I know adds chorizo too), so I am going to write here the recipe of my take on Paella.
Olive oil, salt, rice, couple of carrots, 1 pepper, 1 onion, about 200 gr of peas, about 200 gr of prawns, couple of garlic cloves, chorizo (hehe), paprika and meat. Normally paella is made with chicken or rabbit, but I didn't have either so I used pork.
Regarding the prawns, you can use normal ones, king prawns, peeled, with shell, cooked, uncooked, totally up to you.
The color of the pepper up to you too.
If you are lucky enough to have saffron you can use a bit.
Regarding the salt, we will add a bit of salt to taste every time that we add and ingredient to the pan. We will have the heat at médium to high.
First we dice the garlic and the onion. Then we add olive oil into a pan plus the chopped onion a garlic.
Once the onion is golden, we add the chopped carrots.
Then we add the chopped pepper.
Next, the chopped meat.
Followed by the chopped chorizo.
Then the frozen peas and prawns.
We leave all the ingredients cooking together for around 5 to 10 minutes, then we add the rice. I used 2 cups of rice. The secret about cooking rice is that you need to add exactly double amount of water than rice. So when the rice starts changing the color a bit to translucent we need to add in this case 4 cups of water.
In order to give the rice that special color we are going to use the paprika. If you have yellow food coloring you can use that instead, and you will achieve that vibrant color associated with paella. If you have saffron you can add a bit, but you need to bear in mind that saffron wont give the dish the yellow color the paella is so well known for, so do not add lots and lots, as it has quite an intense flavour.
Once the water starts to boil we leave it to cook for 20 minutes reducing the heat to minimum. If your pan is a lot bigger than your stove you may need to stir the rice every now and again to make sure all the rice is cooked evenly. If that is not the case you do not need to stir the rice.
After the 20 minutes the paella will be ready. Leave it to rest for about 10 minutes before plating.
Now it is time to enjoy! Your Paella will taste even better if you squeeze a bit of lemon juice and if you have nice glass of red wine with it.
I hope you like it!