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Simple Spring Paella
© Madeleine Hill

Simple Spring Paella

  • ACTIVE: 40 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 55 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 4 to 6

"I often add Spanish chorizo or other sausage to this recipe because the pairing of sausage and shellfish is a sublime combination and muy auténtico as well, says Andrew Zimmern.

  1. 1 ounce dried morels
  2. Hot water
  3. 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  4. 1 pound large head-on shrimp
  5. Kosher salt
  6. Freshly ground pepper
  7. 1 small onion, minced
  8. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  9. Small pinch of saffron
  10. 1 cup Bomba rice (see Note)
  11. 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  12. 1 teaspoon pimentón de la Vera (sweet smoked Spanish paprika)
  13. 2 cups fish stock or clam juice
  14. 2 cups chicken broth or low-sodium stock
  15. 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  16. 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  17. 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
  1. In a medium heatproof bowl, cover the morels with hot water and let stand until softened, about 15 minutes. Lift the morels out of the soaking liquid and rinse under water to remove any grit; discard the liquid or strain and reserve for another use. Half the morels lengthwise and pat dry.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until shimmering. Add the shrimp, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat, turning once, until nearly white throughout, about 3 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Wipe out the skillet and heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in it. Add the morels, onion, garlic and saffron and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the onion is softened and just starting to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the rice, tomato paste and pimentón and cook, stirring, until glossy and the rice is opaque, about 2 minutes. Stir in the fish stock and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until nearly all of the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Fold in the peas, then nestle the shrimp on top and cook for 4 minutes longer. Season the paella with salt and pepper, scatter the parsley and chives on top and serve.
Notes Bomba rice, also called Valencia rice, is a short-grain rice with a pearly color. It's highly absorbent, so it's often used to make paella. Look for it at specialty food shops and from Amazon.
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