This recipe stems from having these vegetable in the kitchen and thinking of a way to put them together and it turning out pretty well, so I thought I would share this with you. I usually use sausages or chicken along with shrimps to make my paella but having these vegetables inspired me to use them instead of the protein options. I have used two different types of shrimp though which gives a seafood paella look without having to source other exotic seafood such as scallops, crabs or mussels! I have given my touch to this paella by frying the shrimps in some spices before adding the other ingredients, and then adding them back in at the end.
My recipe involves, half cooking the rice before adding to the paella pan. In my opinion, this works the best, as I don’t want to have it fully cooked before it gets in the pan, then I don’t have the chance to add my liquids. The other option, is to not cook at all before adding to the pan, which is more of the traditional Spanish way to make it, but I don’t like this either because I see it usually gets stuck to the pan and the rice doesn’t get cooked thoroughly either.
Additionally, when I usually have shrimp shells, I freeze them to use later for making broths for my soup. I thought today I would add more flavor to my rice by adding the shrimp shells to the rice. Some ideas don’t turn out so well, it just did not add much flavor to my rice, so not worth the effort so I won’t do it next time, but you will see in my pictures below that I added them but you don’t need to do so. All in all, It’s a nice hearty dish for lunch or dinner! Hope you enjoy it! 🙂
2 Cups Arborio Rice
1½ Cup Frozen White Shrimps, defrosted and shell removed
8 Tiger Prawns, Deveined & Shell removed (I like to keep tail intact though)
15 Okra pieces, chopped
1 Zucchini, chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Yellow Bell Pepper
1 Spanish Onion, chopped
1 Tbsp Turmeric & Red Chili Powder
6-8 Garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp Tomato Paste
1 Cup Frozen peas, thawed
1 Tbsp Fresh Rosemary
6 Strands of Saffron
1 Cup of Milk
1 Cup Chicken Broth
In a bowl add the turmeric & chili powder. Use this as a rub for both the shrimps and mix well.
In a paella pan or a large sauté pan, heat up some EVOO.
Fry the shrimps until pink and set aside.
Heat up the cup of milk and soak the saffron strands in there until ready to use.
In a different pot add the Arborio rice and 4 cups water and cook for 10 minutes, or until the rice is half cooked. Then drain the water and set aside.
Now in the saute pan, add in the onions and garlic and fry for a few minutes. Then stir in the bell peppers along with the Rosemary and mix well.
Add in the chopped zucchini and the okra. Sauté for a further few minutes then add in the tomato paste. Season with salt & pepper.
Now add in the half cooked rice and stir to mix well with spices and veggies. Slowly add in the chicken broth and the saffron soaked milk.
Cover and Simmer on low heat for 15 minutes or until all the liquid has absorbed and the rice is thoroughly cooked.
Stir in the peas and shrimp. And cook covered for a further five minutes.
Take the pan to the table and eat family style.
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