I love to watch the Food Network while I work out at the gym. Paula Deen is unbearable for me to watch as every episode includes something fried with a drizzle of butter on top and a side of heavy cream. Southern cooking, you know. Barefoot Contessa, however, provides endless inspiration for me to cook fresh and European. I drooled over Ina’s Easy Lobster Paella the other day, and today adapted the recipe for dinner using shrimp. My husband, who was in Spain in January, claimed my paella was every bit as good as the real thing. I found it flavorful and subtle. Think of it as the fried rice, or the bibimbap of Spain…
Easy Shrimp Paella
adapted from Easy Lobster Paella, by Barefoot Contessa
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (2 onions)
2 red bell peppers, cored and sliced into 1/2-inch strips
2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 to 6 cloves)
2 cups white basmati rice
5 cups good chicken stock, preferably homemade
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound frozen cooked peeled shrimp
1 pound kielbasa, sliced 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick
1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas
1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Heat the oil in a large ovenproof Dutch oven. Add the onions and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the bell peppers and cook over medium heat for 5 more minutes. Lower the heat, add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute longer. Stir in the rice, chicken stock, saffron, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and place it in the oven. After 15 minutes, stir the rice gently with a wooden spoon, and return it to the over to bake uncovered for 10 to 15 more minutes, until the rice is fully cooked.
Transfer the paella back to the stove top. Cook the paella over medium heat for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and add the shrimp, kielbasa, and peas and stir gently. Cover the paella, and allow it to steam for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve hot.