Vegetable Paella

On our second date, Hannah took me to get paella because I told her I had never had it. After my first bite, I shed a single tear. I’m not exaggerating. Unfortunately, we’ve been back to that restaurant multiple times and ordered the same paella but it was no where near as good as the first time. So, here’s my take on a vegetable paella. Maybe it’ll make you shed a single tear too.

Prepped produce

Ingredients

Produce

1/4 lb. Crimini Mushrooms
1/2 Medium-Sized Sweet Onion
1 Medium-Sized Red Bell Pepper
3 Garlic Cloves

Pantry

1 C Short Grain Rice*
3 C Vegetable Stock
Neutral Oil
*Traditionally, paella calls for Bomba rice, but I’ll be using Kohoku Rose, a sushi rice, since it’s cheaper and easily available

Spices

1 Packet of Sazon con Azafran*
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper
*Sazon con Azafran is a spice mixture sold in packets. It can be found at Target and most major grocery stores.

A NOTE ON EQUIPMENT

I’m using a 10.25-inch cast iron pan for this recipe. Any heavy-bottomed pan will works, as a heavy pan will retain heat and ensure the rice cooks evenly. However, unless you’re using a double handed paella pan, it’s just a rice dish and not truly paella.

Instructions

1. Prepare the Vegetables

Thinly slice the 1/2 onion and bell pepper into long strips. Chop the 1/4 lb. of mushrooms and 3 garlic cloves into thin slivers.

2. Sweat the Vegetables

Heat a pan over medium heat. Lightly oil the pan and add the onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms to the pan to sweat for 5 minutes, until the onion has softened and mushrooms have released all of their moisture. Season with kosher salt. Add garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 2 more minutes.

3. Cook the Rice

Add the 1 C of rice to the pan, along with the packet of Sazon con Azafran and a few cracks of black pepper. Stir so that the seasoning coats the rice and toast rice for 1 minute. Then, add the 3 C of vegetable stock. Reduce heat to medium low and let rice cook for 40-50 minutes undisturbed, until the vegetable stock has completely cooked off.


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