Sunday, April 19, 2015

Jacques Pepin's Paella

Every month, we will have a mystery box challenge similar to that of Masterchef. It can be pretty fun to try to see what everyone comes up with.
For this month's Mystery Box Madness, I'm going to be using asparagus, scallops and rice. If this doesn't get you any hint on what I'm making, I'll tell you. I'm cooking Jacques Pepin's shellfish and chicken paella. It's my first time making paella so I'm crossing my fingers. Frankly, I do love to eat paella and it makes me smile to see a dish with so many ingredients in it.
This recipe is from Pepin's Essential Pepin. See my modifications in blue.
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 chorizo sausage (about 1/4 pound), skinned and cut into 12 slices
  • 4 small skinless chicken thighs (about 1 pound total) I used about 300g to 500g sliced pork
  • 1 cup diced (1/2-inch) white mushrooms
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped garlic
  • 1 1/4 cups short-grain rice (Spanish, Italian, French, Asian, or American)
  • 1 cup alcaparrado, drained and rinsed under cold water, or a mixture of equal parts diced green olives, red pimiento, capers, and garlic
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes in sauce (I used about 1 chopped tomato)
  • About 1 1/2 teaspoons saffron pistils
  • 1/3 cup hot salsa
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken stock, homemade, or low-salt canned chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 20 mussels (about 14 ounces total), washed and debearded
  • 5 large sea scallops (about 6 ounces total), rinsed under cold water to remove any sand
  • 12 uncooked large shrimp (about 1/2 pound total), with shells left on
  • 1/2 cup frozen petite peas 1 packet of asparagus (chopped lengthways)
  • 2 bell peppers (sliced lengthways)


    1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the chorizo and chicken pork and brown over high to medium heat for 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Add the mushrooms, onion, and garlic, and cook for 1 minute. (The recipe can be prepared to this point a couple of hours ahead.)
    2. About 30 minutes before serving time, reheat the mixture until it sizzles. Add the rice to the pan and mix well. Stir in the alcaparrado, tomatoes, saffron, hot salsa, chicken stock, and salt. Mix well and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for about 12 minutes.
    3. Add the mussels, scallops, and shrimp to the pan, placing them on top of the rice without stirring them in. Cover, increase the heat to medium, and cook for an additional 8 minutes. Add the peas asparagus and bell peppers, cover, and cook for 3 minutes longer. Stir well and divide among four warm plates. Serve.
    See how my paella turned out. I think it could have been better if I added less stock. If I ever cook this again, I would definitely add the stock bit by bit to avoid overadding the stock.
    I'm submitting this to I Heart Cooking Clubs.
    I'm also submitting this to Cook-Your-Books#22 organized by Joyce of kitchenflavours.
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