While nothing comes close to eating Paella in a small restaurant by the ocean in Spain, I will try in vain to recreate it as often as I can until I’m able to experience it for real again.
I have been able to up my game a bit since discovering the magic that is Aneto Paella base.
I’ve tried a few of their different bases and they’re all good, but my absolute favorite is the Valencian, even though I predominantly use this with shrimp.
The holy grail of this recipe is the socarrat, “the crispy, savory crust that forms on the the bottom layer of rice when the paella is cooked properly..”
Socorrat is elusive and if you do achieve it, I’ve found it very difficult to consistently repeat. You have to be very conscious of the liquid to rice ratio that is in your pan – not only with the actual liquids that you add to the dish, but also any ingredient that holds water.
I get very superstitious at the end of every cook and end up staring at the pan wondering if there is socorrat waiting underneath.
All that aside, this is a great Sunday night meal that leads into excellent Monday night leftovers.
- 1 Onion
- 1lb Green Beans
- 3 cloves of Garlic
- 2-3 Green/Red Peppers
- Smoked Paprika
- 1-2lbs Shrimp (peeled & deveined)
- Paella Base
- Bomba Rice
In a Paella pan on medium-high heat, pour salt and 1/4 C olive oil and add diced onion and then green beans.
Add garlic (3 cloves) and cook for 1min and then add 1T smoked paprika, saffron, and salt & pepper.
After 8min, add the shrimp to the pan and then after 2min, lower to low-medium heat.
Let simmer for 4-5min until there is very little broth and then turn back up to medium-high heat for 1-2min to achieve (attempt) the socarrat.
Remove the pan from the heat and cover with parchment paper and a dish cloth.
Let paella sit for 5min before serving.
As an alternative, lately I’ve been cooking the shrimp separately and then adding to the pan later on in the game. If you’d like to do this instead, dry the shrimp as much as possible in paper towels and then toss in salt, pepper, and smoked paprika and cook in 1-2T of olive oil in a medium-high pan.