There are few dishes as flavor-packed, comforting, and vibrant as paella. This seasonal seafood and chanterelle mushroom paella packs a rich punch of flavor thanks to a hearty sofrito base. It’s cooked to perfection with lots of tender rice at the center of the skillet and that delectable golden-brown paella crust at the edges.
Suggested wine pairing: Pierola Red Tempranillo 2016
2 cups red onion, julienned
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds chanterelle mushrooms, stemmed and left whole (or substitute button, cremini, or baby bella mushrooms)
6 cloves garlic, minced
14-ounces (1 can) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon saffron threads
2 cups uncooked Arborio rice
4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
1 cup white wine
12 shrimp, deveined
16 mussels, scrubbed & debearded
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 lemons, halved (for garnish)
Fry the onion in olive oil in a 16-inch paella pan until soft, stirring often. Add all the mushrooms and saute for 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, and before it begins to color, add the tomatoes. Season to taste with salt, smoked paprika and saffron, stir well. Cook until the tomatoes are reduced to a jammy sauce and the oil is sizzling. Add the rice and stir well until all the grains are coated. (You can prepare the dish to this point up to an hour in advance.)
Bring the stock and wine to a boil in a saucepan. Pour over the rice, bring to a boil, and add salt to taste (even if the broth tastes a bit salty, it will not be salty when it is absorbed by the rice). Stir well and spread the rice out evenly in the pan (do not stir again). Cook the rice over low heat for 18 to 20 minutes, moving the pan around and rotating it so that the rice cooks evenly. Lay the shrimp on top after 10 minutes and turn them when they have become pink on the first side. Add a little more hot stock toward the end if the rice seems too dry and you hear crackly frying noises before it is done. When the rice is done, turn off the heat and cover the pan with a large piece of foil.
Steam the mussels with a finger of water in a pan with a tight-fitting lid. As soon as they open, they are cooked. Throw away any that have not opened.
Arrange the mussels on top of the paella. Garnish with fresh parsley & lemon halves.
Chef Garima, an investment-banker turned baker-chef is the founder & CEO of breakingbread.co , an events & catering company. She is an alumni of Le Cordon Bleu, Paris & has been featured as Top 15 in reality television show- MasterChef. Chef Garima is a culinary innovator who speaks in various institutions, globally about smart & efficient ways to use food as an eradicator of health issues, poverty & induce employment.