Poor-Girl’s Paella

17 04 2008

I was trying to think of something to make with the mounds of rice I had leftover from the other night when I made tilapia, and I thought the yellow rice would work wonderfully with a paella.   I had some frozen shrimp handy, so I only had to buy mussels (2 pounds for $6), a few clams, kielbasa and peas.  For about $12, I made a meal that will feed me for the rest of the week.

  • Goya’s Spanish Style rice (1 box, or leftovers)
  • 2 lbs mussels
  • 6 cherry stone clams
  • 1/2 lb frozen shrimp
  • 1/2 link kielbasa
  • 3/4 c frozen peas
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium shallot
  • saffron threads
  • 3/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  1. Prepare your ingredients.  Soak the clams and mussels for 15 minutes, scrub them, and remove beards from the mussels.  Split the kielbasa in half twice, both lengthwise and width-wise, then chop into smaller pieces.  Chop the onion and pepper, and mince the garlic and shallot.
  2. Cook the rice according to the directions on the box.
  3. While the rice is cooking, steam the clams and mussels.  I put them all in a large pot and put a couple of cups of water with it.  Turn on high, and steam until shells open.  You can strain water through colander and rinse with cold water.  Discard any shells that do not open.  Set aside.
  4. In a skillet, heat the olive oil and cook the garlic, shallot, and onions until they begin to turn translucent. Add the kielbasa, and cook until lightly browned.  Add the peppers and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the frozen shrimp and peas, and cook until warmed through. 
  5. When all ingredients have been added to the skillet, crumble several saffron threads and add, and add the paprika as well.  Mix well and turn down the heat under the skillet.  Let simmer for 5 minutes, to let the flavors combine.
  6. On a serving platter, combine the rice, ingredients in the skillet and top with the shellfish. 

I found this to be easy – if you use three burners, by the time the rice is done cooking, your shellfish and your skillet ingredients can be done as well.  Just combine and serve!

This is obviously not authentic paella, but what I’ll call the “cheap and easy” version.  I ate only a tiny bit after I prepared it, but I’m looking forward to the ‘leftovers’ tonight.

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