One of the most classic dishes of Spain, paella (py-AY-yuh) is a grand creation of varied flavors and ingredients. Saffron, the world's most expensive spice, baths the rice in a golden hue, while shellfish, meats, sausages and vegetables add color, texture and contrast. Named after the wide, shallow pan in which it is traditionally cooked, the dish is perfect for a party, as the heavenly aromas and festive colors will inspire all your guests to dance, sing and be merry.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add pork and chicken: cook about 15 minutes, or until chicken is browned on all sides. Add onion, garlic and ham; cook about 5 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper. Add broth mixed with saffron and bay leaf; cook 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf and add rice. Cover and continue cooking 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat 1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy saucepan and add pepper and tomatoes. Cook about 5 minutes and add peas, beans and a little broth to prevent the vegetables from scorching. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender; add to rice mixture. Mix in shrimp and mushrooms. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Heat to serving temperature.6 to 8 servings
Provided by Aceite De Oliva De Espana (Spanish Olive Oil)
This page originally published as a FoodDay article in 1997.
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