If it weren’t for the fact that I am oh so allergic to shellfish I would be all over this recipe sent to me by Pablo who lives in Los Barriles, BCS and is friends with my Monkey Sister. Los Barriles is on the Sea of Cortez about 1 1/2 hours away from Cabo San Lucas.
The area is peaceful and lovely and if you enjoy sport fishing, I understand it’s the place to go. With that being said…
Hola amigos, my name is Pablo and I’m a southern California native. I split my time between Lake Elsinore, CA and Los Barriles, BCS but my plan is to move to southern Baja sometime in the very near future. My hobbies include fishing, writing, cooking and traveling. I enjoy a quiet night out at a small restaurant or bar but I’d rather cook at home with a nice bottle of wine or two, sharing the evening with someone special. The last time I checked there were over 700 people named Paul Ponce on Facebook so you can find me under Paul AkaPablo Ponce.
Living down in Baja Sur, we are used to traditional seafood and Mexican dishes. Unless you are in downtown Cabo San Lucas, it might actually be quite difficult to find one of those regional dishes from other parts of the world. We do have grocery stores that carry just about everything and if you have the know-how, along with the ingredients, you could just go ahead and make anything your little heart desires. I like Paella. Here’s how I make it…
The first things you are going to need are all the ingredients which you will find listed below. Once you have acquired them it is time to peel and devein your shrimp. As soon as the shrimp are cleaned, go ahead and place them in the fridge for now. I hope you have not already discarded the shrimp shells because they are going to be the basis for the all important broth.
Saffron broth ingredients:
2 tsp olive oil
Shrimp shells from 1 pound of shrimp
1/2 to 1 tsp saffron
2 1/4 cups chicken broth
1 tbsp olive oil
8 oz sliced chorizo sausage (any smoky/spicy sausage is fine)
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/3 cup Arborio rice (short-grain rice)
1/2 cup green peas
1 tsp paprika
2 cups hot saffron broth (see above)
1 pound peeled and de-veined shrimp
1 sweet red pepper, cut into thin strips
Salt and cayenne to taste
Start off by putting a couple tsps of olive oil in a pan that is large enough to comfortably handle the amount of broth you will be making. Next, throw in the shrimp shells you saved. Give them a stir and let them get pink then add the saffron and give it another stir. It should already smell delicious but don’t start eating just yet. Add the chicken broth to the shrimp and saffron and let that cook for half an hour. Once it’s done you can strain and discard the shrimp shells. This broth can be premade, just make sure it’s hot when it comes time to use it.
Now that the broth is taken care of it’s time to start chopping the rest of the ingredients. When that is done, go ahead and pull out your paella pan and just like the broth, make sure it is big enough to handle all of the ingredients including the broth. Once it checks out, add some oil to the pan then toss in the onions and the sausage. Make sure to stir and flip and stir and flip the onions and sausage for a few minutes, then you can add the garlic.
The onions, sausage and garlic should all be smelling incredible by now so pour the rice right on top of everything and give it a good stir so the rice gets coated with the oil. Now spread everything evenly on the bottom of the pan and place the shrimp on the rice, pushing the shrimp slightly into the rice if need be. Once the shrimp are in place, add the red pepper strips and the peas. If you like your paella spicy, now would be the time to add some cayenne when you add the paprika. Now slowly add your hot saffron broth evenly to the dish.
It is now time to let the flavors come together so add a lid to your pan and grab a glass of wine, keeping the fire on medium for about twenty minutes. As it gets close to the twenty minute mark, go ahead and take a peek and see how it looks. Most of the liquid should be gone and your rice should be on the verge of being fluffy and ready to plate. Once it looks good and ready, go ahead and sample your creation. If it tastes incredible, ring the dinner bell!