Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Heather Chadduck
The classic Spanish rice dish is a crowd-pleaser that may seem fancy but it is truly a humble dish, made from ingredients that are fresh and healthy according to chef José Andrés. Paella makes a fantastic home-cooked meal - rustic, hearty and built to be shared. The heat starts high and reduces gradually, making the rice perfectly al dente then crisping it at the bottom. When a paella is done just right," says Andrés, "you hear that crackling of the rice at the end. It is because you are forming this tasty, caramelized, golden-brown crust at the bottom called the socarrat, everyone's favorite part." No paella pan or short-grain rice? Use a large skillet and long-grain.
Serves 4 (serving size: about 1 cup)
1. Heat oil in a 13-inch paella pan or large skillet over medium-high. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring constantly, until tender and lightly browned, about 30 seconds. Add carrots, bell pepper, cauliflower, zucchini, and mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
2. Crumble saffron over vegetables in pan (if using). Stir in stock and salt. Increase heat to high. Bring to a boil; cook 3 minutes. Stir in rice and green beans. Reduce heat to medium-high; cook 6 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; cook until rice is tender but still has a bite, about 12 minutes. (During the last few minutes of cooking, you should hear rice crackling at the bottom of the pan.) Remove paella from heat; cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let stand 5 minutes. Garnish with thyme or parsley leaves, if desired.