Chorizo and Shrimp Paella

Spanish cuisine, especially paella, is one of my favorite foods. I've always wanted to make it and couldn't wait when I finally bought saffron.
Paella came from Valencia in Spain thanks to Roman and Arab influences. The exact origin is unknown, and there's a few stories.  Some say the first paella was cooked by Valencian farmers using whatever ingredients they had on hand. Others say it originated when Moorish kings' servants created rice dishes from leftovers from royal banquets in large pots to take home; the word paella perhaps deriving from Arabic word "baqiyah", which means ‘leftovers’. Or the dish was first prepared by a lover for his fiancĂ©e and that the word paella came from ‘para ella’ (‘for her’ in Spanish). Regardless, it seemed to have humble origins. (source, source)
Paella refers to the flat pan that it the rice cooked in, traditionally over a fire. Depending on the region in Spain, the meats and vegetables added vary, from rabbit, snails, chicken, chorizo to shrimp, clams, and mussels. Peas, beans, and bell peppers are common vegetables, and garlic/onions are a must.The most important ingredient is the saffron, which gives the golden color and flavor.
I didn't have a paella pan, but my Le Creuset pot was close enough. It's definitely a dish that takes a little more time and effort given all the ingredients, but you can make a huge batch and it keeps very well for leftovers.
I love meats and seafood so I adapted my recipe from Food and Wine.


Chorizo and Shrimp Paella

Ingredients
4 ounces fresh chorizo, sliced
1/2 onion, chopped
3-4 garlics cloves, minced
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
2 cups arborio rice
Pinch of saffron threads
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup peas
pepper, paprika, cumin to taste
extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 lemon

Directions
In a paella pan or skillet, cook the chorizo, onions, and half the garlic over moderate heat until browned, about 5 minutes.Stir in the tomatoes, rice, saffron, water and chicken broth. Season with pepper, paprika, and cumin to taste. Add peas. Cover and simmer over low heat until the rice is cooked and the liquid is absorbed, 15 minutes (can add more liquid if needed). Add

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and cook the shrimp with remaining garlic and and pepper over high heat, turning once, until pink and cooked. Transfer the shrimp to the rice.

Garnish paella with chopped parsley. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and serve with lemon wedges. Enjoy!

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