by

Authentic Paella for Two

Authentic Paella for Two

This is the basic version of a recipe I use for paella when making it for a small group. Enjoy it with your special someone or a best friend...

Ingredients: 2 servings...or 1 serving for a very hungry person (lol) / using a 20 cm Staub egg skillet

Uncooked rice (without rinsing)
1 rice cooker cup's worth (180 ml)
Shrimp (deveined, with shells)..."A"
to taste
Your choice of seafood or chicken (prepare with appropriate seasonings and cut into bite-sized pieces)..."A"
to taste
Onion (minced)..."B"
1/4 (medium)
Celery (minced)..."B"
about 6 cm
Bell pepper (thinly sliced vertically) or paprika powder (See Step 15) / both are optional
to taste
Extra virgin olive oil..."C"
30 ml
Garlic (roughly minced)..."C"
1 clove (regular size)
White wine..."D"
30 ml
Extra virgin olive oil..."E"
30 ml
White wine..."F"
30 ml
Water..."G"
330 ml
Consommé cubes..."G"
about 1 cube (depending on the saltiness of the ingredients.)
Saffron..."G"
1 pinch
Canned diced tomatoes
1/4 can (from a 400 g can)
Salt and pepper
to taste
Italian parsley or regular parsley
to taste
Lemon
a small amount
Black pepper
to taste

Steps

1. Combine the "G" ingredients and place them in a pot. Turn on the heat. Stop the heat right before it begins to boil. Re-heat right before Step 14.
2. Place the "C" ingredients in a 20-22cm oven-safe, shallow grill/frying pan and cook over low heat. The photo shows a 20-cm pan.
3. Once the garlic from Step 2 has become fragrant and lightly colored, push it to the side of the pan. Add the "A" ingredients and season with salt and pepper.
4. Increase the heat to low-medium. Once the bottoms of the "A" ingredients have cooked, turn them over and season again with salt and pepper.
5. Pour the "D" white wine into Step 4 and increase the heat to medium-high.
6. Once the wine in Step 5 has mostly evaporated, turn off the heat. Place the "A" ingredients into a separate bowl and set aside.
7. [Note:] Turn off the heat when the liquid evaporates so that the garlic and "A" ingredients don't burn. It's okay if the "A" ingredients are not fully cooked at this point.
8. Heat extra virgin olive oil in the same unwashed pan over low heat. Add the "B" ingredients.
9. Season Step 8 with salt and pepper. Scrape off any burned and flavorful bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan from Step 6 as it cooks.
10. Cook Step 9 thoroughly for about 5 minutes so that the sweetness of the onion and celery can be completely released. It's okay if the color is lighter than shown in the photo.
11. Add the sliced bell pepper while cooking Step 10. Once cooked, transfer to the same bowl as Step 6. I used paprika powder.
12. Add the uncooked rice to Step 11 and cook until each grain of rice is coated with oil. Reduce the heat to medium-low.
13. Once the rice is mixed with the oil and becomes hot, pour in the "F" white wine.
14. Once the alcohol from Step 13 has cooked off, add the canned tomatoes and pour in the hot soup from Step 1 until it reaches 1 cm above the level of the ingredients
15. Reduce the heat to medium and set the timer to 10 minutes. If using paprika powder, add it here.
16. Once the liquid has reduced below the level of the the ingredients, top the rice with the ingredients from the bowl in Step 6. Also add the juices from the bottom of the bowl.
17. Add the remaining soup from Step 1. *After 5-6 minutes have passed since adding the canned tomatoes and soup in Step 14, the paella should resemble the photo shown here.
18. As time passes, you will start to hear sizzling. After ten minutes have passed since Step 14, reduce the heat to low.
19. Set the timer to 1 minute. After 1 minute has passed, place in the oven preheated to 200°C and bake for 16 minutes.
20. In Step 18, the rice should resemble a risotto texture. The liquid should be at the same level or below that of the rice. There should still be some liquid left.
21. When making this for the first time: If the bottom seems like it is going to burn, reduce the heat to low earlier than instructed. If it is too watery, increase the heat and cook it longer to cook out the liquid.
22. The appearance and texture in Step 19 should be a little less watery than a pilaf. The rice should be cooked to al dente (the center of the grains should still be somewhat firm).
23. If the rice is too firm: add 50 ml of hot water and cook. Check the texture again after 2 minutes.
24. If there is not enough liquid: Add 30 ml of hot water and turn off the heat right as it starts to boil.
25. The amount of time to cook will vary a bit depending on the strength of your gas stove or the heat conduction of the pan, so refer to it only as reference.
26. After it has cooked, take it out of the oven. The amount of time it takes to cook will vary depending on your oven, so check on it after about 12 minutes.
27. The rice on the surface should be crispy and the liquid should have evaporated, resembling a pilaf.
28. Squeeze some lemon over the paella and season with black pepper. Garnish with Italian parsley and it's done.
29. I usually combine 30 ml of hot water with a tiny amount of saffron to make a saffron liquid to spray over the dish at this point. This increases the aroma and I definitely recommend it.
30. This paella is different from the type that is just made in a frying pan. Baking it in the oven makes the rice to crispy, giving it an authentic touch.
31. The ingredients also create a lovely finished product. The seafood is extremely delicious.
32. Separate into 2 portions to enjoy with your special someone. If you separate it into the amount shown in the picture (a 14 cm bowl), it should be just right.
33. After serving it up on a plate, the cross-section should look like this. It's not too runny and is somewhere between a risotto and a pilaf, with a slightly al dente cooked rice that I love.
34. I love when there are some burned parts. They are so addictive and delicious.
35. You can accompany it with other dishes enjoy it with drinks, it's a paella perfect for a couple. Give it a try.
36. [Note:] You could also double the amount and cook it in a 24-26 cm grill/frying pan. One rice cooker cup of rice is about 180 ml.
37. You can substitute the "A" shrimp with clams or mussels, or use both. It's essential that the ingredients release juice for the broth.
38. If using shellfish: Once the shells open in Steps 5 and 6, place them in a bowl. If they don't open up, cover with a lid.

Story Behind this Recipe

My husband and I both love paella and I wanted to make the perfect amount for two. This recipe is perfect for special occasions like Valentine's or White Day.