Paella with Spicy Chipotle Soffrito
(published in Chile Pepper Magazine)
Yield: 4-6 servings * Zest Factor: Medium-Hot
In cooking for a party there are varying levels of heat that people can withstand. So I dissected the elements of paella to be able to serve up a great base dish with extra heat on the side for those who can’t get enough. The basic dish has medium heat but can be made as spicy as you like by adding on the chipotle soffrito.
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup yellow onion, diced
1 cup red pepper, diced
1 cup green pepper, diced
1 teaspoon hot paprika
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 large red vine tomato, diced
2 links spicy chorizo, uncooked, cut into bite sized pieces
½ cup chicken thighs, diced
1 cup large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 cup short grain rice (Bomba is best but Arborio is a good substitute)
1 ½ cups shrimp stock
½ cup clam juice
1 large pinch saffron
2 bay leaves
½ cup frozen peas
1 tablespoon parsley, minced
2 lemons, cut for garnish
In a paella pan (a wide and shallow pan) bring heat to medium-high and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once pan has heated, add onions and sauté until translucent. Next add the red pepper and green pepper cook for 5 more minutes then add paprika, garlic, tomato and chorizo. Cook until chorizo is fully browned. Add your shrimp and sauté for about 1 minute-just enough to flavor and slight to pinken, then remove just the shrimp from the pan.
Add rice and another tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt. Stir to combine rice with soffrito and meats. Next add shrimp stock, clam juice, saffron and bay leaves. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes nestle clams into pools of remaining shrimp stock and turn heat to medium-high. Cook another 15 minutes then remove from heat, add peas and shrimp and cover with aluminum foil. Let rest for 5 minutes then remove foil and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with lemon wedges and spicy soffrito.
Spicy Chipotle Soffrito
Servings: about 2 cups * Zest Factor: Hot
¾ cup red pepper, minced
2 tablespoons yellow onion, minced
½ cup red vine tomatoes, diced
4 tablespoons adobo sauce
3 chipotle peppers, minced
4 tablespoons water
In a medium sized, covered stock pot, simmer ingredients for 35 minutes. Serve in a small bowl alongside paella. Enjoy!