Mexican Paella

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Cinco de Mayo is over now but if you still have some craving for Mexican food, here is a very special recipe for you. Created by Chef Paulina Suarez from Solario restaurant at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, this dish is authentic to her homeland. It is very different from a Spanish paella, which you find more commonly at restaurants. The Mexican paella is cooked with parboil rice (made the day before), broth made with beer and leftover meats. It does not have saffron like the Spanish paella, is spicier and somewhat soupy. Try out the recipe for yourselves….

Arroz a la valenciana (Mexican Paella)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup parboil rice
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion
  • pinch of dry Arbol peppers
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 8 mussels
  • 6 cherry-stone clams
  • 1/4 cup Mexican beer
  • 2 links cooked chorizo
  • 7 shrimp (uncooked)
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas (thawed)
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels (thawed)
  • 2 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 tablespoon butter

For the tomato broth: Blend tomatoes, onion, 1 garlic glove in a blender. Mix with the chicken stock and set aside.

For the rice: In a heavy bottom pot, heat half of the oil and butter. Add the rive and cook till it has a nice golden color. Add 2 cups of the tomato broth and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the rice absorb the leftover liquids.

To assemble the paella: In a large paella or saute pan, add garlic, butter and oil. Saute for 1 minute, then add clams and mussels. Add 1/4 cup beer and allows for the shells to open up. Add chorizo, rice and rest of the tomato broth. Use the peppers based on how much heat you like. Add the shrimp, corn and peas; salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and cook till the shrimp turns pink (if using raw). Garnish with sliced lime and green onions. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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