{stories and snapshots from my new york city life.}


Pared-down Paella

My boyfriend has a major soft spot for Spanish culture. If he had the option of choosing who to return as  in his next life, he'd pick Antonio Banderas in a heartbeat. When Spain won the World Cup this summer, he celebrated like he was born in Barcelona (and by 'celebrated' I mean, came home in a pink-stained shirt after a pitcher of sangria was thrown on him).

If money and time were at our disposal, we'd be on the next flight to Valencia. As it were, we have to settle for a little taste of Spain at home in Queens. And since my first experiment in Spanish cooking failed miserably...

{A Tortilla Espanola only a mother could love--burned on the outside, greasy in the middle, not exactly aesthetically pleasing}

...I sorta owed it to him to give Spanish-inspired cuisine another go. I decided on paella, cause rice + saffron + shrimp + vegetables + spices= muy delicioso. 

Saffron is the key ingredient in paella. Give it a soak in hot water or white wine (I like this option for obvious reasons) before incorporating in your dish.

Full disclosure: I didn't make this exact Paella. I made a real bare-bones, knock-off paella. No chicken, no chorizo, no peas. Hell, if I'm being honest, I'd probably call it more like a Spanish-inspired risotto. But that sounds silly, so I'm sticking with "pared-down paella". 

I was looking for a conduit for my newly acquired shrimp, which I sauteed in olive oil and garlic.

Much more attractive than my previous attempt at Spanish cooking. Much yummier too. Is 'yummier' a word? It is now!


  1. Delicious! We went to Spain for our honeymoon and we had a wonderful time and ate some wonderful food! Paella being one of our favorites...this looks wonderful!