Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Stovetop Vegan Paella



Getting lunch in Whole Foods today, I was roaming around somewhat aimlessly hoping to find inspiration for dinner. I remembered that I had the Whole Foods app on my phone, and I had actually saved some recipes I wanted to try. Looking at my list, I settled on this Stovetop Vegetarian Paella, because it sounded good and not too complicated for a Wednesday night. The only pricey item in this recipe is the $8 I spent on Spanish saffron, which I confess I never bought before and I was kind of excited to try.

A couple of notes about this recipe: it sounded good, but a little bland. I added a 4 oz. package of "Gourmet Blend" mushrooms (baby bellas, oyster, and shitake) as well as two Field Roast Chipotle sausage links, cut into inch-thick slices. (Ok, so the chipotle sausages are Mexican and paella is a Spanish dish, but I didn't have any chorizo sausages and aren't these pretty much the same thing? Don't go getting all picky on me.) I browned the mushrooms in a saute pan (using the method recommended here) then placed them in a bowl to the side. I browned the sausage pieces in the same pan with a little olive oil and put those aside as well. I then followed the recipe as instructed, but needed much more time to cook the rice. This may be because I was using brown basmati rice which generally takes longer to cook than white. At any rate, I cooked the rice for approximately 30 minutes, as opposed to 10 minutes as directed. After adding the peas and cooking for about a minute, so that the peas are warmed through but still firm and bright, I stirred in the mushrooms and sausage. Served with lemon wedges to squeeze over the rice, it was fragrant, flavorful, earthy and just slightly spicy. I think it would have been hopelessly bland without the mushrooms and sausage, together they really added a touch of heat and the extra savoriness that was missing. Is it an authentic paella? To be honest, I don't know that I've ever had one! But for a one pot meal, it was a pretty good thing.


2 comments:

  1. A good way to bypass the rice issue is to par cook the rice separately until it is about half cooked, Spread it out on a cookie sheet to allow it to stop cooking, cool down and dry off slightly before adding it into the dish. I often have to do this when I use wild or brown rice in a crazy jambalaya dish I make. Using wild or brown rice adds more taste and texture, but does add cooking time if not par cooked. This dish sounds great, by the way...can't wait to try it!

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  2. Great tip Tony! I'll try doing it that way next time.

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