Paella is one of the most well known Spanish dishes. It truly can be one of the most simple, friendly, budget-friendly main courses :) Foreigners identify paella as a variety of seafood cooked over yellow rice with sometimes cheek peas and chiken pieces; however this dish has many variants and elements (black paella made with squid ink, chicken or vegetable paella) it all depends on what part of Spain you are in! (Or what is available in your kitchen cabinets).
In my family we generally eat paella on Sundays (like most families in Asturias, my region) because it is a kind of food that you share and gather around. The other occasion in which we like to have paella is cooked in one of those black huge pans over a beach fire in summer :)
This recipe comes from my grandmother, it is extremely simple, healthy and budget-friendly (as I realize most of her recipes are). The key to getting paella to tasting authentic is getting authentic Spanish ingredients, particularly the olives! (trust me.. those organic Wholefoods' olives that you love are gonna make your paella taste like rubbish.. been there..).
- 1 cup Rice (preferably Calrose type)
- 1 can Tuna (in olive oil)
- 1 small can Baby cheek peas
- 1/2 can Spanish Olives (manzanilla type)
- 1/2 Avecrem/chicken stock cube
- 3 stems Saffron
- Olive oil
Take the cup that you used to measure the rice and fill it with water. Place the saffron strands (or powder) and let dissolve.
Place a deep pan over medium heat (3 or 4/6), introduce a splash of olive oil & the rice. Stir until rice turns brownish (yes you are sort of pre-frying it, so it won't be sticky later).
Ready to cook/boil
Add the saffron water, plus an additional 2 cups of water. Continue by adding the chicken stock, cheek peas, tuna, olives and salt. Mix into the rice. Place the pepper stripes as decoration over the rice mixture, and let cook.
Once all the water has been absorbed/evaporated you are done! The rice should be soft and edible (if it's hard just add more water and let cook further. You are done! :)