Thursday, November 17, 2011

Personal Paella

When I decided on a paella for dinner, I noticed that I was missing a key ingredient: rice.  Going to the grocery store was not something that I was interested in doing considering my time to prepare dinner was very limited. I noticed about a 3/4 cup of basmati rice and about a cup of quinoa. Looking at the cooking directions on the packages, I quickly realized that I could combine the two. 
Once I discovered  that, the creative juices continued to flow and I decided to turn my South American dish into a Latin American dish-or maybe a combination of the two. 
I didn’t measure the rice precisely so you may have to eyeball the liquids, being careful not to add too much liquid.
3/4 cup of basmati rice
1 cup of quinoa
1 tbs of olive oil
1 carton of unsalted chicken broth
3 cloves of garlic
teaspoon of achiote seeds
1/4 teaspoon of chiplote pepper flakes (I bought mine from TJMaxx/Home Goods)
1 can of Rotele tomatoes
1 small sweet onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup of capers
1/4 cup of green olives, roughly chopped
1/4 cup of kalamata olives, roughly chopped
1/2 lb of shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed, and sliced in half
juice of one lime
1 cup of cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot on medium heat, add olive oil and achiote seeds. Remove the seeds and discard after 5 minutes.
To the oil, add red peppers, onions, garlic, carrots, and chipotle pepper flakes. Saute until soft, for about 5-7 minutes. Mix in the rice and quinoa and cook for 2 minutes. Add chicken broth and Rotele tomatoes. Mix and bring to a boil. Then return to low/simmer and cover.
Once most of the liquid is absorbed, add the capers, green and kalamata olives,  and shrimp. Throughly mix  them through the rice mixture and cover until shrimp is cooked, about 5 minutes. Do not overcook the shrimp.
Add lime juice and cilantro. Salt and pepper to taste. Turn stove off and let sit for five minutes, covered. 
Granish with a lime and more fresh cilantro.

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