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Paella a mi propio estilo

1 large onion
3 cloves garlic
6 stems fresh parsley
1 large green pepper
1/4 lb. boneless pork chops
4 large tomatoes or 1 28-oz. can

2 cups water
4 threads saffron (optional)
4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp. dried
1 large bay leaf
1/4 lb. shrimp
1/4 lb. sea scallops

1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 lb. fresh Italian sausage
4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp. dried
1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
1/2 cup green peas or green beans
1 cup short or medium grain rice
1/2 cup white wine

Peel and dice the onion and set aside in a bowl. Wash the parsley,
chop coarse, and add to the bowl with the onion. Peel the garlic,
chop fine, and add to the onion and parsley. Wash and core the
green pepper, cut into 1-inch strips about 1/4-inch wide, and set
aside in a bowl. Cut the pork into 3/4-inch dice and set aside in
a bowl. Drain the tomatoes, reserving the liquid in a bowl. Chop
the tomatoes coarse and set aside in a bowl.

Make a court-bouillon by bringing the 2 cups of water, the saffron,
thyme, and bay leaf to a boil in the saucepan. Reduce and simmer
for 5 minutes. Poach the shrimp in the court-bouillon for 2 minutes,
then add the scallops. Continue to poach for 3 minutes. Remove
the shrimp and scallops to a bowl. Reserve the court-bouillon.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.

Heat the olive oil in the paellera or skillet over high heat until
it releases its bouquet. Add the onion, garlic, and parsley and
saute until wilted and translucent. Be careful not to burn the
garlic. Strip the leaves from the fresh thyme and add it and the
marjoram and continue to saute briefly.

Move the pan slightly off the flame and push the onion mixture to
the side. Add the pork and Italian sausage and brown on the hot
side of the paellera. Return the pork to its bowl and push the
sausage to the side of the paellera. Add the peppers to the hot
side and saute briefly, then push aside. Return the pork to the
paella and add the tomatoes. Bring the paellera back to the center
of the burner and saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes,
stirring to distribute everything evenly.

Pour the rice evenly into the paellera, forming a circle at about
half the distance from the edge of the pan to the center (with
practice, this can be done in one quick pass). Use the spoon to
spread the rice evenly towards the edge of the pan and in to the
center. Avoid stirring the rice as much as possible. Add the
wine, some of the reserved tomato liquid and some of the reserved
court-bouillon. The paellera should be almost full and the mixture
should be fairly soupy.

Arrange the sausages in the paella, working them down into the
rice, and transfer to the hot oven and bake for about 1 hour.
Check occasionally and if the rice is underdone but becoming dry
add a little more court-bouillon. Do not stir or disturb the bottom
of the paella. When the rice has absorbed most of the liquid and
is cooked through but is still firm to the tooth, arrange the shrimp
and scallops in the paella, working them half into the rice.
Continue to bake until the scallops are cooked through but still
plump, about 5 minutes.

Cover the paellera with a tight-fitting lid or aluminum foil and
leave rest for about 5 minutes.

Variation: In the summer, I always do paella on the grill outdoors.
This is actually a more authentic way of cooking it, since paella
originated over the cooking fires of field workers in Valencia.


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