Weekday Meals – Down & Dirty Paella

Weekday Meals – Down & Dirty Paella

In a perfect world, I could prioritize my time so there’d be enough time to rake the leaves, re-organize the studio, sweep, mop, dust, make 3 trips to the local home improvement (take all my money) mart,  design and trench out the drainage system for the summer rental –  with enough time left over to whip up a tasty paella… all before lunch.

I don’t even live next-door to that world. I marvel.. yes, marvel at these do-it-all kind of people that home-school, soccer mom, carpool, volunteer at nine different charities, cook non-stop and still have enough time to be uber crafty and blog relentlessly about it… don’t they sleep?
I mean… I’m up at 6:00 every day and I get my day started. But there are days when I just

and it’s three in the afternoon…
 and I’m still in pjs.

I had a craving yesterday for paella. And, while I would have loved to have had time for this:

… time just wasn’t my friend.

I settled for a down and dirty quick paella. Quick, you say?
Start to finish 35 minutes.. so yeah, p r e t t y damn quick.

Down and Dirty Paella
A couple of things about this recipe:
A. I’ve used pork because it’s what I have already cooked. Any precooked meat (sausage – chicken – fish – beef ) will work – remember, we’re after minimum effort. 
B. Do yourself a favor and buy one of those frozen veg packs of the onion / celery / green bell pepper mixtures. Forget about it being already done for you and think of it as a gargantuan time saver when you’re trying to throw together a hot meal.
C. The oil is intentionally minimal – you don’t really need or miss it.
Serves 2 to 4
1 Cup Long Grain Rice (it needs to be a fairly hearty rice – so stay away from varieties like jasmine)
1 1/2 Cup Chicken Stock
1 Cup Frozen Onion / Celery / Pepper Mix
1/2 Cup Frozen Peas
1 Can Petite Diced Tomatoes – with Liquid
3 Roasted Red Peppers
6 Ounces Precooked Meat (See Above)
6 to 8 Saffron Threads
1 Teaspoon Thyme
1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce
1 Tablespoon Oil
Pinch Cumin
Black Pepper
Large Skillet with Lid
Micro Safe Bowl

Preheat the oven to 350
In the bowl, mix together the stock, garlic powder and saffron; heat on high for 3 minutes
Cut the meat into bite-sized pieces
Heat the oil in the skillet over medium high heat and add the onion mixture
Saute until translucent then add the rice
Saute together until the rice begins to turn opaque (total from beginning to this point is about 5 minutes)
Add the heated stock and bring to a boil; remove from the heat
Cut the roasted peppers into strips and alternate fan them across the top of the pan with the meat
Top with the peas
Cover and place the skillet in the oven for 30 minutes
Remove the lid the last 10 minutes of cooking time

3 thoughts on “Weekday Meals – Down & Dirty Paella

  1. Toby, that Paella is gorgeous! I thought we had to keep stirring it over the stove or something like that. It's great that we can just chuck it in the oven. I love Paella, last time I had it in a good restaurant it cost me RM95.00 for 2 which is a small fortune for the likes of me. Gotta cook this on my own 🙂

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