Paella is one of my favourite things to make for people. It's extremely simple but is a great crowd pleaser. This recipe feeds four starving people, or 6 normal people. I have fed 15 people with it before, but it was a bit of a stretch! Of course, Paella works best if you have a Paella pan, but don't worry at all if you don't have one. They are really cheap though, and the traditional ones are made of steel, so they heat up really quickly and help speed up the cooking process.
Here's my "12 step" Paella Recipe
3c. chicken stock--maybe a bit less
1 tsp./1 gram saffron
1/4 c. olive oil or so
chicken, if desired, raw shrimp/prawns, mussels and fresh sausage. Spanish chorizo is best of course, but if you don't have "spanish sausage" italian sausage works beautifully.
1 fresh red pepper
4 cloves garlic
green beans(obviously not necessary! I was out when I made the Paella pictured above).
1 and 1/2 cups medium grain rice (it's really important that you use medium grain--otherwise the recipe won't turn out quite right).
1. Toast the saffron a bit on the stove and grind it into powder with the back of a spoon. Add the powder to the chicken stock.
2. Heat pan and add oil
3. Saute shrimp, sausage and other meats (but not the mussells! We'll do that later).
4. Saute onion and garlic until onion turns clear.
5. Add tomato to onion and season w/salt
6. Cook tomato and onion mixture until it darkens slightly
7. Add rice and stir for a minute or so until rice loses opaqueness
8. Pour in 3 cups chicken stock. Stir or shake pan so that the rice covers the bottom evenly.
9. When liquid boils, arrange the mussels in the pan, submerging them as much as possible. Add sliced red pepper and green beans on top. Don't stir the rice from now on!
10. Cook on m. high, rotating the pan so that the mixture cooks evenly (8-10 minutes).
11. Reduce heat to medium low, cook for 10 more minutes.
12. After ten minutes, arrange the shrimp and sausage on top of the rice and cover with foil and cook for five minutes.
Some of the rice will stick to the bottom of the pan. This is a GOOD thing. It tastes amazing when the saffron rice carmelizes--I absolutely love this part!