Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Minnesota Paella

I first had a paella at Nosh Restaurant in Lake City, Minnesota. It is one of Greg Jaworski's signature dishes and is typically on the menu in any season. Greg is a weekly customer at the Rochester Downtown Farmers Market and buys greens (spinach, spring mix, arugula, ruby sweet, cress, baby kale), patty pan and carrots from our stand during the season. I'd highly recommend Nosh Restaurant and Greg's paella to you.

We had the fresh ingredients on hand so I thought I would make a paella for supper Saturday night after the market last week. The paella is a rice dish that originated in Spain near Valencia. It is very popular and is often considered  to be Spain's national dish. There are many variations. Greg makes his paella with his own house sausage and seafood including clams. A typical paella also includes vegetables, beans, short grain rice, saffron and olive oil. Paella is derived from the Old French word for pan, which comes from the Latin word patella for pan as well (I put that in here because my children have had 6-7 years of Latin in school and I thought they might recognize it.) Traditional paella is cooked over an open fire, fueled by orange and pine branches with pine cones, which produces an aromatic smoke which infuses the paella (I didn't go quite that far for authenticity.)


  1. Saffron rice. (I just bought a Spanish saffron rice and followed the directions. You could also add turmeric to rice to get the golden color.) 2 cups
  2. Patty Pan (Petersen's) 1/2 pint
  3. Yellow Zucchini Summer Squash (Petersen's) 1/2 pint
  4. Sweet Onion -minced (Petersen's) (1 large)
  5. French Fillet Beans -cut in half, with stems and tips removed (Petersen's) 1/2 pound
  6. Garlic Minced (Petersen's) 2 cloves
  7. Italian Sweet Sausage (You can make your own or uses your favorite)
  8. Large Shrimp - 1/2 pound
  9. Cajun Style Andouille Sausage Links (cut into bit sized pieces)
  10. Paprika - tsp
  11. Turmeric - tsp
  12. Salt - 1/2 tsp (optional)

In a large sauce pan prepare the rice according to the directions on the package. Takes 30 minutes.

In a large skillet cook the sausage thoroughly, leave in 1 inch chunks, let caramelize a little on the outside. When the sausage is almost done add the onions, garlic and shrimp. Cook another 5 minutes until shrimp is done. Add the patty pan, zucchini, and green beans. Cook lightly, leaving the vegetables crunchy. Add paprika, turmeric and salt.

In an official paella you have a paella pan and put the rice in the bottom, stir with the vegetables and meat and cook on a open fire or in the oven for 5-10 minutes after combining all ingredients. You want the rice to scorch a little on the bottom. I didn't do that.

I served the rice and meat/vegetables separately in bowls, letting each family member select the quantity of each (I wasn't sure everyone would like everything). Reed really likes shrimp so he took a disproportionate amount of that. 

For this same meal, Jenna made leek fritters with lime and sour cream. That is for another post.

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