Spanish paella is one of our favorite rice dishes because no matter what we throw into the pan, one thing’s certain: we’ll always find a golden crust of crispy rice waiting at the bottom. Here, our simple simmering technique yields those same toasty, crunchy grains without the special paella pan. Infused with spices both smoky and sweet and topped with juicy shrimp, this dinner’s got delicious written all over it.
1 yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
8 ounces cremini mushrooms
2 ounces roasted red peppers
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon smoked paprika, divided
1 cup bomba rice
½ cup white wine
8 ounces vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
½ cup peas
8 ounces shrimp
2 tablespoons olive oil
12″ large high-sided pan with lid
10″ medium pan
The rice crust that forms in the pan is the best part. Be sure not to stir, and press rice down into the pan to fry it.
Peel onion and cut into small dice. Mince garlic. Trim and discard stems of mushrooms, wipe caps clean with a damp paper towel, then quarter. Roughly chop roasted red peppers. Quarter lemon into wedges.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large high-sided pan over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add onion and garlic. Sauté, stirring, until onion is soft, 4-5 minutes. Add mushrooms, sweet paprika, and half of smoked paprika. Sauté until mushrooms are becoming tender, 4-5 minutes more.
Add rice to pan with vegetables and cook, stirring, until coated and toasted, 1-2 minutes. Add white wine, vegetable stock, and bay leaf and stir to combine. Season with 1 teaspoon salt. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Stir once, reduce heat to low, and cover pan, then cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
After about 10 minutes, uncover rice, increase heat to medium, and stir in peas and roasted red peppers. Simmer, without stirring, 5-6 minutes. Increase heat to medium high and cook until rice is tender and a crust forms on bottom of pan, 4-5 minutes more (see Recipe Tip). Remove and discard bay leaf. Taste and add more salt and pepper as desired.
While paella crisps, pat shrimp dry with paper towel. Season all over with remaining smoked paprika, .5 teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add shrimp and cook until opaque and just pink, 1-2 minutes per side.
Add shrimp to pan with paella and stir to combine, making sure to break up and incorporate crisped rice from bottom of pan. Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over, and enjoy your Spanish dinner!