I can say the same thing about that first bite of Valencia paella I had so many years ago; It has this unmistakable aroma that makes the rice irresistible, especially when served with a blend of seasonal vegetables regardless of what time of year you eat it. Since moving to Texas, I've re-stocked my spice rack with the spices of my childhood. Each time I open the pantry, I see them intertwined with those that I learned to love while living in Spain, wondering how I can bring them together to create a worthy recipe.
This Texas Paella recipe is very mild. It blends that earthy, slightly sweet tang of the saffron with the nutty flavors of beans that balance so well with the heat of the chilies. The fresh garlic and the smoke of the paprika give the rice a bold flavor that brings everything together into one Texas-Spanish bite, which could easily be my new favorite family meal.
Don't let the start of the recipe, nor the ingredients scare you. There really is only about 5 minutes of prep time, 10 minutes of hands on cooking before the dish pretty much cooks itself. Plus, using the Texmati Rice means that there is no need to rinse or soak your rice beforehand. Having one less step, and a few less dishes to do, means that I can whip this up mid week in around 30 minutes from start to finish and only dirty a few dishes along the way.
Notes: When we are serving to those with a passion for spicy food, we use fresh jalapeños rather than canned green chilies; and if you have a tiny bit of white wine left over for cooking, you can always swap out the 1/4 cup of water for wine to stew the saffron in as it gives is a great added flavor to the dish.
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