We are back to traveling with the very fun cooking group, My Kitchen My World! Today, our country to pick a dish from is Spain. Spain is amazing, I was lucky enough to visit there (1o years ago, wow, was it really that long ago?) and do a sight-seeing trip around the country. I hope that when our kids are a little older my husband and I can take them there because it is such a unique country with amazing architecture everywhere - from the Guggenheim Museum, to the Alcazar de Segovia, and don't even get me started on the beautiful churches throughout the country, wow. During my trip through Spain I ate mostly pan de queso, amazing fresh crusty bread split open with a slice or two of cheese inside. It was delicious! They served it everywhere, gas stations, street vendors, rural or big city I could always find a nice cheese sandwich :)
I decided make a paella for MKMW today because I've never even had paella! It's something I've always wanted to try but usually it has meat or seafood in it and I just never got around to making a meatfree version at home, until now. In one of my favorite cookbooks, 1000 Vegetarian Recipes From Around The World, there is a recipe for Cashew Nut Paella, the cookbook says; this vegetarian version of paella is packed with vegetables and nuts for a truly delicious and simple dish. I have to agree!
Cashew Nut Paella
2 tbls olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 red onion, chopped
2/3 cup risotto (arborio) rice
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 fresh green chili, seeded and sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
* I added 1 yellow pepper as well
3/4 cup baby corn, halved lengthwise (I didn't have any so just added a little frozen corn)
2 tbsp black olives (I just tossed in about 10 large ones)
1 large tomato, seeded and diced (I used a drained 14 ounce can chopped tomatoes)
2 cups vegetable stock
3/4 cup unsalted cashew nuts
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (I had to use dried, I know, I know)
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
fresh herbs to garnish if desired
1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet or paella pan until the butter has melted.
2. Add the onion and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes until soft.
3. Stir in the rice, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, garlic, sliced chili, green and red peppers, corn, olives, and tomato and cook over medium heat stirring occasionally for 1-2 minutes.
4. Pour in the stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook gently, stirring constantly, for 20 minutes.
5. Add the cashew nuts and peas and cook, stirring occasionally, for a further 5 minutes. Season to taste and sprinkle with parsley and cayenne pepper.
6. Tranfer paella to warm serving plates, garnish with fresh herbs, and serve immediately.
I really enjoyed this paella and it was a fun dish to prepare. There were so many flavors and textures in this dish, it was delicious. My only minor change next time would be to cook the peppers less, I like them to have a little bite to them, and they were pretty soggy in this, but still good. I am also making some Spanish rolls today, I had planned on making them all week but my youngest two are not feeling well and have kept mommy super busy. Hopefully I can get them posted later today :)