← Back to Search Results
baking American, Spanish
Fast and Easy Shrimp “Paella”

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 0
 

Recipe

Arroz de Gambas

 

Editors’ Note: In How to Cook Everything: Bittman Takes on America’s Chefs, “Every recipe challenge presents a chef’s special dish followed by Bittman’s more accessible interpretation.”

This is Mark Bittman's entry in the "Paella" challenge. To See Chef Jose Andres' entry for the same challenge, please see the recipe for Mushroom and Chicken Paella.

José protested repeatedly that my dish was “an arroz, not a paella,” the distinction in his mind being that paella must be cooked in a paella pan. Fine. Although I believe paella is almost any rice-and-anything-else-dish from Spain (and I know plenty of non-fussy Spaniards who’d agree), let’s call this Arroz de Gambas, a dish that not only bears a distinctive resemblance and similarity in flavor to paella, but tastes great. Got that?

Yield: 4 servings
Cooking time:  30 Minutes, Somewhat Unattended

Ingredients

  • 4 cups shrimp shell stock (see Notes) or chicken stock
  • Pinch saffron (optional but very nice)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • About 1 teaspoon pimentón (Spanish paprika; see Notes) or other paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups Spanish (or other) shortgrain rice
  • 2 cups raw peeled shrimp, cut into ½-inch chunks, shells reserved for stock
  • Salt
  • Minced fresh parsley, for garnish

Directions

 

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Warm the stock in a saucepan along with the saffron, if you’re using it. Place an ovenproof 10- or 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. A minute later, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent and soft, about 5 minutes. Add the paprika and cumin and cook 1 minute more.

2. Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until glossy, just 1 or 2 minutes. Stir in the shrimp, season liberally with salt, and add the warm stock, taking care to avoid the rising steam. Transfer the skillet to the oven.

3. Bake about 15 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is dry on top. Taste for salt, then garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

Notes

Shrimp Shell Stock:

By extracting great flavor from something you’d ordinarily throw out, making stock from shrimp shells is one of the smartest things a home cook can do. All it takes is this: Put whatever shells you have in a saucepan and add water to cover. Bring it to a boil, then take the pan off the heat and let the shells steep until you’re ready to use the stock, or until the water cools. Put the stock through a strainer; discard the shells and use or refrigerate (up to two days) or freeze (up to a month). Nothing easier, and often the best stock to use in seafood dishes.

About Pimentón:

I liked to tease José by nonchalantly referring to pimentón, Spain’s beloved smoked paprika, as simply “paprika.” His eyes lit up in astonishment, and he immediately began lecturing me about the provenance and flavor of “real” pimentón. He seems to oscillate between being angry at the Hungarians for producing something that could be confused with Spain’s noble spice and being angry at what he feels is the food world’s carelessness in thinking that paprika can mean just any “ground dried pepper.”

José’s jingoistic proclivities aside, pimentón is a great ingredient with a distinctive flavor that makes some Spanish food taste “right.” It’s made from certain types of peppers, which are picked ripe and then dried over the smoldering ashes of an oak fire, a process that reportedly takes up to two weeks and clearly imbues the peppers with a strong, smoky flavor.

There are three types of pimentón, hot, sweet, and bitter, but I’ve seen them used pretty interchangeably. If you can’t find a local source, try the Spice House, www.thespicehouse.com.


© 2005 Double B Publishing, Inc.
 

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information is based on 1/8 teaspoon added salt per serving.

600kcal (30%)
52mg (5%)
4mg (7%)
47mcg RAE (2%)
493mg
59mg
24g
5g
3g
89g
93mg (31%)
721mg (30%)
3g (13%)
15g (23%)
7mg (37%)
 

Would you like to leave a comment about this recipe?

Notify me of new comments on this recipe. Add comment

We'd love to hear what you think!

Please or to add a comment to this recipe.
 

Sign up for
The Cookstr Weekly

Free handpicked cookbook recipes delivered straight to your inbox

Explore Cookbooks on Cookstr

once-upon-a-tart-soups-salads-muffins-and-more-from-new-york-citys-favorite-bakeshop-and-cafe Once Upon a Tart: Soups, Sa...
by Frank Mentesana, Jerome Audureau
raos-cookbook Rao's Cookbook
by Frank Pellegrino
the-south-american-table-the-flavor-and-soul-of-authentic-home-cooking-from-patagonia-to-rio-de-janeiro-with-450-recipes The South American Table: T...
by Maria Baez Kijac
jacques-torres-a-year-in-chocolate-80-recipes-for-holidays-and-special-occasions Jacques Torres' A Year in C...
by Judith Choate, Jacques Torres
fresh-from-the-farmers-market-year-round-recipes-for-the-pick-of-the-crop Fresh from the Farmers' Mar...
by Janet Fletcher
mom-a-licious Mom-a-Licious
by Domenica Catelli
flavor Flavor
by Rocco DiSpirito
125-best-vegan-recipes 125 Best Vegan Recipes
by Maxine Effenson Chuck, Beth Gurney
sunday-suppers-at-lucques Sunday Suppers at Lucques
by Suzanne Goin
the-country-cooking-of-ireland The Country Cooking of Ireland
by Colman Andrews
allergy-free-desserts Allergy-Free Desserts
by Elizabeth Gordon
ham-an-obsession-with-the-hindquarter Ham: An Obsession with the ...
by Bruce Weinstein, Mark Scarbrough
Already a member? Click here to Log In
close

Sign up to Cookstr!

  • Receive a free, handpicked selection of recipes in your inbox weekly
  • Save, share and comment on your favorite recipes in My Cookstr
  • Get updates on new Cookstr features and tools







By signing up you accept the
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
Spinner
New to Cookstr? Click here to Sign Up
close


Forgot your password? Click here
close
Thanks for commenting!
Would you like to share your comment on Facebook or Twitter?