Sweet Onion Spanish Paella
-6 green onions (scallions), chopped
-1 whole Vidalia or yellow onion, chopped
-1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
-1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped, or 1 (15-oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
-2 tablespoons butter/margarine
-1 (6- or 7-oz) smoked sausage or smoked turkey sausage link
-1/2 lb. thawed, cooked cocktail shrimp
-garlic powder to taste
-3 boullion cubes, any flavor
-2 tablespoons lemon juice
-1 to 2 tablespoons brown sugar
-1 tablespoon hot sauce
-1 cup dry, white rice
-1 scant teaspoon turmeric (much cheaper than saffron!)
-2-1/2 cups water
Begin by chopping about six green onions, one whole Vidalia onion and half of a green bell pepper into fine pieces. Next, dice about a cup of fresh tomatoes, or drain a 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes.
Grease a large, deep skillet with about 2 tablespoons butter/margarine and set over MEDIUM HIGH burner heat. While skillet is warming, prepare your meat. You will need one 6-7 ounce smoked sausage link, sliced thinly and half a pound of thawed, cooked cocktail shrimp.
♥ Chef’s Note: You can also add a can of beans to the skillet without compromising any authenticity.
Toss onions, green pepper, tomatoes and sausage in the buttered skillet. Sprinkle with garlic powder to taste. Add three boullion cubes (any flavor), 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar and 1 tablespoon hot sauce (either Tobasco or Louisiana-style). Avoid salting until sausage has had time to brown, as the boullion cubes will release a substantial amount of sodium as they cook down.
When sausage is slightly browned, reduce heat to MEDIUM and add 1 cup dry white rice to the skillet. Stir fry dry rice in the mixture until grains begin to darken, moving often with spoon to prevent sticking. If desired, add a scant teaspoon of ground turmeric.
Once rice is coated, add 2-1/2 cups water to the mixture and stir well. Cover immediately. Simmer about 25 minutes, stirring often, until rice is mostly tender and excess liquid is absorbed. When rice is almost done, add the cooked shrimp. Stir until shrimp is uniformly heated; remove from burner.
Garnish with tarragon or fresh parsley if desired. Sweet iced tea makes a lovely companion.