I love paella but I wanted a shortcut. I came up with this and we could be having more deconstructed Paellas in the future.
I made Persian rice that my friend Chef Jeff made and told me how to do it. I used short-grain rice and a lobster/fish broth for the liquid. I got it at my local fishmonger. I also took a little bit of saffron and let it sit in hot water while I made the rice. After the rice was done, I poured the saffron in and let it sit a bit more although I could have added it in with the broth to cook. Then I took a non-stick 8″ saute pan (must be non-stick, trust me on this) and pushed the rice in the hot pan and let it sit there on a medium to high heat for about ten minutes. You can make more rice and use a bigger pan too. After about ten minutes the rice gets crispy on the bottom. Take a large place, put it over the pan, (use hot mitts) and flip it over. It is a beautiful rice pie.
What do you want in your Paella? I wanted to use chorizo, shrimp, mussels, and fava beans. Fava beans are a pain in the ass to make but well worth the effort. Made those first. Then I pan-fried chorizo (all in the same non-stick wok) until the meat was browned. Then I put the chorizo in a strainer over a bowl to get rid of all the fat.
I took the shrimp and tossed smoky pimento paprika, olive oil, chili pepper flakes, and kosher salt and pan-fried the shrimp. Set it aside when done. In the same wok, I tossed in some white wine and thyme and then the mussels. Put a glass top over the wok and when they begin to open, you are done.
Toss the chorizo, the fava beans, and the shrimp together in a bowl. Pour this over the top of the rice and then spoon the mussels on top. Serve.