I love a one-pot meal that also feels extra-special, and paella makes that kind of meal. This Spanish dish of rice, vegetables and meat or seafood packs flavor and simplicity into one skillet. A large pan of paella is festive, colorful and serves a crowd — it’s just right for a celebratory dinner with friends and family. Making the vegetable-and-aromatic sofrito is a key step in cooking paella and acts as the dish’s flavor base. I like a combination of mussels, shrimp and lobster tails in the seafood version of the dish, but you can easily tailor it to your favorite types of seafood.
TIP: In making sofrito, the goal is to soften the vegetables so that they can be blended into a sauce, while also browning them to get caramelized flavor.
Seafood and Asparagus Paella
Special Equipment: 14" heavy duty skillet or paella pan and lid, food processor