I was inspired to make this dish after watching an episode of Giada at Home where she made Spanish rice for her husband. It reminded me of one winter when I invited some girlfriends over for a Mediterranean feast because we were all missing the sun, and I made them a variation of this dish.
pinch of saffron
2 chorizo sausage links
1 white onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 hot red chili pepper (optional, finely minced)
1 bottle clam juice (~240 ml)
1/2 cup white wine
1 1/2 cup water
1 green onion, chopped, white and green parts kept separate
one whole red pepper, diced
1 bay leaf
2 cups basmati rice
1/4 cup peas, thawed
1 cup of shrimp
Put the white wine in a glass or measuring cup, add the saffron to it and set aside. In a few minutes the wine will turn pink and fragrant.
Heat some olive oil in a large, high-sided frying pan. Remove the sausage meat from the casings and add to the pan, breaking up the meat into little pieces with a spatula. Cook for a few minutes until browned.
Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside. Drain all but one teaspoon of sausage fat from the pan and heat it up again with a touch of olive oil. Rinse two cups of basmati rice in a mixing bowl and drain off the water (I rinse until the water runs clear, about four times). Set the rice aside.
Add the diced white onion and the bay leaf to the frying pan, cooking a few minutes. Then add the garlic (and the chili pepper if using), and cook for a minute. Add the diced red pepper, the green onion (white part only) and the cooked sausage meat. Stir to combine and cook a couple of minutes until the red pepper is softening.
Add the rice to the hot pan and mix well for a minute to coat the grains with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the clam juice and wine and water and bring to a simmer. Turn down the heat, put the lid on the frying pan and cook covered for 30 minutes. Add the peas, the shrimp and the green parts of the green onion. Replace the lid and cook another five minutes or until the shrimp has just cooked.
Discard the bay leaf and serve.