BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA - MAY 2018:  Bellotas San Francisco Treat Paella. (Photo by John Lee/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)
Bobby Flay's Vegetarian Twist On Paella Leaves The Seafood Behind
By Steven Thrash
Bobby Flay is best known as a media personality thanks to shows like "Beat Bobby Flay," but he remains dedicated to his culinary art and enjoys concocting unique recipes with classical influences. One such recipe is his bold vegetarian take on paella, which was once a staple at Flay's now-defunct restaurant GATO in New York City.
Paella de marisco is a traditional, saffron-spiced yellow rice dish that dates back to 19th-century Spain, named after the frying pan it was prepared in, a paellera. The rice dish includes garlic, onion, ñoras (dried, red peppers), and tomatoes prepared in olive oil, with a range of land-based proteins (chicken, duck, and rabbit) and/or sea-oriented fare (shrimp, mussels, clams, and even lobster).
Flay's paella breaks all the rules by kicking seafood to the stove-top curb, but what makes it so delicious is the two different kinds of mushrooms in it. Flay uses 1 ounce of dried porcini mushrooms alongside 1 pound of "coarsely chopped" crimini mushrooms in the mushroom stock, which can be made up to four days beforehand.
As if that weren't enough 'shrooms, Flay uses another 1.5 pounds of "quartered" crimini while assembling the paella, followed by four large eggs and eight cups of coarsely chopped kale leaves. This veggie version of paella also includes carrots, black peppercorns, garlic, poblano chiles, and dry white wine.