Vegan Paella from Candle 79’s New Cookbook

Candle 79's vegan paella. Reprinted with permission from Candle 79 Cookbook: Modern Vegan Classics from New York’s Premier Sustainable Restaurant. Copyright © 2011 by Joy Pierson, Angel Ramos, and Jorge Pineda, Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA. Photo credit: Rita Maas.

Candle 79's vegan paella. Reprinted with permission from Candle 79 Cookbook: Modern Vegan Classics from New York’s Premier Sustainable Restaurant. Copyright © 2011 by Joy Pierson, Angel Ramos, and Jorge Pineda, Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA. Photo credit: Rita Maas.

Candle 79, Manhattan’s popular vegan restaurant, is sharing its beloved recipes with the world in a new cookbook, “The Candle 79 Cookbook” (by Joy Pierson, Angel Ramos, and Jorge Pineda, from Ten Speed Press).

The cookbook, released this week, features this recipe for vegan paella, which the authors shared with City Spoonful.

Ingredients (serves 6):
2 ears of fresh corn, husked
1¼ teaspoons saffron
1 cup hot water
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ pound oyster mushrooms, stemmed and chopped
2½ teaspoons sea salt, plus more for sautéing
Freshly ground pepper
½ cup chopped white onion
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1¼ teaspoons smoked paprika
1 cup chopped cauliflower florets
1 cup chopped tomatoes
3 to 4 cups vegetable stock
2 cups Valencia or Arborio rice
1 cup ground seitan sausage, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
½ cup chopped scallions, white and green parts (optional)
Lemon wedges, for garnish

Directions:
*Using tongs, hold the corn over a gas flame and cook, turning, until nicely charred. When cool enough to handle, cut the kernels off the cobs and set aside.
*Soak the saffron in the hot water for at least 15 minutes.
*Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
*Using the same pan, heat another 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, bell peppers, and 1 teaspoon of the smoked paprika and sauté until just tender, about 3 minutes. Add the corn, cauliflower, and tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add to the mushrooms.
*Heat the stock in a saucepan and hold it at a simmer. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a soup pot or traditional paella pan over medium heat. Add the rice and stir until well coated, about 30 seconds. Add the salt and the saffron water and cook, stirring, until it is absorbed. Add 1⁄2 cup of the simmering stock to the rice and cook, stirring, until the rice has absorbed it all. Continue adding the liquid in 1⁄2-cup increments and stirring until the rice has absorbed it, until the rice is tender, not mushy, and retains its bite, 25 to 30 minutes.
*To get the socarrat, or caramelized crust on the rice, uncover the pot and increase the heat to high. Cook until the rice crackles and smells toasty, being careful not to burn it. Add the mushroom mixture and sausage and stir. Cook over medium heat, scraping the bottom of the pot so the rice doesn’t stick, for about 3 minutes.
*Remove from the heat, cover with a kitchen towel, and let rest for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary.
*Sprinkle the paella with the remaining 1⁄4 teaspoon of smoked paprika and the optional scallions. Garnish with the lemon wedges and serve.

  3 comments for “Vegan Paella from Candle 79’s New Cookbook

  1. Nina
    April 2, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    I made this dish this past weekend, and it’s unbelievably good. And I say that as an omnivore, who served the dish to three other omnivores. It’s the fourth dish I’ve made out of the Candle 79 book, and I’ve decided that that book is one of the best purchases I’ve made all year.

    A couple thoughts:
    - definitely serve it with lemon wedges. That provides some of the brininess usually associated with seafood.
    - It feeds 6, but only with a side dish. It’s so good that four of us almost finished it.
    - per Spanish tradition, we served it with a vegan garlic/lemon aioli. Recommended.

    Enjoy!

    • May 24, 2012 at 5:58 am

      I have been a wandering vegan for about a year now, and the only reosan I wander is to indulge in delicious, yummy sweet treats that contain egg and/or dairy. I was so impressed with Isa’s first book that I pre-ordered this one from Amazon, and I shall wander no more! Wow. This is a must-have for anyone who is vegan or allergic to dairy. You can pretty much recreate any of your favorite cupcake (or cake, for that matter same recipes, different pan) recipes without the need for cholesterol-laden egg or milk products (calories are another story ). The layout of the book is wonderful, and the pictures are great! I am so excited to make these as gifts for friends during the upcoming holiday season. They’ll NEVER believe they’re VEGAN. I think that’s the highest compliment any pastry chef could receive. 5 GLOWING STARS! Thanks, Isa, for making veganism so easy and tasty

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