My dear darling man speaks something like 7 languages. None of them are Spanish. After seeing the word "paella" written down, he hasn't been able to pronounce it since. However, he agrees that the dish itself is very tasty!
As for what goes in a paella, well, mi mama taught me that the answer is "Whatever meat you've got." She was very used to lots of seafood, but when she made it for us several hundred miles from the nearest ocean, it was chicken (Although she explained rabbit would be perfectly in keeping with the dish, but we neither kept domestic rabbits nor were great and mighty hunters. I think the cats got more rabbits than us kids did!)
Mom also made a virtue of necessity, and spiced her paellas with the closest spices she could get her hands - so I grew up thinking that all paellas were made with turmeric. Turns out that if you can get it where you live, and can afford it, you use saffron instead. These days, Amazon has made the world much smaller, and much tastier, and I can get Rumi's paella spice mix shipped to the odds and ends of North Texas... and decades of improvement in food preparation and transport mean I can get decent frozen fish here, too!
However, I'm supposed to be supporting my darling man and low-carbing, so today I made a paella-spiced fish bake with no rice that was warming, tasty, filling, and still made me fondly remember cooking with mom.
Paella Spiced Fish Bake
4 seafish fillets (I used 3 sea bass and a cod fillet, because I was finishing a pack in the freezer)
3 Tbsp ghee/olive oil
2 Tbsp Rumi Paella Spice
2 onions, diced (or 1 big one)
3 cloves garlic, minced (Or a heaped spoonful out of the minced garlic jar)
1 bag frozen bell pepper strips (lots cheaper and easier than getting them and cutting them in strips)
1 can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles, lime & cilantro, drained (or rotel, if you don't have the rotel w/ lime & cilantro)
2 Tbsp white wine (okay, maybe I used 3?)
1 Tsp salt (maybe I used 2?)
1 Tbsp lime juice
parsley to garnish ( I grabbed a handful out of the back garden)
1 bag frozen riced cauliflower
Thaw the fish fillets & put in the bottom of a casserole dish. Add the plain diced tomatoes on top.
Preheat oven to 325F.
Chop the onions.
In a large pan on the stove, heat the oil, add the onions, mushrooms, salt, and paella spice. When onions are translucent, add the minced garlic. When that's starting to brown, add the frozen bell pepper strips, white wine, and second can of (flavored) diced tomatoes. Let heat up until bubbling. Turn off stove, pour evenly over fish. Squirt lime juice over everything.
Bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
5 minutes out, put the riced cauliflower in a microwaveable bowl. Chop the parsley, and add the chopped stems and some parsley leaf to the cauliflower. Microwave until finished.
Pull the casserole dish out of the oven, the riced cauliflower out of the microwave, and everything is ready to serve.
Serves 4 (judging by the amount of leftovers.)