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Inspired by Best Actress nominee and vegetarian, Natalie Portman, this butler-served and individually prepared Vegetable Paella with Saffron, White Wine, Chili and Parsley is the creative, vegetarian entree at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards Governors Ball. The menu and this entree were created by Wolfgang Puck with Chef Partner Matt Bencivenga.
Ingredients for Sofrito:
1/4 red pepper, small dice
1/4 yellow pepper, small dice
1 scallion, whites sliced very thin
1 garlic clove
1/4 red onion
Ingredients for Vegetable Stock:
1/2 fennel bulb
1/2 pound corn
2 celery stalks
1 white onion
1 cup of canned plum tomatoes
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tsp crushed red chili flake
1 tsp saffron threads
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp granulated onion
2 tbsp Spanish paprika
Ingredients for Paella Topping:
Note: This recipe makes one serving.
1. Make the Sofrito. Place all ingredients into a sauté pan and cook slowly until cooked down. It should begin to blend together almost forming a paste.
2. Make the Vegetable Stock. Add enough water to cover all vegetables in a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 to 7 minutes.
3. Make the Paella Topping. Blanch all vegetables in the vegetable stock.
4. Strain the vegetable stock and add Sofrito to make the rice.
5. Prepare the dish. Using 2 oz long grain rice (Uncle Ben’s will do) and 4 oz paella stock per single serving, cook for 15 to 17 minutes at 375°F inside the oven. When cooked, let the paella rest for 5 minutes before serving. To finish the dish, cover with the blanched vegetables.
Recipe and photo courtesy Wolfgang Puck.