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All Whisked Up #2 - Saffron and Paprika Rice with Smoked Andouille Sausage

Monday, February 29, 2016

Recipe adapted from Things I Made Today.  [Recipe makes 6 to 7 servings].

Some of you might be familiar with what this week's post title means, but to those who aren't, let me give you a quick background.  All Whisked Up is a monthly activity through the Madison-based group Whisk, where members (food bloggers from Wisconsin) get assigned someone else's food blog for a few weeks and get to select and recreate a post of their choice from their blog.

As some may recall, the first time I participated I was assigned Wisconsin From Scratch, which is ran by one of Whisk's three founders:  Sarah Woolworth.  This month I was given the opportunity to have fun on yet another founder's blog:  Vicky Cassidy of Things I Made Today.

After spending some time on her blog, I was amazed with not only how many recipes there were, but also how diverse they were.  They're all neatly organized by type, whether it's by dietary restrictions (vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free), season, course, and so on.  When you look into individual posts, you'll be pleasantly surprised to see detailed step-by-step photos in between some pretty well-written and entertaining behind-the-scene information.  By just spending a minute on her site, it's clear that Vicky puts 100% into her blog, and luckily it hasn't gone unnoticed.  Just this month she found out that she re-claimed her title from 2015 of having the best food blog in Madison, according to Madison Magazine's Best of Madison.  How cool is that!?!

So after enjoying quite a bit of time on Vicky's blog, I had to narrow down my list of recipes to try.  After some debating, I ended up going with Saffron and Paprika Rice for several reasons.  First, I've had some saffron from Spain laying around for too long, just waiting to be used up (poor me, right?).  Second, I loved how the dish was elegant and simple at the same time.  Win-win.  Last, the recipe reminded me of a similar dish, paella, and that I haven't made it in four years according to an old post of mine, so it was worth an update.  To those wondering, the main differences between this original recipe and traditional paella are as follows:

  1. Paella uses medium-grain rice rather than long-grain rice.  Since I'm partial to medium-grain rice both for the texture and the fact that it picks up more flavor, I went this route, but your standard long-grain rice will do the job as well.
  2. Paella almost always uses tomatoes, but I enjoyed the route that Vicky took by eliminating them.  I feel that the smoky paprika has a better chance of coming through this way.
  3. Paella is cooked over an open flame using a traditional thin-walled paella dish.  This way, you're able to get that crisp bottom layer that really makes the dish.  In this recipe, a Dutch oven or cast iron skillet is used, which makes for a more uniform texture with the rice.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups medium-grain rice, dry
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon saffron

1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1 cup green peas
1 pound smoked andouille sausage, sliced diagonally

Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 lemon, wedged


In a Dutch oven or cast iron pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and red pepper and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute, or until fragrant.  Season.  Stir in the the rice to create a nutty flavor, and then deglaze the pot with chicken broth.  Add the salt and saffron and bring to a boil.  Reduce, cover, and cook for 20 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated and the rice is al dente.  [Side note:  If you are using long-grain rice, this will happen around the 10 minute mark rather than after 20 minutes].

While the rice is cooking, sear off the sausage in a separate sauté pan with a little bit of oil.  Reserve.

When the rice is done, stir in the paprika and cook for a few more minutes uncovered.  Lastly, stir in the peas and sausage, and season to taste.

Garnish with finely chopped Italian parsley and lemon wedges, if desired.

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  1. Your photography is stunning. Want to remake everything my blog and sell me the photos :)?

    1. Hah! I'm still waiting for someone to give me that same offer too :) Until that day happens, I'll continue slowly redoing those lovely pics from "the early days", one-by-one. And thanks again for the recipe; leftovers didn't last long at all :)

    2. Oh the early days blog photos. Major facepalm.

  2. This looks great! And to think I just discovered a source or organic andouille sausage! Sounds like fate to me!