Paella is common as street food in the south of France near the Pyrennes, and across the border into northern Spain. It can be changed to fit the tastes of the crowd you’re inviting to dinner, and is no more work to make for two than for a dozen.
First make a sofritto of onion, garlic, peppers and tomatoes cooked low and slow. Later add that to the vegetable or fish stock – what you used to cook the first, shrimp, calamari or other fish that you intend to put into the paella. Don’t add the cooked fish at this time. But do add the paella rice. Cook until the rice is done, add sausage or chicken if you like that, add the seafood, and freshly chopped cilantro.
Usually paella has lightly steamed green beans as well. And often we will make it in a large pan – our wok – on the barbecue. Traditionally, it often get a little crusty on the bottom from cooking hard on the grill. All these techniques are secondary to the quality of your ingredients, so don’t stress about the cooking style – but shop wisely.