Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Using Leftover Paella

The other day I made seafood black paella (from the lovely cookbook A Platter of Figs). It was delicious, but paella is a party dish, and I am cooking for two. So naturally there was a huge bowl of leftovers, and I have been eating them for the lunch the past couple days.

If you have ever used leftover risotto, you probably know how to make risotto cakes. It works pretty well with paella too, as I found out today, but the flavors are different. This recipe could work with any variety of leftover paella. I like mine with grated Manchego and a stewed tomato. But it isn't tomato season yet, so stick to good quality canned tomatoes--they will always be riper than a supermarket winter tomato. Whole San Marzano tomatoes packed in tomato puree are really the best.

This makes a good light lunch, and a great way to use up leftovers. Also, if you just happen to have garlic aioli sitting around, these would be really good with some of that too.

Paella Cakes with San Marzano Tomato
makes 4 cakes

2 eggs
1/4 cup tomato puree (from the jar of whole tomatoes)
freshly ground pepper
2 pinches Kosher salt
1.5 cups leftover paella
4 whole canned San Marzano Tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
freshly grated Manchego cheese

In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs, tomato puree, salt and pepper. Add in the paella and stir it all together.

In a small saucepan, heat up the tomatoes (with a pinch of salt) over medium-low heat, turning them over occasionally to heat them evenly. If you want, you could try heating them in the microwave.

In a nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, take one quarter of the paella mixture and plop it like a pancake into the pan. Push the edges together to make sure it stays intact. If your pan is big enough, do the other 3 paella cakes at the same time. When the bottoms are brown (about 3 minutes), use a spatula to flip the cakes to the other side. Cook another 3 minutes.

Serve the paella cakes with one tomato each, and grate Manchego cheese (or other aged sheep cheese) on top. Eat them while they are still warm.


  1. Left over paella? What's that? I've never heard of such a thing. :)


  2. True... Leftover paella is a rare thing. This was my first experience with it, probably because I had never before made an entire paella for 2 people.