Matt Holmes, executive chef at Chicago’s Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba!, designed a menu that highlights the traditional flavors of Spain. Over the weekend, he serves breakfast paella, a mashup between a frittata and rice casserole. It’s inspired by arroz con costra, a classic Spanish breakfast hailing from the southeastern city Murcia. Eggs are poured over the rice and baked to form a delightful crust with a pillowy bite. Breakfast paella is truly a hearty, satisfying dish that's made for sharing and a magnet for praise from anyone who’s lucky enough to get a bite. Visit your local butcher for top-notch Spanish sausages or visit latienda.com to order authentic ingredients.

The key to paella success? Have patience and don’t fuss with the pan too much—it doesn’t need shaking and the food doesn't need stirring. The beauty about Spanish rice dishes is that they really don't require much work. Once all the ingredients are in the pan, you only need to stir it a little to make sure everything is thoroughly mixed. Once the stock comes to a boil, you should only turn the heat down and let it simmer until the rice is cooked. “Paella is not risotto so just sit back and relax and let it do its thing!” says Holmes.

Breakfast Paella

  • Yields: 6 to 8 servings
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Hands-On Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Place 2 ounces oil in a large cazuela (12 to 14” in diameter), though a paella pan can also be used.

  2. Add butifarra, chorizo and morcilla sausages and cook until crispy, about 5 minutes.

  3. Add chickpeas, garlic, salt, and sweet pimenton and cook until garlic is lightly brown.

  4. Add white wine, a pinch of saffron and tomato puree and reduce by half, about 10 minutes.

  5. Add bomba rice and mix until the rice is coated. 

  6. Add the pork stock and mix.

  7. Bring to a boil and turn down heat to simmer for 15 minutes.

  8. Place paella in the oven at 400ºF and cook for 15 minutes. Check to see if rice is cooked. If not, return to the oven for 5 to 10 more minutes.

  9. Scramble 4 eggs and pour over the top of the rice and return to the oven. Cook until eggs are set.