The first time I went to Valencia I was surprised to find many restaurants did not serve paella. Instead they offered simple but highly flavorful yellow rice served with meat or fish or vegetables on the side.
Here's my quick and simple version of Valencian-style rice with shrimp.
1 lb of shrimp, with heads if you can find them
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon of salt
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of Pimentón
a pinch of saffron
1/4 cup of olive oil, plus more for pan frying the shrimp
First peel the shrimp and reserve the shells and heads (if you can't find shrimp with the head on, just use the shells).
Put the shrimp shells and heads in a pot with three cups of water and a bay leaf. Bring to a simmer.
It's best to let the shells simmer for at least fifteen minutes.
Strain the broth.
Heat a frying pan or a small paella pan.
Saute the garlic in the oil. Add the rice and stir. Let the rice "fry" for two minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat. When the rice has cooled a little, add the salt, saffron, and Pimentón. Stir.
Add the broth. Bring the rice to a boil. Stir it once. Turn down the heat to medium and let the rice simmer uncovered for 18 minutes.
Towards the end of the cooking time, check the rice with a spoon. It should form a crust on the bottom, but if it looks like it will burn, turn down (or off) the heat and cover the pan.
Let the rice rest ten minutes.
While the rice is resting, prepare the shelled shrimp any way you like. For this post I quickly pan fried them with garlic.
Serve the rice with the shrimp around it.