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2 Tbl olive oil
3 cloves garlic -- minced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1stalk celery -- sliced
1 medium green bell pepper, seeded -- cut into strips
1 cup long-grain white rice
16 ounces canned stewed tomatoes
1 cup water
1/8 tsp hot pepper sauce -- optional
1/2 cup chopped cooked ham -- optional
8 thin slices chorizo or other spicy sausage
1 tsp dried thyme or oregano
1 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper -- to taste
1 pound medium shrimp -- shelled and de-veined
lemon slices and minced parsley -- for garnish
In a large skillet or paella pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, celery, and green pepper and sauté just until softened (about 3 minutes). Add rice, tomatoes and their juice, the water, hot-pepper sauce, ham (if used), chorizo, thyme, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Quickly add shrimp, cover, and cook 5 minutes longer, or until rice is tender and shrimp have turned pink. Toss with a fork. Garnish with lemon and parsley.