Seafood Paella is probably the most popular Spanish dish around the world, so I had no option but to post this fantastic recipe here! There are a bunch of different versions of paella such as chicken and chorizo paella, black rice paella, or mixed paella. My version only has seafood cause my boyfriend doesn’t eat meat, but you can add chicken, pork or beef to include extra flavors and make it even tastier!
- 1 yellow or white onion, chopped
- 2 garlic gloves, minced
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoon salt, to taste
- 1/2 tablespoon paprika
- 1/2 tablespoon saffron (you can find the mix I used here)
- 1 red and green pepper, diced
- 1 medium tomato, peeled and diced
- 1/4 Ibs green beans
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups medium-grain or “bomba” white rice
- 3 cups of fish or chicken broth
- 1/2 – 1 Ibs uncooked shrimp, peeled
- 1/2 Ibs cleaned squid, bodies cut into 1/2-inch rings
- 1 dozen raw mussels in shell, fresh
- 1 lemon
- Additional: 1 Ibs small clams, 1/2 Ibs frozen peas
1. Prepare the ingredients. Finely chop a medium onion, dice 1 red and green pepper, cut green beans and chop a few gloves of garlic. Also, peel and dice a tomato, set aside for later.
2. Prepare the seafood. Peel and devein the shrimp, cut squid into rings, and scrub and debeard a dozen fresh mussels.
3. The next step is to make the “sofrito”, a Spanish tomato and onion sauce which is used as a flavor base for the paella. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over a medium heat and cook the vegetables until softened. Add the tomatoes, and stir until they start to melt.
4. While the sofrito is cooking, place the mussels in a saucepan with half a cup of water. Cover and steam on a low heat for 5 minutes. Remove mussels and set aside, discarding any that haven’t opened.
At the same time, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over a medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes, tossing continuously. After, cook the squid rings for a further 5 minutes until they are tender. Lightly season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and set aside.
5. Once the sofrito is ready, add the shrimp and squid to the mix and season with 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of paprika, to taste.
6. Add the rice, sprinkling in the form of a large cross on the pan. Slowly pour broth into the paella pan until ingredients are all covered, and add a pinch of saffron threads, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
7. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 35-45 minutes without stirring. To make sure the rice cooks evenly you will need to regularly move the paella pan around the heat source. Add more broth if necessary. After 45 minutes, turn the heat up to medium-high for a minute or so until you can smell the rice toasting at the bottom, then remove the paella from the heat. The toasted rice bottom of a paella is called “socorrat”, and adds a very tasty flavor to the rice – it’s my favorite part!
8. When rice is cooked, arrange mussels around outside edge of pan, pointing up. You can also add half a cup of defrosted green peas if you desire so. Cover the pan with foil or a clean cloth, and let the paella rest for 5 minutes. Slice lemons into wedges and serve alongside paella for drizzling.
Now that you know how to prepare this delicious Spanish recipe, go ahead and surprise your family with it! 🙂