Some recipe blogs begin with something like, “I remember my mom making paella every Sunday night!” *sigh* If only I could have had that memory. While I had similar Filipino dishes growing up, sadly, I never actually had the spanish paella (pronounced pah-EH-yah). As an adult I had the pleasure of trying it, and every now and again since, the craving for it hits me hard!
There is something about the paella smell of onion and broth, the seafood, the sausage and the saffron color that is pure magic to the senses.
The one-pot thing is something that every mom will be down with too. It’s like an instant pot meal but prettier. And if you’re looking to impress company or for bragging rights at a pot luck party, this is your dish. It’s definitely a show stopper! If you’ve never had paella, imagine beautifully seasoned yellow rice with a meat, usually yummy chorizo sausage, some seafood, chicken, even rabbit sometimes (pick what you want) arranged around the top. The colors of yellow, red, and maybe some green garnish in the form of peas or parsley make this dish enticing to the eyes as well as the stomach!
There are so many wonderful recipes out there. In fact I have a few pinned on pinterest if you want to give some others a try, including a vegan, gluten-free quinoa paella option. My brother-in-law (Chef Jonathon) will tell you that paella is really a major holiday dish that can take longer to prepare if you do it the right way–homemade broth, fire roasted spanish peppers, outdoors on an open flame. Admittedly saffron is an expensive spice and bomba rice is not easily found in most grocery stores as well. Conversely, paella can also be made simpler with any white rice, chicken, and kielbasa sausage. But if you’re tummy is rumbling for a fairly traditional spanish rice and seafood paella, follow the recipe below!
One-Pot Seafood Paella
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 8 oz Spanish dry-cured chorizo cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 pound extra large or jumbo shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 pound cleaned squid cut into 1/2-inch thick rings
- 1 pound mussels or little neck clams scrubbed and cleaned
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 red pepper bell cored, seeded and diced small
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cups bomba Calasparra Rice or other white rice
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp saffron threads
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 4 cups less-sodium chicken broth
- 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes with their juice
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
- In a large pan (preferably a paella pan), heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chorizo and sauté until browned, about 4 minutes. Remove the chorizo with a slotted spoon to a plate and set aside.
- Add the shrimp to the pan and sauté just until they begin to turn pink, about 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on another plate. Repeat with the squid, cooking for about 1 minute, and transfer that to the plate with the shrimp. Add the onion, pepper, and garlic, season with salt and pepper and sauté over medium heat until the onion and pepper begin to turn tender, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in the rice, paprika, and the saffron, and cook, stirring constantly, until the grains are well-coated with the oil and vegetable mixture. Stir the chorizo back into the mixture. Pour the wine into the pan, then add the broth and tomatoes, and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover the pan, and continue to simmer gently until the rice is tender and has absorbed most of the liquid, about 20 minutes.
- Turn the heat up to medium, remove the lid and gently stir in the partially cooked shrimp. Add the mussels or clams and cover with the lid. Let the paella cook for another 8 minutes or so, until the shrimp and the rice are just about cooked and the mussels or clams have opened. Lift the lid and distribute the partly cooked squid on top, then sprinkle the top of the paella with the peas. Cover the pan, and let the paella cook for another 3 to 4 minutes until the seafood has cooked through and the peas are cooked and bright green. Garnish with lemon wedges and sprinkle the paella with the parsley. Serve hot from the pan.
What I love about this dish, is that you could plop the pan right on the table and everyone could help themselves! Add an easy salad, some warm bread, and of course you can’t forget the sangria!
If you’ve tried the recipe, please let me know how it turned out!