Paella, surely the most famous and beloved of all Spanish dishes, has traveled the world. Seafood paellas are as varied as the cooks who make them. The constants are good broth, short grain rice, Spanish smoked paprika, and a paella pan--although a 13-inch skillet will work, too. Although saffron in traditional in paella, it's not crucial.
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed (optional)
3 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice
1/4 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 pound grouper or other white fish fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 pound cleaned skinless squid, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 teaspoons Spanish smoked paprika or regular paprika
1 cup chopped tomato
1 1/2 cups uncooked short-grain rice (such as Calasparra or Arborio)
1 pound small mussels, scrubbed and debearded
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 400°.
Bring first 3 ingredients to a simmer in a small saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.
Peel the shrimp, leaving tails intact. Combine shrimp, grouper, and squid in a bowl; sprinkle with salt, let stand 5 minutes. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 13-inch paella pan or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish mixture, and saute for 1 minute (the mixture will not be completely done). Remove fish mixture and any liquid from pan, and place in a bowl.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers, onion, garlic, and paprika; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in tomato; cook 2 minutes. Stir in rice, and coat well. Add clam juice mixture; bring to a boil, and cook 3 minutes. Add reserved fish; cook 2 minutes. Add mussels to pan, nestling them into rice mixture.
Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until shells open; discard any unopened shells. Remove from oven; cover and let stand 10 minutes.
This is fabuous, something you'd rave about if you had it in a restaurant but really easy to make. You can probably use different types of seafood: I used jumbo shrimp, haddock, and live clams. Two things that made it special were the addition of some minced habanero and serrano pepper to the bell mix and using a homemade seafood stock I keep in the freezer. I make it from shrimp shells, fish bones, leftover liquid from cans of clams, etc alond with celery, onion, and garlic. It's simple and great to have on hand. I halved this paella recipe, and my husband had two servings, I had one, and there's one for lunch.
Outstanding recipe!!! One of the many things I love about Cooking Light mag. is their cooking class section. When this first appeared years ago, it was so helpful to have a step-by-step guide, with photos!! Over the years I've simplified it even more: depending on which state we are in when I make this (either Michigan or Maine) determines the seafood used. In Maine, fresh lobster, mussels, scallops and fish are readily available so it's even better!! In Michigan, I use scallops, shrimp and mussels and also turkey sausage. A family favorite!!
This was the recipe I was looking for (with no meat-just seafood) and it came out incredible. Simple and straight forward. Of course, using (or not using) saffron and smoked paprika would make a big difference. I used them(plus a teaspoon of ancho chile spice). I made a couple changes/additions...of course. I used four 6 oz cans of chopped clams with their liquid(instead of clam juice) and added wine to make up the difference. I had one grouper fillet and a bag of seafood mix which had scallops, calimari and shrimp. Added some extra shrimp and the mussels. I also added a tablespoon of tomato concentrate and a tablespoon of anchovy paste. I added a couple more cloves of garlic too and half a fennel bulb chopped. Thawed some frozen peas in warm water and tossed them in at the very end. No "BIG" changes really. This rocked. Served with lemon wedges. Total hit.