Seafood paellas should be made with a variety of fish and shellfish, each adding its own flavor and texture. Always include jumbo shrimp, mussels or clams, and a firm white fish such as monkfish, halibut, or sea bass. Seafood paellas are often served with a cold, fresh, dry fino sherry; however, a zesty, dry California Sauvignon Blanc works well, too.
3 cups water
1 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon saffron threads
2 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 pound monkfish or other firm white fish fillets
16 unpeeled jumbo shrimp (about 1 pound)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 cup canned diced tomatoes, undrained
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups uncooked Arborio rice or other short-grain rice
1 cup frozen green peas
16 littleneck clams
1 (7-ounce) jar sliced pimento, drained
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
How to Make It
To prepare broth, combine the first 4 ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.
To prepare herb blend, combine parsley and next 4 ingredients (parsley through 2 garlic cloves); set aside.
To prepare paella, trim connective tissue from monkfish; cut into 1-inch pieces. Peel and devein shrimp, leaving tails intact. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large paella pan or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish and shrimp; saute 1 minute (the seafood mixture will not be cooked through).
Remove seafood mixture from pan, and keep warm. Add onion and bell pepper to pan, and saute 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, paprika, crushed red pepper, and 3 garlic cloves; cook 5 minutes. Add rice, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in broth, herb blend, and peas. Bring to a low boil, and cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add clams to pan, nestling them into rice mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until shells open; discard any unopened shells. Stir in the seafood mixture, and arrange shrimp, heads down, in rice mixture. Arrange pimento slices spokelike on top of rice mixture; cook 5 minutes. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Remove from heat; cover with a towel and let stand 10 minutes.
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