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Seafood Paella

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Seafood Paella is a vibrant and flavorful Spanish dish that combines a variety of seafood, saffron-infused rice, and aromatic vegetables. This iconic dish from Valencia is perfect for gatherings or special occasions, showcasing the rich flavors of the sea and the warmth of Spanish cuisine. Here’s a detailed recipe to help you prepare this delicious seafood paella at home.


Ingredients:

For the Seafood:

  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 pound mussels, cleaned and debearded
  • 1 pound clams, cleaned
  • 1 pound squid or calamari, cleaned and sliced into rings
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

For the Paella:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 cups Arborio rice (or other short-grain Spanish rice)
  • 1 pinch saffron threads, soaked in 1/4 cup warm water
  • 4 cups seafood or chicken broth
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Lemon wedges for serving
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish

Optional Garnish:

  • Lemon wedges
  • Fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions:

1. Prepare the Seafood:

  1. Season the shrimp, mussels, clams, and squid with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  2. In a large skillet or paella pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the minced garlic and cook for about 1 minute until fragrant.
  4. Add the seafood to the skillet and cook until the shrimp turns pink and the mussels and clams open, about 3-5 minutes. Remove the seafood from the skillet and set aside.

2. Prepare the Paella:

  1. In the same skillet or paella pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the chopped onion and diced bell peppers. Cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Stir in the smoked paprika and cook for another minute to toast the spices.
  4. Add the Arborio rice to the skillet and stir to coat it with the oil and vegetables.
  5. Pour in the saffron-infused water and seafood or chicken broth. Stir to combine.
  6. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is almost tender.

3. Add the Seafood and Peas:

  1. Arrange the cooked seafood and frozen peas evenly over the rice in the skillet.
  2. Cover the skillet with a lid or foil and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the rice is fully cooked and the seafood is heated through.
  3. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

4. Serve:

  1. Remove the skillet from the heat and let the paella rest, covered, for 5 minutes.
  2. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve with lemon wedges on the side.
  3. Serve the Seafood Paella directly from the skillet or paella pan, allowing guests to enjoy the vibrant flavors and textures.

5. Optional Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve with a crisp white wine, such as Albariño or Verdejo, to complement the flavors of the seafood and saffron.
  • Enjoy the paella with crusty bread to soak up the flavorful broth.

Conclusion: Seafood Paella is a delightful dish that celebrates the flavors of the sea with tender shrimp, mussels, clams, and squid nestled in saffron-infused rice. This recipe captures the essence of Spanish cuisine and is perfect for sharing with family and friends. Enjoy the vibrant colors and flavors of this iconic dish for a memorable dining experience. ¡Buen provecho!

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Written by Robert Zelesky

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