Wednesday, May 13

Seafood paella

Seafood paella is one of my favorite comfort foods, but I only use to order it in restaurants. I decided to take a stab at it and try to make homemade paella for the first time. My mother warned me that it is a lot of work, but I thought I was up for the challenge.  After about an hour and a half, I couldn't believe I finished it. It was very grueling and time consuming, definitely not a mid-week meal. But the good thing is, it turned out wonderful! the flavors and texture were just right. I served it in a pan with two forks. A perfect sunday night dinner.

Seafood Paella
This recipe was adapted by
1 wide shallow pan
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of flat-leaf parsley
2 vine ripened tomatoes, or a can of crushed tomatoes
1 lb of fresh seafood of your choice (I bought a mix of frozen seafood from the market)
Extra Virgin Olive oil
2 teaspoons paprika, or smoked paprika (I only had paprika on hand)
1.5 cups of medium grain rice (I used brown basmati rice)
3 cups Chicken Stock
Saffron Threads, or a saffron seasoning mixture by Goya
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup peas, frozen worked fine
Lemon wedges, optional

1 Finely chop red onion, red pepper, garlic cloves and parsley.
2 Puree 2 tomatoes using a box grater, leaving the skin behind. You can also use a can of crushed tomatoes.
3 Clean your seafood so it will be ready for cooking. Cover and refrigerate until it is time to cook.
4 This step makes the sofrito, a tomato and onion sauce that smells amazing. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook the red onion, parsley and 3 of the 4 garlic cloves until softened. Add the pureed tomatoes and 2 teaspoons paprika. Cook until all liquid has evaporated and it has the consistency of a jam.
5 Transfer the sofrito to a small bowl and wipe your pan clean.
6 Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add your seafood mixture (shrimp, calamari, mussels, squid, etc.) and cook, tossing continuously for even cooking. Add the 1 chopped garlic. Remove the seafood and transfer to a small bowl, season with salt and pepper and cover.
7 Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat and cook red peppers until softened.
8 Add the sofrito back to the pan along with the 1.5 cups rice (uncooked) and stir to coat the grains.
9 Add 3 cups of heated chicken stock, a pinch of saffron, sea salt, and pepper.
10 Stir to combine and bring to a rolling simmer. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes. You will have to move the pan around the stove burner for even cooking.
11 Lower the heat and cook for another 15 minutes. Then, turn up the heat to medium to toast the bottom of the rice (the toasted rice bottom is called socorrat)
12 Lastly, add the seafood and push into rice mixture, scatter half a cup of peas and cover for 5 minutes to rest.

I used brown basmati rice for this paella and had to cook it longer than the recipe called for and increase the amount of chicken stock because brown rice takes longer to cook. Now that Ive had it both ways, regular white rice and brown rice, I can safely say that I couldn't tell the difference! I swear. So for a healthier route, try it with brown rice and cook a good 20 minutes longer. You will have to keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn't overcook. Also, this recipe called for green peppers, but Im not a fan so I left it out.


morgan said...

Looks delicious but you are a waaaay better person than I because I wouldn't even attempt a recipe that labor intensive. I did once, for my mother, and bitched about it the entire time.

So props to you!

zoe said...

Thanks morgan. It certainly was a lot of work! But worth it.

Alisa@Foodista said...

Hi Zoe, I followed you from the foodieblogroll and I love your site. This paella is amazing and I think you did a great job with it! Hope you wont mind,I'd love to guide our readers to your site, just add this foodista widget to this post and it's all set to go, Thanks!

zoe said...

Thanks Alisa! That would be great!

Ric said...

You're right, this recipe is pretty time consuming to make. But we see it as a special occasion dish that deserves a bit more time and effort. I'm glad you thought the results were worth it!