This seafood Paella is a cool dish to make for a summer dinner party. It’ll make you look like a pro in the kitchen and impress any who watch you make it, especially since it’s not a common dish that can be found in every restaurant in town.
The good news is that the entire process seems a lot more daunting than it actually is. Most importantly, you’ll need a Paella pan. They are relatively inexpensive, around $20 here. You’ll also need a reasonably good high heat burner. I made this seafood paella on my gas stovetop, but many people use an outside grill to get the heat they need.
The recipe here is close to traditional, but it really depends on who you talk to. Some people consider only a Valencia Paella with chicken and rabbit a true Paella. If you take the time to browse the internet, you’ll find every video, recipe, blog and book gives different ways to make a Paella.
Bottom line, this one is good…really dang good. But, don’t be afraid to experiment. The hardest part is getting the rice cooked properly and that’s not really that hard. Control your heat and keep an eye on the pan. Also, use your nose – it’s the best way to tell if your rice is burning on the bottom. Worst case scenario, if the rice isn’t great, you still have a great pan of seafood to eat. Enjoy and Cheers, my friends!
Seafood Paella Recipe
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¾ lb Spanish chorizo sausages, sliced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 onion, grated finely
- 2 tomatoes, grated finely
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- Red Bell Pepper, diced finely
- Bunch flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped, reserve some for garnish
- 3 green onions chopped finely
- 1 tbsp Sweet Spanish Paprika
- 2 cups short grain Spanish Arborio rice
- 6 cups lobster stock from bouillon or bouillon paste (maybe a bit extra in case rice need add'l moisture to cook)
- 1 tablespoons chicken bouillon powder
- Generous pinch saffron threads
- 1 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
- 1 pound jumbo shrimp or prawns, peeled and de-veined
- 1 dozen mussels
- ½ lb calamari tentacles
- 6 scallops
- 2 lobster tails or whole lobsters
- ¼ cup sweet frozen peas, thawed
- Thyme sprig for garnish
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Make a spice mix out of kosher salt, pepper and spanish paprika to taste. Apply to split lobster tails, peeled shrimp, scallops and calamari tentacles. Put in refrigerator until needed.
- Heat oil in a paella pan over medium-high heat. Saute the chorizo until browned, remove and reserve.
- Add the lobsters, scallops, shrimp and calamari and brown on all sides, turning with tongs. Remove from pan and reserve.
- In the same pan, make a sofrito by onions, garlic, and parsley. Cook for 3-4 minutes to soften onions. Add the paprika and allow to cook for about 40 seconds. Then, add tomatoes and cook until the mixture until it turns a deep burgundy color, similar to tomato paste.
- Fold in the rice and stir-fry for about 1-2 minutes to coat and toast the grains.
- Pour in lobster stock (3 cups to 1 cup rice, but depending on different variables, more may be needed toward the end of cooking) and saffron and simmer for 10 minutes, gently moving the pan around so the rice cooks evenly and absorbs the liquid. Note: While the broth and rice are simmering, taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Remember, the seafood has seasoning on it, too, so be careful not to overseason.
- Add all of the seafood that was reserved and the chorizo at around the 10 minute mark, being careful not to press too hard into the rice (doing so will thin the rice layer out under the seafood and cause it to cook too fast or burn).
- Continue to let the Paella simmer, without stirring, until the rice is al dente, for another 10 minutes (20 minutes total cooking time).
- When the all the moisture has been absorbed and the rice has been cooked to a very slight al dente, turn the heat up for 60 seconds and move the pan around on the fire until you can smell the rice toast at the bottom. Here you are creating the soccarat, the tasty, crispy thin layer of rice on the bottom of the pan.
- Remove from heat, sprinkle on the peas, cover the paella with foil and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with parsley and lemon wedges.
- Enjoy and Cheers, my friends!