May 17, 2011

Seafood Paella

My gardener and I aren't big restaurant people. Dinners seem rushed; often the food and service is mediocre and the noise levels are always louder than we like. (Gee, I make us sound old!)

We usually save dining out for celebrations. But, when we celebrated our 3rd anniversary last month, we decided to stay home and cook a celebratory meal instead of going out, and I couldn't think of a better meal to make than Seafood Paella.

Yes, this looks like a lot of food for two people! Leftovers became our lunch or dinners for the next few days, but it's so good we didn't mind.

There are a lot of steps in making paella and it takes a while, but it's totally worth the time and effort. This took about 3 hours to prepare, so if you're looking for a quick dinner, this isn't it. 

Making the sofrito is essential to the success of this dish. Using a box grater, grate halved tomatoes and discard the skin. Onion and seasonings are added to the tomato which is then cooked until reduced to the consistency of jam. This step alone can take 45 minutes to an hour.
Another step essential to a good paella is letting the rice toast on the bottom of the pan until it becomes crispy. This is called socorrat and is an indication of an authentic, well made paella. Smoked paprika adds a flavor and spice to this recipe that you just won't get with plain paprika.

Do you have a celebration coming up? I guarantee you'll celebrate in style with this dish and you won't have to leave a tip!



Seafood Paella

2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 T fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 large tomatoes
4 T olive oil, divided use
2 tsp smoked paprika
1-1/2 cups Arborio rice
8 oz. clam juice
2 cups stock (vegetable or chicken), heated
Large pinch of saffron
1-1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup frozen peas
1# frozen uncooked jumbo shrimp, thawed
1# clams or mussels
2 links Italian sausage, cooked
1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts, quartered (not marinated in oil)

1. Using a box grater, process the tomatoes and discard the skin.

2. Make the sofrito: Heat 2 T olive oil in paella pan, and over medium heat, cook the onion, parsley and garlic for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes and smoked paprika. Cook until all the liquid from the tomatoes has evaporated and the sofrito is the consistency of jam. This may take 45 minutes to 1 hour. Put the sofrito into a small bowl. Wipe pan clean.

3. Heat 2 T olive oil in paella pan over medium heat. Cook red and green peppers for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Add the sofrito and rice to the paella pan; stir to coat the rice. 

5. In a medium saucepan, add stock, clam juice, salt, pepper and saffron. Bring to a simmer. 

6. Add hot stock to the sofrito. Stir to combine and bring to a medium-high simmer and cook for 15 minutes without stirring.

7. After 15 minutes, scatter peas over the paella. Push shrimp, clams and mussels into the rice. Top with artichoke hearts and cooked sausage.

8. Turn up the heat to medium-high for a minute or two until you can smell the rice toasting at the bottom, then remove pan from heat. The toasted rice on the bottom of a paella is called socorrat.

9. Cover the pan with foil and let paella rest for 10 minutes.

10. Serve directly from the paella pan along with lemon wedges.


21 comments:

  1. I know of no restaurant that would be competition for this! Outstanding. Only sorry I missed it!!!
    This one is a keeper for sure. And you found all these ingredients in MT!!!

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  2. I've never attempted paella at home but we love it. Have had it at restaurants in San Diego and Chicago and it was very good. I am inspired and will bookmark your recipe.

    I think I missed your anniversary. Happy belated one to you and your gardener!!

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  3. I'm ordering a paella pan today! It looks so good.

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  4. Humm this looks gorgeous Karen,

    kisses!!

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  5. This looks so pretty too. :)

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  6. i feel so hungry just look at the picture, sound so so yummy~I must make this one of this day. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. Happy anniversary! And what a lovely dish you enjoyed to celebrate. Looks wonderful. I love to eat out but I hear you about the service, food, and noise. So many times we come home disappointed. Poor service can even ruin the most delicious food.

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  8. Thats bowl looks sooo yummy.. full of yummy goodness! God you making me hungry !!!

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  9. I don't mind a 3 hour meal at all. I find it very relaxing. I made paella once without a couple of the important steps you've listed...and it was delicious. I can only imagine if I would have had an authentic recipe how wonderful it would be. Will have to try it again and the right way.

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  10. Happy anniversary! So glad you enjoyed your celebration with a meal you both love. This is one of Matt's favorites when we go out. I'm not big on seafood dishes myself but maybe I should try making it at home before we leave the coast and end up in the desert...

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  11. Oh my--I could just dive into that serving bowl right now! What a tease! ;-) I've never attempted paella at home either, but you can be sure I will now. This looks just wonderful Karen! Happy belated anniversary to you and the gardener. You up for opening a Karen's annex here in Maine? LOL This dish would be a sellout!

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  12. That looks superb. I love a good paella, and I truly adore anything with lots of different seafood in it. Best of both worlds!

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  13. Happy Anniversary! I agree with you on the restaurant service. And I am not talking about chain restaurants. You can have better and relaxing dinners at home. My only complain comes after coffee and desert. Cleaning the dishes. :(

    That Paella must have tasted like love.

    Mely

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  14. I'm with you about the restaurant scene, and I love cooking a special meal all afternoon - so rewarding. And this looks spectacular!! If you can get fresh clams over there, I should be able to find some here. Beautiful, beautiful dish, Karen! Happy belated anniversary.

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  15. OMG that looks fantastic, Karen. I just bought the perfect pan for a paella and was going to search out a recipe and now here you are, serving up an excellent one. My family will love me for making this.

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  16. OMG - this looks soooo very good.

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  17. Whoa! That is like a kaleidoscope of deliciousness! I'm not sure where to look first. What a meal!

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  18. I just love seafood and this recipe looks so delicious. I will give it a tray for sure, thanks a lot for sharing with us.

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  19. Wow!!! looks delicious,Karen! paella is one of my favorite dishes, but I always make a mix paella with chicken, chorizo and seafood.

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  20. Just look at all of that wonderful seafood!

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  21. Oh my God what a great recipe and for sure very delicious. Seafood it is my favourite food so i will give it a try for sure, thanks a lot for sharing this recipe with us.

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