Friday June 17, 2011
Romantic Meal for Two: Mixed Seafood Paella
Photography: Terry Dagrosa / Seduction MealsPaella is best when cooked in a paella pan, which is a large, shallow, flat pan that allows the rice to be evenly distributed at the bottom of the pan. As such it absorbs the wonderful flavors imparted by the broth, saffron and sofrito. Also the best part about using a paella pan...scraping the crispy bits on the bottom. Note: there is a point in the recipe when you no longer stir the ingredients so be sure to cook until slightly crispy. When serving this dish, the rice should be dry, not creamy like risotto. The first half of cooking paella is to perfectly flavor the rice, after that you then add the meat, seafood or vegetables within the rice to cook. The whole process is about an hour. Not bad for such a delicious meal!
It was a glorious summer night so I put the paella pan on my BBQ grill for consistent heat under the entire pan. I was thrilled to prepare this dish with my new 15" paella pan. I have made paella before, but working with the right equipment does make a difference. The rice had much better flavor, but then again the ingredients I used were pretty great too. I hope you enjoy this as much as we did! (Full Disclosure: I was given the pan by LaTienda.com).
Photography: Virginia Stellweg / Seduction Meals
Mixed Seafood Paella - Paella de Mariscos
Makes 4-6 servings
Recipe Courtesy of LaTienda.com
- 6 cups clam or seafood broth
- 1 tsp thread saffron
- 1 1/2 pounds firm-fleshed fish, cut in bite-sized pieces
- 1 dozen mussels
- 1 dozen small clams
- 12 large shrimp in shells
- Sea salt
- 2 tbsp parsley, minced
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
- 2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
- 8 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 6 scallions, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 2 cups Bomba or Calasparra paella rice
- Lemon wedges
- Serve with Alioli (garlic mayonnaise)/ See Recipe BeloW
- Heat the broth in a large pot. Stir in saffron.
- Pat fish and shrimp dry between paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and let sit 10 minutes.
- With a mortar and pestle mash parsley, garlic, thyme and 1/8 tsp salt into a paste. Stir in paprika; add water if necessary to form a paste.
- Heat 6 tbsp of oil in 15" paella pan over medium high heat and quickly brown the fish 1-2 minutes. Do not fully cook. Remove to warm platter.
- Add remaining 2 tbsp of oil, onion, scallions and bell pepper to paella pan and cook until the vegetables are slightly softened.
- Raise heat, add tomato and cook until it becomes sauce-like, 2 to 5 minutes.
- Pour in the hot broth and bring to a boil. Sprinkle the rice evenly across the pan. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring rice and rotating pan occasionally.
- Stir in parsley pastime Taste for salt
- Add all reserved fish (but not shrimp). NOTE: Do not stir after this point.
- Lower the heat, continue to simmer until rice is no longer soupy but enough liquid remains to continue cooking the rice (about 10 min.) / (I closed my BBQ lid)
- Add extra liquid if necessary. (I added about 1/4 cup of white white)
- Arrange shrimp, clams and mussels over rice, placing edges of mussel and clam shells so they open facing up. Push them down in the rice a bit.
- Cook, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes until rice is almost done (I closed my BBQ lid)
- Remove pan from the heat and cover with foil. Let sit 10 minutes.
- Garnish with lemon wedges and serve with fresh alioli.
Alioli Garlic Mayonnaise - Alioli
Recipe Courtesy of LaTienda.com
- 1 egg, very fresh
- 2 tbsp chopped garlic
- 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Place the egg and chopped garlic in a blender or food processor. Whirl until garlic is smooth.
- With the motor running, add the oil in a slow stream, until the sauce is thick and emulsified. Add salt to taste.
- The sauce should be creamy and will have a nice garlic bite. If the alioli is runny, this may mean that the egg was old. To fix this problem, either try again with a fresher egg, or add store-bought mayonnaise to the sauce.