Lately I’ve been craving a nice, hot, spiced rice dish. I thought long and hard about what to make, and remembered how much I loved paella, and how long it’s been since I’ve tasted it, (I haven’t had paella since I went backpacking through Spain in 2007!) I had it twice there, the first time was at a touristy restaurant and it was terrible because the rice wasn’t cooked all the way through, which pretty much ruins the dish. The second time, however, was at a small, inconspicuous cafe/restaurant in Valencia, and it was amazing. Richly seasoned and cooked to perfection.

Paella is traditionally made with vegetables, rice, meat and/or seafood, smoked paprika, chorizo sausage, and saffron. The chorizo sausage typically used in paella is different than Mexican chorizo, it is a dried sausage much like salami, rather than the raw Mexican chorizo sausage that requires additional cooking. Much to my chagrin, I was unable to find Spanish chorizo sausage to make this dish, but I figure that most people probably won’t be able to find any either, so I made it with a tasty easy-to-find Italian salami and added a little extra smoked paprika to make up for the lack of chorizo. It is particularly important to use smoked paprika and not regular paprika, as the smoked paprika has a distinct and intense flavor. Think of the difference in taste between smoked salmon and plain salmon. Miles apart. It is also key to use saffron, which is the signature spice of the dish. Unfortunately, saffron is really expensive, BUT, I looked around and found that the best deal for it was at Trader Joe’s, where you can buy a small bottle for $6, which is much less than the $14 bottles that were available at other grocery stores. I also tossed in some miniature heirloom tomatoes to give it an extra punch of color and acidity. It came out looking wonderfully, and tasted amazing, very rich and full of flavor. Hope you enjoy it!

 

Seafood Paella

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Author Eva Kosmas Flores

Ingredients

Stock

  • 2 Tomatoes pureed
  • 6 Cloves Garlic minced
  • 2 6.5 Ounce Cans of Clams, including the liquid from the can
  • 4 Ounces Green Beans
  • 1/2 lb. Shrimp cleaned and deveined
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Parsley
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
  • Water

Paella

  • 1 Yellow Onion diced
  • 2 Medium Tomatoes diced
  • 4 Whole Cloves Garlic
  • 12 Ounces Miniature Heirloom Tomatoes
  • 8 Ounces Salami
  • 1 and 1/2 Cups Rice
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Carrots
  • 1/3 Cup Peas
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Teaspoons Smoked Paprika
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Saffron

Instructions

  1. Begin by making the stock. Heat the garlic and olive oil over in a large stock pot over medium heat for about 4 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and 3 to 3 and 1/2 cups of water. Lower the heat to a simmer and allow the stock to cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Then remove it from the heat and set it aside.
  2. Once the stock is finished, you can begin making the paella. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat the olive oil, garlic, and onions over medium heat in a large dutch oven or paella pan for about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the salami, peas, carrots, and diced tomatoes and continue cooking for another five minutes, stirring every minute. Add the stock, paprika, and saffron and mix well. Allow the mixture to cook for 10 minutes. Add the miniature heirloom tomatoes and the rice and allow the mixture to cook, uncovered, until the rice is done and most of the standing liquid has either evaporated or been absorbed by the rice, about 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the pan from the stove top and place it in the oven. Bake it for 8 to 10 minutes, then remove it and serve immediately.
 
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