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Updated: Jul 19
A simple step-by-step recipe for one of Spain's best dishes!
Ahhh, paella....my favorite dish ever! I'd eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday if i could. It is the best!
Paella is a traditional rice-based dish, in which saffron is used to give it its rich color, from Valencia, Spain. Everyone has their own recipe, and to be honest, you can put whatever you want on it. However, some things are truly required to replicate the dish: rice, saffron, and white wine.
Paella is as individual as the person that makes it. There are no limits as to what you can add. I have eaten paella made with chicken, pork, sausage, lamb, seafood (fish, squid, crab, lobster, mussels, clams, etc...), rabbit, crawfish, vegetables...you name it! There is even a black paella made with cuttlefish and squid ink...and it is delicious!!!
Below is the recipe for one of the many paellas I make on regular basis: a simple seafood paella with prawns, squid, mussels, clams and Andouille sausage. Remember...rice, saffron and white wine are the base for it, after that you can add whatever you want to your paella. The sky is the limit.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves 10 to 12 people
Traditionally this paella is made in a "Paellera" or paella pan, but not everyone has one of those at home so you can use a cast iron skillet to make it as well.
Saffron gives paella its distinctive color. If you can't find any saffron, just use turmeric, annatto powder, or even food coloring if all else fails.
1/4 pound of raw prawns (peeled and deveined)
1/4 pound of raw jumbo shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1/2 pound of squid (heads and tentacles)
1/2 pound of fresh or store-bought frozen mussels (thawed)
1/4 pound of fresh store-bought frozen clams (thawed)
1/2 pound of Andouille Sausage (chopped into small pieces)
5 cups of clam juice or seafood stock
1 cup of dry white wine
1 10 oz. can of whole baby clams (drained)
4 Roma tomatoes (chopped) or 1 small can of crush tomatoes (drained)
1 large Spanish Onion (chopped)
4 cloves of garlic (minced)
1/4 cup of store-bought frozen peas (optional)
20 threads of saffron or 1 teaspoon of annatto seed, or 1 teaspoon of turmeric
3 cups of uncooked rice
1 red Bell pepper (chopped)
1 tablespoon of Salt
1/2 tablespoon of Pepper
1 cup of fresh Parsley (chopped)
4 lemons (halved)
If using saffron start by adding the saffron threads to a 1/4 cup of hot water and let it soak for about 20 minutes. If not, start with Step 2.
If using previously frozen squid, clams and mussels, thaw the unopened packages of squid, clams and mussels in water for 10 minutes. Set aside. If using fresh squid, clams and mussels start with Step 3.
In a paellera or large cast iron skillet, heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil.
Add the red bell pepper, onion, and garlic, tomatoes, and sausage
Cook until onions are translucent (Figure 1).
Add the wine, the clam juice or seafood stock, and 1/4 cup of water with saffron. If not using saffron, add the annatto powder or turmeric now (Figure 2).
Add 1 table spoon of salt, 1/2 tablespoon of pepper, and the rice. Stir well. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low (Figure 3).
Add baby clams and stir well (Figure 4).
Add chopped parsley and mix well. (Figure 5).
Add thawed mussels, clams, squid, prawns, and shrimp. At this point you can add the peas if you wish to do so (Figure 6).
Cover with aluminum foil, and let it simmer for about 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked.
Remove from heat. Garnish with halved lemons and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
Serve and Enjoy!!!
Printable PDF Recipe below: