Seafood Paella

A Happy New Year one and all.  I hope 2016 brings everyone good health, peace and contentment.  I can hardly believe we are at the start of a new year already.  The weather has been simply amazing in our neck of the woods – it is January and not a snowflake in sight, although I must say it has gotten a lot colder compared to the unseasonably warm temperatures we experienced in December.  With the cooler weather brings comfort foods and today I present a seafood paella transporting you to Spain, where this dish gained its popularity.  Paella is known to have made its debut in the Valencia region of Spain back in the 1800’s; it combines both the Roman and Arabic cultures.   Historically paella was made with leftovers and depending on the particular region in Spain, seafood, chicken, chorizo and even rabbit were added to this rich one-pot dish.

I had always wanted to take a lesson or two experiencing various cuisines whenever we traveled, and Madrid allowed me this opportunity about 7 years ago.  I made this dish over the Christmas break, it brought back warm, wonderful memories of our visit there.  My daughter who lived in Spain for a couple of years always brought me Spanish saffron and smoked paprika whenever she came home for a visit, so I have my own secret stash.   You will find pictures of me at the bottom of this post learning the authentic way of preparing paella and also sangria.  Here is the chef’s recipe.  Do not feel intimidated if you do not have all of the ingredients, you can always compromise.   ~Serve the paella warm with your favorite white wine~

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Seafood Paella

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil
  • 7 oz. chicken
  • 7 oz. calamari
  • 7 oz. white fish
  • 7 oz. prawns
  • 8 oz. mussels
  • 8 oz. clams
  • 1.5 oz. peas
  • 3 oz. green pepper
  • 3 oz. red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 spoons of fried tomato sauce
  • 14 oz short-grain rice or one ladle per person
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of saffron threads soaked in water
  • pinch of smoked paprika
  • 1.8 pints of chicken/shell stock

Method

  1. Peel the prawns, clean and cook the mussels and clams in water until they open, before removing one shell and using for garnish.  Use this same water to make a stock with the prawn shells which you will later add to the rice.
  2. Dice the peppers, garlic, chicken and calamari.
  3. Place the frying pan or “paellera” over a low-medium heat and add the oil.  When hot, add the garlic, the green and red pepper to form the base of the “sofrito”.
  4. Add the chicken, white fish, the calamari, the prawns and the peas.  Stir the ingredients well to prevent burning.  Add the rice and the fried tomato sauce and continue to stir-fry.  Add the chicken stock/shell stock, salt, saffron, smoked paprika.  Cook over high heat for 20 minutes until the rice starts to rise above the stock, (shaking the pan, not stirring) from side to side when the stock bubbles.
  5. Decorate with mussels and prawns.
  6. Bake in the oven at full heat for 5 minutes and then rest and cover before serving.

Here’s a picture of the paella I learned with the chef in Madrid 7 years ago.  The presentations are always elaborate.

IMG_4915Learning to make sangria the Spanish way.

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Linking this post to Angie’s  FF 101  co-hosts, Jhuls and Mr Fitz.  Thanks guys for hosting us, Happy New Year to all.

 

73 comments

  1. What a beautiful dish Loretta! I just love the way that all of the seafood adorns the other ingredients. I would certainly love a dish. How fortunate to actually learn to make it in Spain! We are in the negative winter digits right now so my brain can’t get beyond bone warming recipes. Do you have any adventures planned for 2016 yet?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Julie, love seafood so this was right up my alley. Actually I had booked the class from here, there were 4 other participants or so I was told, when I got there, it seemed all 4 had cancelled, so to my luck I got a great private lesson, a tour of the kitchen and was sent home with a paella pan that was about 100 years old :). No immediate plans yet, but perhaps Europe again. How about you? Stay warm and cozy!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh that pan is a keepsake! What a wonderful memory. We are going back to the Dominican Republic and will get down to see Mike in Florida, but beyond that who knows. I’d like to take more shorter trips but planning isn’t always our strong suit unless it is for a bigger get away.

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  2. Loretta,
    Great post! Love the recipe and your photos! How lucky are you to learn the authentic recipe for Paella and Sangria from the chef! Not to mention having a loving daughter who gets you saffron and paprika from Spain:)
    I like paella a lot but am not a calamari person. Will make this recipe minus the calamari. I like how you said that we could substitute other sea food. Your presentation is awesome and mouth watering!
    And btw, you look so gorgeous in the pictures that you are taking the focus away from the paella.Trust me, it takes a really stunning beauty for me to look away from food!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sandhya, thanks for stopping by, as always I appreciate your comments, both positive and negative. I did not have calamari either, but I know the chef added that when I got the lesson. I’ve seen so many variations on this popular dish, so truthfully you could add anything. You are too kind in your last paragraph, that was 7 years ago, I feel ancient now :)). I hope you enjoyed the holiday season with your family.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Roy, and a very Happy New Year to you and Thelma too. You must have signed up for my blog posts? Thanks, truly appreciate that and enjoy hearing feedback from my Readers.

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  3. Yaay! One of my favorite dishes. I have actually made chicken paella in the past as I didn’t have any seafood items. I do love seafood paella only thing I don’t eat are the mussels. hehe. How wonderful to have had a cooking class one on one! I have always wanted to do that in one of our future trips. Sangria? Who doesn’t love that? Thanks for the smiles today. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Belle, you can actually add anything your lil heart desires in a paella. Chicken paella sounds wonderful too. Yes, you should definitely try a cooking class on one of your travel adventures, I’d love to do that again. Love sangria in the summer time, again it is such a versatile drink. Thanks for popping over, enjoy the rest of your week 🙂

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  4. I absolutely loved that first picture – made me want to pack up and move to Spain right away … Lucky you to have had the chance to learn to make it. What a great start to 2016, looking at such a droolsworthy post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ginger. Loved the visits in Spain each time we traveled. Would love to experience some more cuisines on our future travels. Thanks for stopping by Ginger, I hope your new year has started off with a bang!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Freda – anyone who hails from Goa has got to love seafood eh? I too love it! I’d love to experience some more cuisines from around the world by learning from the locals. By the way, a Goan friend of mine from Canada called me last night and we were talking about blogs. I mentioned your blog to her and she was curious to see it, so I sent her the link. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Loretta, I traveled to Spain for three weeks just three months ago (Sept~Oct). I had paella in Valencia and one more place. Believe me, not as elaborate as you have it here. The history of the food is pretty interesting. I love, love, love your photos, you hot mama! How wonderful that you were able to get a cooking class while there. 🙂 p.s. These photos are amazing. So clear and so real!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh lucky you Fae – loved Spain each time we visited our daughter when she lived there for a couple of years. We visited Malaga, Barcelona and Madrid and some of the smaller towns in between. Thanks for your lovely comments, I still struggle with food photography, but I’m getting there I think. Thanks for the visit, I hope your new year has started off well.

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    1. Thanks Lili, I know you probably love paella too being right there in Spain. Wow, it seems we lost contact along the way somewhere…..are you still creating beautiful desserts and cakes? I’ll have to slip over to yours soon and take a peek for myself. Happy New Year to you too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Loretta! Yes, I’m still making cakes. And yes, paella’s one of my favourite dishes in Spain. I enjoyed looking at yours! 🙂

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  6. Paella is one of the things I’d want to learn. Yours looks beautiful and delicious. I love the photos and thank you for sharing them to us. Of course, thanks for the Paella, too! 😀 Happy 101th, Loretta and I hope you enjoy the party. 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jhuls, and thanks for co-hosting yet again, you’re a star!! Paella is not that difficult, just time consuming trying to get it all together, I hope you do get to try it someday. Happy FF 101 to you too, and enjoy the weekend.

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    1. Well, there is a bit of chicken in the paella Mr. Fitz (if you can find it). Truthfully paella can be made with anything and everything you have leftover in your kitchen. Not a seafood lover??? Oh my, love, love, love my seafood. Thanks for co-hosting this week, I can’t believe you were one of the first ones at the Fiesta…..good on you! Cheers (she says waving a glass of sangria) 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Judi, yes actually I did have some chorizo I wanted to add, but did not in the end. Too bad mussels and clams don’t agree with you. Really paellas are so versatile you can just about add anything you have that has been leftover. I had chicken in there too. Thanks for stopping.

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  7. I love seafood, paella, and pretty much anything Spanish. It looks as if you have mastered this excellent cuisine. In fact, it makes me want to dust off my paella pan and give this recipe a try.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh definitely give it a go Hilda, especially since you’re the Foraging Queen. 🙂 Mostly paellas started out with leftovers and then perhaps got more elaborate with all that yummy seafood?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you Mollie, I think the mussels were the star of the dish. The contrast against the saffroned rice really makes a statement in this favorite Spanish dish. Thanks for popping by 🙂

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  8. Wow this looks so amazing Loretta! I’ve always wanted to make paella because I love risotto but never had the courage to try it out! Your recipe look so simple and delicious so I think I will be able to manage! Thanks so much for sharing and have a fabulous weekend! Happy FF

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Cynthia. I too have always wanted to make risotto, and probably haven’t because of those same reasons. Paella is so versatile, you can put your own spin on it. Just remember to use short-grain rice, I’ve used that same rice when making sushi too. I’ll be anxious to hear if and when you try it. Thanks for stopping by and Happy FF to you 🙂

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    1. Thanks Naina, so happy that you stopped by and commented on the paella. I’ve always wanted to learn a particular cuisine from the locals whenever we globe-trot, and it felt very special getting a very private and personal lesson up close. Enjoy your week. 🙂

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  9. Hi Loretta. First of all, Happy New Year to you ! Enjoyed reading your post and am so glad that I found your blog . Though I am a vegetarian, I can say that this dish must have tasted simply great. You are lucky to have learnt the authentic spanish style dishes from the chef. Happy Weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Uma. Welcome to my blog, I hope you’ll stick around :). Paella is such a versatile dish that I’m sure you can make it to suit your own tastes. Yes indeed I really enjoyed that one-on-one lesson for a Spanish chef, I hope to take advantage of more courses like that whenever we travel. I’ve tried to check out your blog and add you, but unfortunately I am not getting anything except your gravatar when I click on your name?

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  10. absolutely stunning visually and downright droolworthy…. loving the recipe….might try one with just veggies and prawns….but those mussels look so pretty. Amazing you could learn the authentic recipe….My sister makes a mean Paella but she puts a foil on the pan and slow cooks it instead of baking it :)…..must try ur way…
    http://www.mumbaitomelbourne.com/food-and-health-blog-posts/matki-chi-usal-moth-beans-usal

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Sharvari. I’m sure you can make the paella with just veggies and prawns like you suggest, paellas are so versatile that way. Yes, the mussels did give it a dramatic look against that yellow saffroned rice didn’t it? I hope you get to try it out. Thank you for popping over, I hope you are doing well in Melbourne 🙂

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    1. Yeah, you said it Nandini. Yesterday I was craving a whole fish, so I went to the ethnic market and bought a mullet, I just doused it with olive oil, salt and pepper and some tomatoes. I was in Goan heaven :). My husband is not too comfortable picking the bones off whole fish like I am, ha ha!

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  11. It’s a good thing I am reading this post late Loretta or I might just had to crash your paella party! LOVE paella. I bought an authentic and very $ pan but only used it once for a paella party, shame on me! Need to dig it out and make this recipe. I was just gifted some beautiful saffron from Iran. Why does it get soaked first in water? I have. A shortcut paella recipe I make more often but you’re inspired me to make the real deal. Fun pics of you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Johanne. I would love to see your shortcut paella recipe. It was quite something learning this dish from the chef in Madrid. They then gifted me with a very old paella pan, it looked about 100 years old :). When I came back to the States, I gathered all my girlfriends together and we cooked paella together, the Spanish way, of course fueled by lots of sangria, which I also learned how to make. The reason they soak the saffron threads is because it will expand to one and a half times their size and also it allows the color to disperse throughout the dish.

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