Paella is the National dish of Spain. Studying about Paella and its traditions it can be made with chicken and sausage, seafood or vegetarian. Traditions are different from family to family and from region to region. My seafood paella came out wonderful in flavors. Saffron and smoked paprika are the main spices in this dish. I did not have the luxury of fresh seafood so I used frozen mix with clams, octopus and shrimps. I did have some large Norwegian Shrimps to top with. To make the soffrito I used the vegetables I had, onions, garlic, carrots, green peas, bell peppers, cabbage, chickpeas, tomatoes, broccoli. I also added mushrooms and vegetable broth and of course the rice. I do not have a Paella pan so I made it in my Cast Iron Pan on the stove top. It tasted wonderful. I did not succeed in getting the soccarate (crisp bottom). It might be I need a Paella Pan for that and higher heat than the stove can give. This is what I have read: ”Socarrat tends to form in special conditions: when the rice is cooked in a steel paella pan over a wood fire.” Maybe one day I can make it the traditional way.
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 200 g mushrooms, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp saffron threads
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup dry white wine (if you don´t have wine use broth)
- 1 1/2 cups dry short-grain white rice
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
- 2 bay leaves
- Fresh clams and shrimps or frozen like I had
- Shrimps and clams
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1/3 cup sliced green olives for topping, optional
Prepare all the ingredients first. Chop the onion and garlic finely. Cut the rest of the vegetables to small pieces about 1-2 cm each.
Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large pan (I used my cast iron pan). Do not use a non-stick pan. A steel pan or a paella pan is the best if you have those. Add onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms; cook 7 to 8 minutes, until softened. Add garlic, paprika, saffron, salt, and pepper; cook 2 minutes, until fragrant.
Add wine and cook 2 to 3 minutes, until mostly reduced. Stir in chickpeas, tomatoes, green peas and the rest of your vegetables. Add the rest of the broth and bring to a low boil. Here you can either finish the rest in your pan on the stove top or switch to a oven pan (see vegetarian paella). I finished it in my cast iron pan on the stove.
When the soffrito has come to a boil reduce heat and sprinkle the rice evenly over the whole pan and stir a bit all over so the rice sinks to the bottom. Place parchmentpaper on top to keep the steam inside and the liquid will not evaporate too quickly.
When covered with parchmentpaper let it simmer for about 25 minutes or until the rice is cooked and the liquid absorbed. Do not stir after you have added the rice.
When the rice has cooked add the seafood on top and decorate the shrimps nicely. Let it simmer for another five minutes or so until the seafood is heated.
Meanwhile, combine parsley, lemon zest and juice, and remaining 2 tbsp oil in a small bowl.
Take your paella off the heat when all liquid is absorbed. If you are lucky you might have a crisp bottom as well.
Paella is always served in the pan.
Before serving scatter your mix of lemonjuice mixed with parsley and oil over the whole top, and garnish with olives, if desired.