This was my first time testing out my new paella pan last summer….A fully loaded seafood paella, well somewhat, lol!….I am certainly no authority on preparing paella. But as I often say to my husband, “How will I know if I never try?”. Try to recreate my version of paella in my very own kitchen, that is. This was actually my fourth or fifth time preparing paella. The first couple of times, I used the widest and deepest pan that I had in my kitchen and cooked it on the stove top. I was very happy with the results, but my goal is to try it in a real paella pan on a wood-fired grill. I have this one friend Jose, who is from Spain, and the pictures of his paella creations are incredible. I will never reach his level of expertise, I just want to feel comfortable that I am somewhat knowledgeable about the basics of preparing a good paella recipe.
Paella Mixta…Valencia Style
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium white onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 serrano pepper, minced
1 poblano pepper, minced
1 orange or red bell pepper, diced
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
4 ounces Spanish chorizo, sliced thin
3 1/2 cups chicken broth (or if possible seafood broth)
1 cup white wine (I used Pino Grigio)
2 cups Arborio rice
1 large pinch of saffron
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
8 ounces large shrimp, cleaned, tails on
6 ounces bay scallops
2 six ounce tilapia fillets, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 dozen mussels, because this was my first time using the mussels in paella, I got a little help from the store and bought frozen, already cooked.
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
6 to 8 Lemon wedges
1. Preheat 3 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the onions, garlic, and serrano chile. Season lightly with salt and pepper and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the poblanos, sweet peppers, and tomatoes and Spanish chorizo. Cook for another 2 to 4 minutes.
2. Add the broth, wine,saffron and paprika. Stir well to combine, taste for salt. Add in the rice and spread out evenly. Cover the pan with foil paper and cook for 14 to 16 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Layer the shrimp, scallops, and tilapia evenly over the top of rice, pushing it down slightly into the rice. Add the mussels, season lightly with fresh lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Cover with foil paper again and continue cooking until shrimp turns pink and mussels open up.
3. Remove from heat and let sit for a good 15 to 20 minutes. Before serving, fluff the rice with a large fork, folding in the seafood and vegetables. Garnish with cilantro and parsley, serve with lemon wedges and hot sauce. Yields 6 to 8 servings.
Tips~ When cooking paella, it is not custom to cover it. But because I was cooking it on an electric stove top instead of on a special made paella burner or wood fired grill, the pan does not heat evenly. While it was cooking, I gently moved the rice from the outer edges towards the center of pan to make sure it was cooking all the way through. My pan burns hotter in the center, creating a crusty layer of rice. No need to panic, this is a good thing when it comes to cooking paella.
Fideo with Shrimp and Mussels. Here is a variation or twist on preparing paella, but using fideo or vermicella style pasta. Click onto picture for the full recipe.
Chicken and Shrimp Paella. My first time preparing paella I kept it pretty simple. I used bone in chicken and jumbo shrimp, alot of peas and carrots on top, lol! But it was so tasty! Click onto picture for full recipe.