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A Culinary Fiesta

Traditional Paella with Seafood and Chorizo for New Year

"The clams, mussels, shrimp, and calamari make for a seafood dish rich in protein, B12, and iron. These components, while satisfying the palate, also offer a low-saturated fat profile and are high in omega-3 fatty acids, promoting heart health. Together with the vegetables in the dish, they create a harmonious fusion of flavor and health, making Seafood Paella a delightful and nourishing culinary experience." - Robin & Suzie

Spanish Paella with Seafood and Chorizo
Serves 6

Fixings:

6 c seafood or chicken stock

1/4 c  extra-virgin olive oil

½ lb prawns, peeled, tail on

½ lb mussels, cleaned, beards removed. Toss any that are open.

½ lb clams, washed (soak in salty water to remove grit) Toss any that are open.

8 oz calamari 

8 oz chorizo link sausage cut into ½“ slices

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp sweet or smoked paprika

1 pinch saffron threads

1 bay leaf

1 c onion, finely chopped

1 c bell pepper, red and green, finely chopped

1 c Roma tomato, very fine dice

2 c Spanish Bomba Rice 

¼ c white wine

¼ c fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 lemon cut into wedges for garnish

Preparation

  1. Heat the chicken stock in a pot over medium heat and reserve, keeping warm.

  2. Add olive oil to a spacious skillet or paella pan. Quickly sauté the shrimp, on both sides until pink, set aside. Next quickly sauté calamari, and set aside.

  3. In the same pan, lightly brown the chorizo sausage, and set aside.

  4. Adding a touch more olive oil if necessary, add the onion and bell pepper, sautéing until the onion turns translucent. Next add the chopped garlic, paprika, saffron, bay leaf and chopped tomato and reserved chorizo. Stir together & cook for 3-4 minutes, allowing the seasonings to become fragrant. Add parsley, salt & pepper, taste, and adjust as needed.

  5. Now add the rice to the pan, thoroughly coat the rice in the sofrito mixture. Pour the white wine over the rice, allowing it to reduce slightly, about 5 minutes. Gradually add the hot fish or chicken broth to the pan, distributing it evenly over the rice.

  6.  Nestle the mussels, clams and reserved prawns and calamari into the rice. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to medium-low. Give the pan a gentle shake to incorporate all of the ingredients, then continue to cook, without stirring, and for approximately 5-7 minutes until the mussels and clams gracefully reveal themselves.

  7. Continue to cook over a medium-low flame until the liquid is absorbed. Test the rice to see if it is tender, if not, add a ¼ cup of hot stock and continue cooking. It’s important to refrain from stirring, so that a crisp, golden crust, the coveted socarrat, forms at the bottom of the pan.

  8. Remove pan from heat and cover with a lid or aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Garnish with fresh parsley and lemon slices. Serve hot.

Notes: 

* The chorizo sausage can be omitted or substituted with 2 boneless chicken thighs, cut into chunks.

* Bomba rice or paella rice is optimal, but if you can’t find it, use a short-grained round rice and reduce the stock by 1 1/2-2 cups.

* The fresh seafood can be substituted with frozen. There are mixed bags including shrimp, mussels, clams, scallops and calamari available in the grocery store freezer section. Be sure to thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

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