You'll never believe how easy it is to make Paella, all in about 30 minutes! This traditional Spanish dish is filled with clams, shrimp & chorizo & served on a bed of saffron-flavored rice.
Today is National Paella Day! If you don't know what paella is and you love seafood, you don't know what you've been missing!
Paella is a well known traditional Spanish dish, made in a large skillet or specialty paella pan complete with rice, meat or fish, and a delicious sauce. There are many variations on the recipe but most people would tell you the best paellas are made in Spain, over an open fire on the beach, with the freshest of seafood and then, as tradition would have it, eaten directly out of the pan.
But if you can't be on the beach, in Spain or elsewhere, you can still make this incredibly delicious dish right in your own kitchen on the stovetop.
I decided to make paella mixta, meaning a combination of meat and fish, when I received a subscription box with some of the ingredients for the recipe plus a paella pan. Now I didn't use the pan, since I already had a good sized skillet with a lid, but it felt traditional none-the-less.
The paprika that was included in my subscription box was called pimentón and this one ingredient can make all the difference in producing a good dish or an incredible dish. To be fair, my husband and I even sampled a regular paprika, a grocery store smoked paprika and this sweet pimentón and the difference was astounding. There is so much more flavor to the Spanish pimentón that you'll never go back to the normal "oh let's just add some color to the top of deviled eggs" brands.
Overall, the dish was surprisingly easy to make, I guess because I had it in my mind that it was super complicated, and it went together in about 30 minutes. And the end result was mouth-wateringly delicious!! I would definitely make this again and again whenever we are in the mood for seafood.
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- 18 clams pre-soaked for 20 minutes
- 6 oz Spanish chorizo, some cut in cubes & some in slices
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- ½ cup red bell pepper, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon pimentón or sweet smoked paprika
- 1 generous pinch saffron threads,, about ½ teaspoon
- 2 medium ripe tomatoes skinned and chopped small
- 2 cups paella rice (Arborio works well too)
- 3 cups chicken stock or 4 cups stock & no wine
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 lb. shrimp, peeled & deveined (tails on)
- 2 Tablespoons parsley
- 2 lemons, cut in wedges
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Prior to starting dish, place clams in cool tap water and let sit for 20 minutes to 1 hour to purge sand. When ready to use, lift each one out individually and scrub outside. They are then ready to cook.
- Heat a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add chorizo and cook for 4 minutes. Remove chorizo but keep rendered fat in pan. Add onion and red pepper and cook until soft & translucent. Add garlic, pimentón or paprika and saffron and cook about 30 seconds.
- Add chopped tomatoes and continue cooking for 3 minutes. Stir in rice. Add chicken stock, white wine, peas and chorizo, stirring together but leaving chorizo closer to top. Add bay leaves to top. DO NOT STIR.
- Bring to boiling, turn down, cover and simmer for 12 minutes. Add shrimp, tails up, and clams, hinge side down, then cover again and cook for another 5-10 minutes or until clams have opened.
- Remove from heat and let sit covered for another 5 minutes to allow rice to finish steaming. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with wedges of lemon.
- Adjust seasoning if necessary.