Oh boy, if you are a fellow carb enthusiast like Adrienne, then Paella is absolutely a must-try dish. It’s often one of the pricier items on a menu because of the seafood, but you can make it home and get way more for your money. Paella can be as simple or complicated as you want to be and it happens all in one pan.
Time: 1 hour
Things to note:
*Spices are to taste, you can find either smoked or sweet paprika, and don’t be afraid to salt the pot because the wine will absorb much of the saltiness.
*You can play with the seafood ratios however you like: other options are mussels, calamari or baby octopus. If you’re worried about the budget, opt for chicken and shrimp instead.
*We prefer to pan sear the seafood separately as it gives a lot more flavor, but other recipes will just cook the seafood atop the paella towards the end. You can also steam the clams in wine and butter separately to cut some of the brininess and add a little richness.
- 3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 medium sized onion, chopped
- 2 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
- 3-4 tbsp butter
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 3 cups chicken broth (or fish or clam broth)
- 1-2 cups white (dry) wine
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp saffron threads
- 1 lb clams, wash them!
- 8-10 scallops
- 8-10 medium sized shrimps
1. Cook the seafood
Use a large nonstick pan and set on medium heat. Add the butter, stirring constantly to keep it from burning. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Pour in 1/2 cup of wine and bring to a simmer, add the clams and cover the pan. They should open in a few minutes, if any don’t open, throw those away. Transfer all the opened clams to a big bowl, drain the liquid to a measuring cup, add the wine to fill it to 1 cup and set aside.
Next, bring the pan to med-high heat, add a little oil to the pan. Set the scallops down individually, flat side down. Give each piece a little space and don’t overcrowd the pan. Sear the scallops to a golden brown on both sides, then remove them from the pan and set aside. After you finish the last scallop, deglaze the pan with a little wine and scrape off all the good browning, save it with the scallops. Next, cook the shrimp in the same fashion, a little browning on either side, set aside with the scallops.
2. Cook the rice
Turn down the heat to medium, throw in the onions and allow them to do the deglazing this time. When the onions start to turn translucent, toss in the garlic and paprika and give it a good stir. After about a minute, add the rice and mix well. Then pour in the broth and the wine+clam liquid, sprinkle the saffron threads across the pan and gently mix everything together. Continue to cook for about 15-20 minutes or until half the liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally. The rice should be cooked at least halfway – try one, it should be edible but not quite ready, if it’s still too hard, you can add a little more wine and cook longer.
At this point we’ll stop stirring the rice and spread it out evenly across the pan so the bottom edges can crisp up. If you don’t like crispy browned rice, then you can continue stirring through the process, but trust us, it’s the best part!
3. Add the seafood
If you haven’t cooked the seafood separately, now is when you’d start to nestle them ontop of the rice and cover the pan to steam them. If you’ve gone the extra mile and browned them, you can basically wait until the rice is just about ready (the liquid is almost all gone) and toss them onto the pan and cover it for about a minute to heat back up and allow the flavors to blend. And that’s it! Serve everyone a big heap full and enjoy. Don’t forget to snap a photo and let us know how your paella turned out!