Andalucía Seafood Paella

 
 
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Technically the Valencian style paella is the original and only true “paella”—all others are simply Spanish rice dishes. Paella is a simple dish, and meant to use up vegetables and stocks you have sitting around.

I was taught this dish by an Andalucían native in Málaga. She explained that of course there is a traditional taste and ingredient theme you want to adhere to, however above all, this recipe varies depending on the season, what is fresh in the market, and what you have sitting in your cupboards. What does this mean? Well, if you don’t have a yellow pepper—don’t sweat it. Only a half onion? That’s fine! Vegetable stock instead of chicken stock? Use it up!

Note: You can add more seafood, chicken, and pork bits if you’d like! Violetta didn’t have any sitting around, so we omitted those components.

  • 1 lb raw, cleaned shrimp

  • 6 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 green bell pepper, cut in pieces

  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut in pieces

  • 1 red bell pepper, cut in pieces

  • 1 poblano pepper, sliced

  • 2 cloves garlic, slivered

  • 8 ounces clam juice

  • 1 large tomato, peeled and chopped

  • 1 white onion, minced

  • 2 cups chopped broccoli, optional

  • 1/2 cup shelled peas (or green beans)

  • 6-7 cups chicken stock

  • 2 1/2 cups medium-short grained Spanish rice

  • 1/2 tsp saffron, crushed

  • 1/2 tsp paprika

  • 2 tsp salt

  • Black pepper

  • 1 lemon, cut in wedges

  • Fresh parsley

Instructions

Heat the oil in a paella pan, large frying pan or flat-bottomed wok, add the peppers, garlic and onion, then the tomatoes, broccoli, and peas. Measure out 6 cups of chicken stock and the clam juice, add it to the pan and bring to a bubbling boil. Stir in the rice with the peeled shrimp.

Combine the crushed saffron, paprika, salt and pepper in a cup and dissolve in a little water; stir it into the rice. Cook briskly for 10 minutes, then top with a few large pieces of shrimp and reduce the heat (you’ll want to flip the pieces of shrimp after about 5 minutes to ensure both sides of the shrimp are cooked).

Cook for a further 8-10 minutes, without stirring. Add a little additional liquid to prevent the rice from scorching. Allow to rest 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with lemon wedges and fresh parsley.

 
 
Theresa Cantafio