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Seafood Paella for 2

November 27, 2013

I’ve decided the way flavours combine in the Spanish dish paella is one of my favourite things in the whole world. There’s so much depth to it. And while I used to discount the impact of the little pinch of saffron you add (it’s the world’s most expensive spice), after some experimenting, I appreciate how it adds that extra level of flavour that makes this such an exceptional dish.

This is a modification of Uncle Pablo’s Paella, and I’m afraid this is less of a roadmap than it is directions scrawled on a napkin. But it’s hard to go wrong when cooking paella, you just have to make sure there’s enough liquid and time for the rice to finish cooking, and make sure the seafood is done, but hopefully not over-done. I’ll update this post with some more precise measurements the next time I make this. Which will be soon.

This is a smaller recipe so you don’t need a big paella pan to be able to do this. Any large sauté pan should work. Use whatever seafood / shellfish you have on hand. I had a lobster tail in the freezer that I threw in, in addition to what’s listed here.

seafood paella

Seafood Paella for 2

2 tbsp olive oil
small/medium onion, chopped
good pinch of dried chili flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced
red pepper, chopped
large tomato, chopped
1/3 cup frozen peas
1/2 tbsp paprika
pinch of saffron
1/2 tbsp oregano
bay leaf
salt (up to 1 tsp) and freshly-ground pepper
1/2 cup wine
about 2 cups fish stock or chicken stock (try to have more on hand just in case)
1-1/4 cups short- or medium-grain rice (arborio or calrose)
1 lb. mussels, rinsed and scrubbed if necessary
about 1/3 lb. scallops (I used bay scallops) and about the same amount of raw shrimp, shelled

photo(7)1. Sauté the onion with the chili flakes in the olive oil over medium heat until it’s starting to soften. Add the garlic and red pepper, stir for a couple minutes and add the tomato. Let those start to cook down for a few minutes, then add the peas and the seasonings and combine.

2. Let that cook for a couple minutes, then add your wine. Let that warm up and then add the stock. Once that has come to a simmer add the rice and stir.

3. Give the rice a few minutes to get started, then start adding your seafood. Start with the mussels and give them a few minutes so some start to open. You want to stir around the seafood to help keep it cooking evenly, but if possible you also want to let some rice stay on the bottom of the pan and cook until it’s crunchy. It’s a balancing act, and don’t worry, you can’t really mess it up as long as you don’t serve raw seafood. Also, be ready to add more stock if your rice has absorbed all the liquid before it’s done cooking.

4. Once the mussels are getting along, add the scallops. Let them get started and give them a stir. The shrimp come last, they only take a few minutes to cook–they’ll turn bright pink. Once all your seafood is cooked and the rice is done, you’re ready to serve.

seafood paella 2

One Comment
  1. Sue-On permalink

    Check out the recipe from The Spanish Table:

    I like it because you adjust to the number of people you are serving.

    As suggested, I use the oven to finish. My pan is cast iron, and we all fight for the crust on the bottom;-)

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