I never pass up an opportunity to have Paella when we go out to dinner to a Spanish or Portuguese restaurant even though I always consider trying something new it never ever happens. I love seafood and this dish is a great way to enjoy all types of different shellfish. When I made my list of 30 foods I wanted to make by the time I was 30 two years ago I knew it would be at the top of my list. Unfortunately, I'm going to be turning 31 in March and I've only completed 7 or 8 things. I bought this special 17 inch carbon steel paella pan from Williams Sonoma months ago and patiently waited for the right time to make my favorite dish. Although the rice wasn't as yellow as I was expecting it to be, it turned out amazing and delicious. Paella is great for a dinner party or holiday occasion with friends and family so I knew it would be the perfect recipe to kick off 2013.
3 Links of Chorizo
16 - 20 Shrimp - Cleaned and Tails off
1 Bushel P.E.I. Mussels and / or
1 Bushel of Little Neck Clams
1 lb Bay Scallops
3 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth
1 Cup Arborio Rice
1/2 Tsp Spanish Saffron
1 Yellow Onion - Diced
2 Garlic Cloves - Minced
1 1/2 Cup of White Wine
1 Cup Frozen Peas
1 Roasted Red Pepper - Sliced
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
S & P
Adapted from: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/
Put your pinch of saffron in 1 cup of white wine for at least 10 minutes for it to infuse while you prep your onion and garlic. Pour the chicken broth into a small saucepan and place over low heat so it will be warm when you begin adding it to the paella. Put your paella pan over your largest burner, we have a oval center burner in the middle of our stove so I used that one. If you don't have a center burner you'll need to place it in between two of your largest burners and keep moving the pan around so the flame can get to all areas of the pan and it heats the food evenly.
Over medium heat add the oil to the pan, once it is hot add the onions, cooking until soft and opaque about 5 minutes. Then add the garlic cook another 1 stirring so nothing burns. If you got raw chorzio add it to the pan, if you've purchased an already cooked variety you can add it later since it just needs to warm up.
Next add the rice allowing it to toast in the oil for a minute or two and mix in with the onions and garlic. Stir frequently. Also it's time to turn your chorizo over so it browns on both sides. Pour the wine with the saffron it in into the pan. Stir allowing the rice and aromatics to mix with the wine. Let this boil for a minute or two as the rice begins to absorb some of the wine.
Pour about a cup and a half of the broth into the pan and give it a good stir. Bring to a simmer and allow the rice to continue slowly soaking up the liquids, stir occasionally. If it begins to stick you can add a more broth little by little as it soaks it up. This whole process should take about 20 minutes.
Add your clean and defrosted scallops, shrimp and all but the last 1/2 of a cup of chicken broth to the pan. Give it a few good stirs and allow the seafood to cook for a few minutes. Grind some salt and pepper over the entire pan to season everything. It's now time to steam the mussels and /or clams separately In a large pot over medium heat combine the remaining 1/2 cup of wine and 1/2 cup of chicken broth, bring the liquids to a boil, pour in the mussels and/or clams into the pot and cover. It will take about 3 minutes for them to steam and begin to open up.
Since the rice should be almost done by now soaking up all of the liquids, add your frozen peas. If you have cooked chorzio this is when I would slice and add it to the pan. They will take about 5 minutes to cook and by then your rice and steaming shellfish should be finished. Turn your heat down to low, add your sliced roasted red pepper to the pan. Discard any of the shellfish that didn't open from the pot and add all of the opened steamed shellfish to the pan.
If you used raw chorizo, take them out of the pan, slice them up and add them back in. Stir the entire pan so that everything is completely mixed together. Sprinkle with some fresh parsley and allow it to sit for over for about 5 minutes before serving so all of the flavors can mold together.
Enjoy!! - Nicole
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