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Valentine's Day Dinner-In Pt 9: Seafood Paella


  • 1 cup bomba or Arborio rice

  • 1/2 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • 1/2 pound mussels, cleaned and debearded

  • 1/2 pound clams, scrubbed

  • 1/2 pound squid, cleaned and sliced into rings (optional)

  • 1/2 pound firm white fish (such as cod or halibut), cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 1/2 cup peas (fresh or frozen)

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 large tomato, diced

  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced

  • 1/2 cup green beans, trimmed and halved

  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 4 cups vegetable or seafood broth, kept warm

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

  • Salt and black pepper to taste

  • Olive oil for cooking


1. Prep Seafood:

  • Ensure all seafood is cleaned and prepared. Season the shrimp and fish with salt and black pepper.

2. Infuse Saffron:

  • In a small bowl, combine saffron threads with a few tablespoons of warm water. Let it infuse while you prepare other ingredients.

3. Sauté Aromatics:

  • In a large paella pan or a wide, shallow skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onions and sauté until translucent.

  • Add minced garlic and cook for an additional minute until fragrant.

4. Add Bell Pepper and Green Beans:

  • Stir in sliced red bell pepper and halved green beans. Cook for 3-4 minutes until they begin to soften.

5. Incorporate Tomatoes:

  • Add diced tomatoes to the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the tomatoes break down and release their juices.

6. Add Rice and Spices:

  • Stir in the bomba or Arborio rice, smoked paprika, sweet paprika, and ground turmeric. Coat the rice with the aromatic mixture.

7. Pour in Wine:

  • Pour the dry white wine into the pan, stirring until the wine is mostly absorbed.

8. Add Saffron Infusion:

  • Pour in the saffron infusion, including the saffron threads. Mix well to distribute the saffron's vibrant color and flavor.

9. Pour in Broth:

  • Gradually pour in the warm vegetable or seafood broth, one ladle at a time, stirring constantly. Allow the liquid to be absorbed before adding the next ladle. Continue until the rice is almost cooked.

10. Add Seafood and Peas:

  • Gently nestle the shrimp, mussels, clams, squid, fish, and peas into the rice. Arrange them evenly across the pan.

11. Finish Cooking:

  • Continue to cook over medium heat until the rice is fully cooked, and the seafood is cooked through. The liquid should be mostly absorbed, and the rice at the bottom forms a golden crust, known as "socarrat."

12. Garnish and Serve:

  • Garnish the Seafood Paella with chopped fresh parsley and lemon wedges.

  • Serve directly from the pan, allowing everyone to enjoy the socarrat at the bottom.

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