Seafood Paella (Paella de Mariscos)

Seafood Paella is one of those meals that just makes me want to throw a party! This is such a popular party food with Cubans in Miami that catering companies in specialize making paellas for big parties.

Paella comes in many varieties. Paella Valenciana is made with chicken, pork and chorizo. Paella Mixta uses meats and seafood and then there’s Paella de Mariscos. You can switch up the seafood based on your budget and preference, but it usually includes shrimp, firm fish and mussels. You can also add lobster tails, stone crab claws and calamari. Since I was in a party mood, I used all of them!

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I’ve often ordered Seafood Paella from my favorite restaurant, but I had never made it before. So I thought it would be a great recipe to tackle with Mami. She’s a great cook and, while it had been years since she had made Seafood Paella, she still had it! I loved watching my mom in her element, in the kitchen, cooking up a storm and telling me what to do!

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I like using the lobster tails because it adds great flavor to this dish. Some recipes call for clam juice, but I would rather use a variety of fish to impart flavor. One of the big lessons I learned about cooking with Mami is to squeeze every bit of flavor from your ingredients. So here’s our version of Seafood Paella, ¡buen provecho!

Seafood Paella (Paella de Mariscos)

  • Servings: “8”-10
  • Difficulty: “intermediate”
  • Print

Seafood Paella is party food, a delicious crowd pleaser with a Latin flair.


Ingredients

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 10 cloves garlic, pressed
  • ¼ red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 4 cups Valencia rice
  • 6 cups water
  • generous pinch saffron threads*
  • 1 lb white fish (cod or snapper is good), cut into 3 inch pieces
  • 2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 lb scallops
  • 4 small lobster tails or 2 medium, cut into sections with tail and legs removed
  • 4 stone crab claws (if it’s in season), cracked
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 12 mussels
  • 2 tablespoons salt, more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • Note: Saffron should turn the rice yellow, but if it doesn’t, I like to add Bijol food seasoning and coloring.

    For Garnish

  • Jarred pimento peppers, cut into thin strips
  • Frozen sweet green peas, thawed
  • Special Equipment

    You’ll need a large paella pan or wide, shallow skillet. I prefer to use a caldero which is a very large pot that you can use to make stews, rice dishes, practically anything!

Directions

Heat oil in paella pan over medium heat. Saute onions, garlic, pepper, and parsley for about 5 minutes, until softened.

Add paprika and stir, cook for one more minute. Stir in tomato sauce and cook one more minutes.

Add the shrimp, lobster and crabs and sauté about 1 minute.

Add six cups and bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling, fold in Valencia rice and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the fish, scallops and mussels and cook until rice is al dente, about 10 minutes or so. Add more water if necessary. The rice should be wet, similar to risotto.

Once the rice is al dente add the garnish and serve. Let’s start the party!


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