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EASY SEAFOOD PAELLA

Ingredients

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Seafood Paella is a classic Spanish dish that is meant to be shared, and enjoyed with others. Various regions across Spain will typically have their own traditional Seafood Paella recipe that may, or may not, include chicken and/or chorizo.Although somewhat untraditional, my recipe for Easy Seafood Paella is outstanding. By now, you should know that I always try to put a little spin on my recipes, to suit my liking. Honestly, I woke up this morning wanting to make this again. Even though this recipe is fairly easy to prepare, it will take some time to prep, and cook. Believe me, it will be worth every single second.

Imagine having a few guests over for dinner and preparing this Easy Seafood Paella around the grill with a couple bottles of fabulous red wine. This recipe will easily feed four to six adults. It truly is a one-pan wonder.

Of course, I created a short video on TikTok making this fabulous dish. See recipe below to view. If you have not yet signed up for this social media platform, use my code 5SSIS800K0H06 to create an account and follow me, Charlotte Fashion Plate.

a pan of easy seafood paella filled with mussels, clams, lemon wedges and shrimp sitting on blue concrete

HOW TO MAKE EASY SEAFOOD PAELLA

PREP THE INGREDIENTS

Prior to even lighting up the grill, or heating up the stovetop, be sure to first prep the ingredients. Have the bacon diced and the garlic and shallots minced. Another important step is to prep the seafood. Rid the clams and mussels of any dirt, or grit. For a complete guide on how to clean clams/mussels, click here.

Rinse the scallops and remove the foot. If you are using the large scallops like I did in this recipe, cut in half. For fish, cut into pieces. Cut the squid into rings. Feel free to toss in a few of the tentacles. Purchase shrimp that is already peeled and deveined. This will significantly shorten your prep time.

Lastly, try not to get “hung” up on the ingredient list. This recipe for Easy Seafood Paella is more focused on technique. If you notice the rice is absorbing the liquid too fast, feel free to add a touch more stock. Let your tastebuds be your guide. You got THIS!

PAELLA PAN

In my opinion, in order to create the most perfect Easy Seafood Paella, a Paella Pan is key. Honestly, they are relatively inexpensive. The Paella pan is typically 2″-2 1/2″ deep and is also wider than most cooking pans. It is constructed to perfectly cook (and toast) the rice for the most perfect Paella. If you must, substitute with cast iron. Keep in mind, using any other type of pan may warrant a slight change in the cooking method described here.

TO GRILL, OR NOT TO GRILL THE EASY SEAFOOD PAELLA

Traditionally, Paella is prepared outdoors, over hot coals. Alternative cooking methods, such as a gas grill, or even the stove-top will do. Basically, you just need to be able to regulate the heat source.

THE BASE

So, here is how I took this recipe for Easy Seafood Paella for a bit of a spin. The base included a few strips of bacon that I rendered down prior to adding the garlic, shallots (instead of onions) and anchovies. The smokiness and saltiness of the bacon added another dimension of flavor.

Ok, so I know I am going to get this question. Why did I not use saffron? Basically, I did not want to. As mentioned above, this is my take on a traditional recipe. Crushed red pepper flakes were used as a substitute. By all means, feel free to use saffron.

WHAT KIND OF RICE TO USE FOR EASY SEAFOOD PAELLA

Why is the selection of rice so important? In the final stages of preparation, you will be turning up the heat just a touch to “toast” up the bottom layer. The “socarrat” is the most coveted part of this dish. Most importantly, once the rice is initially toasted, be sure to evenly distribute the rice in the pan. After you add the liquids, the rice may move just a touch. If necessary, evenly distribute again. This will be the LAST time you will be stirring (moving) the rice.

Many would agree that the choice of rice is the one of the most important components of making Paella. The rice should be short-grained, and slightly rounded. This type of rice structure will easily absorb the liquid, but also retain a firmness.

Bomba is a Spanish rice that is typically used to make Paella. Since I could not locate Bomba, I was thinking of using either Basmati, or Jasmine. However, I came across this medium grain rice from Goya. It worked beautifully to create this Easy Seafood Paella. For a list of other Paella rice alternatives, see this article from The Spruce Eats.

FRESH QUALITY SEAFOODAND SUBSTITUTIONS

Another very important part of this recipe, is to use super fresh, high-quality seafood. Nothing can ruin a dish quicker than using seafood that is of poor quality.

Traditionally, head-on prawns would be used. I substituted with tail-on shrimp that was peeled and deveined. Although most recipes do not include clams, I decided it was a must for me. You probably already know about my addiction to clams.

Instead of using a white fish to create this Easy Seafood Paella, I used U10-U12, dry-packed scallops. Halibut, seabass, and/or monkfish are more traditional and are great substitutes for the scallops.

seafood cooking in a paella pan with rice on a grill

TO FINISH AND SERVE THE EASY SEAFOOD PAELLA

Be sure to turn up the heat in the last few minutes of cooking to put a nice crisp on the bottom layer of rice. Place this beautiful Easy Seafood Paella in the middle of the table (served in the pan) for all of your guests to enjoy. Not only is it super tasty, this dish is very pleasing to the eye. It’s quite ok if phones eat first!

As mentioned above, is a one-pan wonder! There is absolutely no need for a side dish. Grab a few bottles of great wine and possibly a baguette and ENJOY!

LEFTOVERS AND REHEATING

If there are any leftovers, which I highly doubt. They will last in the fridge up to two days. I would recommend removing the clam and mussel meat from the shells prior to storing. To reheat, I would highly recommend NOT using the microwave. Stovetop or oven will work perfectly. Freezing leftovers is not really an option.

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a pan of easy seafood paella filled with mussels, clams, lemon wedges and shrimp sitting on blue concrete

EASY SEAFOOD PAELLA


  • Author:Charlotte Fashion Plate
  • Prep Time:10 minutes
  • Cook Time:30 minutes
  • Total Time:40 minutes
  • Yield:6 servings 1x

Description

Although not traditional, I think you will love my version of Easy Seafood Paella. The most perfect rice combines beautifully with super fresh seafood. It will have you wanting more. Follow this recipe and technique to achieve the most perfect rice and seafood combination.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 strips thick-cut bacon, diced
  • 2 TBLS olive oil, plus
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 anchovy filets in oil
  • 2 C Bomba or short-grained rice
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 C chicken stock, plus
  • 1 8oz. bottle clam juice
  • 1/2 C dry sherry wine
  • 1 C crushed roma tomatoes
  • 8 scallops, cut in half
  • 1/2 lb. squid tubes, cut into circles
  • 1 dozen littleneck or middleneck clams, cleaned and rinsed
  • 1/2 to 1 lb. mussels, cleaned and rinsed
  • 1/2 lb. tail-on shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 6 lemon wedges
  • 1/2 C fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. Heat up grill or stovetop to medium.
  2. Start rendering the bacon in a Paella pan.
  3. Add the anchovies and break up to start melting.
  4. Add in the olive oil.
  5. Add in the shallots and garlic. Cook for about three minutes to soften. Do NOT brown.
  6. Add in the rice, kosher salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper and bay leaves.
  7. Allow the rice and spices to toast up for a few minutes.
  8. After toasting, distribute the rice evenly in the pan.
  9. Pour in the chicken stock, clam juice, dry sherry and tomatoes.
  10. Evenly distribute the rice one last time. You will not be moving or stirring the rice again.
  11. Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes.
  12. While the rice is simmering, put a bit of a char or grill marks on the shrimp. Do not fully cook. Transfer to a plate and reserve.
  13. Check the liquid level of the rice. You may need to add a touch more chicken stock.
  14. Place the scallops. Allow them to cook for a few minutes before flipping.
  15. Flip the scallops
  16. Add in the squid, clams and mussels. Place lid and allow the clams and mussels to open.
  17. The time it takes to open up the clams and mussels will be enough to cook the squid.
  18. If you find the clams and/or mussels are having a difficult time opening, place on the grill and close lid.
  19. Transfer any clams/mussels back to the dish.
  20. Add the shrimp and allow to finish cooking in the pan. The shrimp should not longer be translucent.
  21. Turn up the heat just a touch to achieve a nice crispy rice layer on the bottom.
  22. Garnish with fresh lemon wedges and fresh parsley.
  23. ENJOY!

Notes

SEE POSTFOR HELPFUL TIPS

Keywords: how to make easy seafood paella, how to make seafood paella, what is paella, what kind of seafood to use in paella, what kind of rice to use in paella, is paella easy to make, what kind of pan to use to make paella,

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