Friday, March 4, 2011
Dinner For Two: Seafood Paella
This Valentine's day I wanted to make something a little different. The weather in central Jersey is starting to get a bit more springy but it is still chilly and there is a little snow left on the ground, therefore I was in search of something that felt a bit lighter but was also warm and cozy. When perusing my cookbooks, this dish jumped out at me as the perfect dish for a romantic dinner for two on a not quite spring evening. After making Cioppino I've really been into dishes with lots of different types of seafood. It also reminded me how much I love mussels and now that I know I can cook them at home I figured I'd give this Spanish classic a try. I have to say it also looks really beautiful when it's all composed. So many gorgeous colors and yummy seafood bits.
Seafood & Sausage Paella
2 tbsp olive oil
2 thick cut slices of bacon, diced
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 cups rice (Arborio rice is great)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
2 cups bottled clam juice
2 Spanish chorizo sausages, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 canned whole tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp saffron threads
1/2 lb shrimp
1/4 to 1/2 lb squid
1/2 lb monkfish, cod, or seabass
1 lb mussels
about a 1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
salt and pepper
In a heavy flameproof casserole dish or dutch oven over medium high heat, heat the oil. Add bacon and cook until crisp, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add onion and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and bell pepper and cook until soft, about 5 minutes more. Stir in rice, oregano, and coriander and cook, stirring until rice is opaque, about 2 minutes. Heat stock and addict with chorizo, tomatoes, and saffron. Mix well, cover and cook over low heat until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is almost tender, about 25 minutes. Stir occasionally as the rice cooks and add a splash of water if it becomes dry.
As rice is cooking, prepare seafood and set aside. Shell and devil shrimp. Cut squid into 1/4 inch rings. Cut fish fillets into 1 inch cubes.
Put mussels and wine in a covered pot, discarding any that do not close to the touch. Steam mussels until shells open, about 5 minutes. Discard any that don't open. Remove from heat and set aside. Strain broth from mussels through a fine sieve lined with cheesecloth (a coffee filter works great!).
Add shrimp, squid, fish, peas, and mussel broth to the paella and cook for 5 minutes until fish is cooked through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve paella and top with mussels.
Recipe adapted from The Williams-Sonoma Cookbook: The Essential Recipe Collection for Today's Home Cook
Bon Appetit! Em