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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Simple Seafood Paella

We live in Florida, where seafood is plentiful.
 And we truly love seafood.
 There are dishes so special, you just have to answer the call.
 And since my husband is Spanish,
there's only one thing to do...
Don't be!
We've got the easiest recipe ever to put this traditional Spanish
concoction on your table and make the whole family swoon.
Special enough for company, this version is easy enough for a week night.
Paella often also has chicken or sausage, but this one is all seafood.


  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup minced onions
  • 1 each small-sized sweet red and green bell peppers, seeded, and cut into strips
  • 1 cup drained, chopped canned tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups long-grain rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground saffron or saffron threads
  • 5 to 6 cups simmering vegetable stock
  • 12 extra-large shrimp in their shells, shelled and deveined, setting the shells aside
  • 12 hard-shelled clams, such as littlenecks, scrubbed
  • 12 mussels, scrubbed
  • 8 ounces of crab claw meat
  • 12 ounce salmon filet, seared rare
  • 1 can of black olives
  • 1 cup peas
  • Lemon wedges, for garnish
  • Minced fresh parsley to garnish
We're going pair this with a little Cabernet.
Actually, Cabernayyyyyyyy.
It's alcohol removed.
The only real hooch goes in the food.

First things first, we're going to make a sofrito.
It sounds scary, but it's simple.
 In a heavy 12-inch skillet heat 3 tablespoons olive oil until hot, add the onions, and pepper strips and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, garlic, and thyme and cook, stirring for 5 minutes more, until most of the liquid in the pan evaporates and the mixture is thick.

Dried thyme will work if you don't grow herbs.
That's what we're looking for.
Transfer to a plate and deglaze pan with 1/2 cup dry white wine.
Deglaze simply means pouring a liquid into a hot used pan to clean it and start a sauce.
Scrape the bits, or fond, off of the bottom with a wooden spatula.
Stir to heat the wine.
Add the shrimp shells and the vegetable stock.
A little sprinkle of sea salt for flavor...
...and let this simmer away, making a simple, rich, delicious seafood stock.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a 14-inch paella pan or large dutch oven, which is what I used, combine the sofrito, rice, and the saffron.

Skim the shells out of the stock.
Pour in 5 cups simmering stock and, stirring constantly, bring to a boil over high heat. Add the olives and peas. Remove the pan from the heat immediately and season with salt.

Arrange the seafood on top of the rice. Set the pan on the floor of the oven or the lowest shelf and bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Cover and bake for 5 to 10 minutes more or until all the liquid has been absorbed by the rice and the grains are tender but not too soft. If necessary, add some water if the rice needs to be more soft.
 Do not stir the paella once it goes in oven.
What you have at this point is serious one dish heaven.
A little fresh fruit salad on the side,
and you have a dish that could easily be your Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fishes
standard with a little tweaking.
Bonus points for it being healthy and low fat.
Dig in; I have some real wine for you guys.


Danni@SiloHillFarm said...

Oh to live near the ocean where that seafood is plentiful!! This looks delicious and I'm taking this recipe on vacation when I go near an ocean....where seafood is plentiful!

Dharma said...

YUM! Can you send Thom to Canada to make that face for me? LOL I will make this, my guys will love it....

Anonymous said...

Oh hey, it's Publix! One thing I adore about visiting Florida is the ample seafood options.