how I love this dish. It seems super complicated, and to be sure it is PRETTY DARN EXPENSIVE- but in all actuality it’s a one pot meal and pretty simple. Your stomach will be happy and your taste buds will dance even if your wallet is looking a little empty- but hey, I think for special occasions one should drop $100-$200 to feed a crowd and savor these flavors sometimes.
WHAT YOU NEED (ISH)
Traditionally it’s usually a surf OR turf dish, but I like a mix of both: Scallops, sausage, shrimp, and clams are what I go for.
I like some diced onion, canned crushed tomatoes, fresh diced cherry tomatoes, peas, and chopped red peppers.
The main spice factor here is SAFFRON. The most expensive spice in the world, the origins to which…
Just kidding. You came here to read about how to make paella. If you want the history of saffron you can google it yourself.
Anyway, you need saffron, cayenne, paprika, cilantro, sea salt, garlic, and… yeah. Lots of all of that.
Well duh you need a liquid to suspend it all in, so chicken broth is needed. Then you also need rice of course, as it’s a rice based dish. I try to stay low carb and avoid rice as much as I can (I save my rice eating for sushi) because too much of it makes my hands bleed (true story) so I use RightRice which is mostly legume based rice substitute which works pretty darn well.
Now you basically start with sauteeing the meat, then the veggies, then add in the canned tomatoes and the spices. Ones the sausage is looking good, and the meat is getting browned on the edges I add in the chicken broth, and once it gets to bubbling I put the clams in. I put them in one by one, facing upwards, almost completely submerged in the liquid. I will also add in the rice and use a wooden spoon to gently stir it in and push it into the liquid without disturbing the clams too much.
Now the thing about clams is that you need FRESH, and clams are one food you want to be alive when you cook them. Super evil sounding I know, but you want to watch to see if they open while cooking. If they do not open while cooking do not eat them. They likely were already dead, and you don’t know how long they were dead for, so I would be safe and only eat the ones that open when cooking.
Oh I also soak the clams in a bowl of cold water for at least an hour before using them.
After everything has simmered, the clams are open, you can see the rice is cooked and has soaked up the liquid, you’re pretty much ready. Taste for seasoning preference, but you’re ready to go! Also- garnish with lemons and fresh cilantro!
Now I recently read that authentic Spanish paella recipes DO NOT scrape the rice from the bottom of the pan, as you want it to cook together and get ‘crusty’ even. That chewy crusty stuff at the bottom is apparently treasured traditionally. And I am all about that traditional way.
Now my method has yielded beautiful results, and I’m sure there are other, more authentic ways to make it, but this is what I have done and it’s turned out gloriously.
Made paella before? Tell me how it went! Did I miss something crucial? This recipe was created from my brain from a conglomeration of all the recipes I could find on Pinterest.
I’ve had raving reviews for this, and even had people who have had paella authentically in Spain say it’s worthy. I am honored…
The Lord has been kind to give me such a love of food and skill to help love others with it. God created the clams, scallops, shrimp, and chickens for the sausage, and designed our bodies to be nourished by theirs. I want to honor them in how I cook with them, thankful for their lives being given up for mine to continue. It’s beautiful how God gave us food on this earth that nourishes our bodies and honors him, and I feel an obligation to steward my body well. It is not my own, and it is my responsibility to cherish and take care of what he has given me in life. And I want to share that with others.
Till next time, à votre santé and Glory be to God!