If you follow Chew Town on Facebook you would have seen an iphone pic of the paella my friend Tracie (hitherto known as ‘supermum’) taught me to make last week. Supermum has a 2 year old girl, a 5 week old girl and a gorgeous chocolate labrador. I visited her to meet the gorgeous newborn, and whilst there was taught this fabulous recipe for seafood paella. I was in awe of how she managed to tend to all the needs of her two small children while at the same time teaching me this great dish.
Her paella tasted spectacular and I knew after tasting it that I had to try my hand at it as quickly as possible. So yesterday we called Scotty’s mum to come over while I went out to buy some great seafood.
A paella really is a wonderful one pot wonder (technically a ‘one pan wonder’) to feed a crowd. It is easy to make, can be made in large quantities, looks impressive and tastes spectacular – you can’t really ask for much more than that!
The trick to a great seafood paella is ensuring you have good quality fresh seafood (I wanted a fresh blue swimmer crab but couldn’t find one at our local fish shop), great chorizo sausage, and good quality saffron.
I felt like a paella pro in the kitchen given my private masterclass earlier in the week. I loved having a family recipe from someone esle’s cuisine for a change and it felt just as great as cooking the Italian food I am so accustomed to. I suppose it helped that paella requires absorption of stock to cook the rice, just like an Italian risotto – so I wasn’t completely out of my comfort zone.
I delivered the generous paella to the table of hungry diners and served it up (it looks small in the pictures but that’s because the prawns were massive – biggest prawn’s I’d ever seen). After the first bite I realised it tasted just like supermum’s version and I was delighted. The true test was how Scotty’s mum would go given she isn’t really a lover of seafood (except lobster which is every discerning woman’s favourite). Given how much seafood was in it, she ate her whole share – superb!
Now that I’ve had success cooking it for family, I will definitely be busting this out the next time we have many mouths to feed – while seafood can be expensive, the ratio of people fed to seafood cost per pan makes it downright cost effective!
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large chorizo sausage, sliced
1 Spanish onion, finely chopped
1 lge garlic clove, crushed
1 capsicum, 3/4 chopped and 1/4 sliced
Handful continental parsley, chopped (and a few sprigs to serve)
3/4 cup tomato passata
Handful calamari (chopped if large rings)
Handful baby calamari
Pinch red saffron threads
Pinch powdered saffron (for colour)
1 cup calaspera or long grain rice
500ml fish, chicken or vegetable stock
Salt & pepper
1 barramundi fillet, cubed
1 ling fillet, cubed
6 large ocean king prawns
6 large mussels
Heat olive oil in a medium paella pan and cook chorizo until fragrant and caramelised. Add onion and fry until translucent. Add parsley, garlic and chopped capsicum and stir well to combine, frying for two minutes. Add the tomato passata and bring to a simmer.
Add both types of calamari and then the saffron (both threads and powder) and stir until the colour intensifies. Then add rice, barramundi, ling and enough stock to cover all the ingredients. Keep on a low heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until the liquid has been absorbed.
Once absorbed taste the rice. If it still has crunch add more stock and stir occasionally until absorbed. When the rice has almost cooked but still has a soft bite, arrange the king prawns, mussels and sliced capsicums on top of the paella and cover until the seafood on top and rice underneath is cooked.
Don’t worry about not stirring the rice while the seafood on top cooks, the secret to a good paella is having the crispy bits of rice at the bottom of the pan!
Everyday Maven says
Looks amazing – this is one of my favorite one-pot meals! I have to say as the mom to only one child – holy hell – I am impressed with Super Mum!!!! She is pretty awesome.
Purabi Naha says
Wow…this is such a comfort dish! I loved your presentation…it makes me more hungry and now I am sure, I am going to try this recipe. Thanks!
Nice food styling! Really pretty. I've not made a paella in years, and seafood ones are the best. This looks spectacular. Really nice post – thank you.
This looks incredible – how huge are those prawns? Great styling, too!
Thanks Alyssa! Methinks this will fast become one of my favourite one-pot meals too.
I hadn't really thought about it, but it definitely is a comfort dish!
Thanks for the nice words. I am thinking I might try a chorizo and chicken one… but I suspect you are right that the seafood ones are the best!
They were massive Christina! I hadn't seen prawns like that in a long time. I am thinking I'll need to buy some more and try a prawn pasta soon.
Anna @ The Littlest Anchovy says
I have never made a Paella before, this one looks wonderful! I really love your photos!
I love paella! I love it when it has the extra crispy bits at the bottom of the pan and you scoop some up as you scoop some of the rice and seafood! Love your food styling. You sure have an eye for that
Rika Susan @ Juicing says
I have never tried a seafood paella before, but this looks amazing. I have a brother who is absolutely crazy about seafood – making this will sure be a way to get him to adore his sister anew…
Those crispy bits are AMAZING! I never thought I would enjoy crispy near burnt rice so much. Thanks for the kind words 🙂
You should definitely make this for your brother then… you can change the recipe to include all of his favourite seafood. 🙂
Carolyn Jung says
Those shrimp are huge! What a gorgeous paella. Even native Spaniards would applaud this rendition, I'm sure. 😉
Thanks Carolyn. The prawns were massive… and so flavourful! Thanks for the kind words!
Tracie aka Supermum says
Amanda – I made this again the other day and put some chicken winglets in at the same time as the chorizo and then added some scallops at the very end….very tasty! As you said, you can really put in whatever you have at hand or whatever sort of seafood you love – had so much fun having you over the other night. FYI – The traditional Spanish paella is actually made out of rabbit, so maybe you can put some of it in your next paella! Also, thank you very much for your blog – I can't wait to try some of your other recipes (and hopefully learn how to make pasta from scratch from a maestra!). xx
Hi Supermum! Thanks for your comment – I didn't know about the rabbit. My family loves it, so when I am home for Christmas I'll have to make it for them with Rabbit! We will definitely have a pasta making session soon – whenever you have some time! xx
gluten free pies says
A long-cooking short grained rice is the right kind of rice for a paella recipe, no matter what other ingredients are included.
Mommy's Kitchen says
Looks incredibly delicious !!! I’m a true seafood lover !! I will definitely try this !
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Berkeley Paella Restaurant says
You can also make a great vegetarian paella to cut the cost even further. Using fresh, seasonal vegetables (whatever is local) will give you the best flavor, and if you can include a variety of colors, presentation is beautiful. Throw in some chickpeas or white beans to make it extra filling!