Seafood Paella

  • 4 1/2 cups seafood stock
  • 1/2 tsp saffron threads, crumbled and then loosely measured
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 TBS olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 6 oz mild dried chorizo sausage, sliced into thin half-moons
  • 3 cups short-grain rice, such as Spanish Bomba rice or Italian Arborio
  • 1 – 14 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 LB large (21-24 per lb) shrimp, peeled and deveined, with tails left on
  • 1 LB halibut cut into 1-2 inch pieces*
  • 1 LB littleneck clams, rinsed and scrubbed
  • 1 LB sea scallops*
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley, for garnish

*Halibut and /or scallops can be switched to mussels and/or lobster tails

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the stock to a boil. Add the saffron and salt. Turn off the heat and let the saffron steep for at least 15 minutes. Taste and add more salt, if needed. In a 12 to 14 inch stainless steel skillet or cast iron pan, heat the oil over medium heat on top of the stove. Add the onion and red pepper and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Stir in the garlic and chorizo and cook for an additional minute or two. Add the rice, and cook stirring often, for 4 to 5 minutes or until the rice is coated with oil and lightly toasted. Stir in the stock, tomatoes and peas. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, if you like. Spread the rice evenly over the bottom of the pan. Cover and simmer the rice without stirring for 15 minutes, or until the rice absorbs most of the stock.

If the mixture looks dry, pour about 1 cup of hot water over it, but do not stir. Nestle the shellfish in the rice with the hinge sides up so they release their juices into the rice. Arrange the shrimp, scallops and halibut pieces around the shellfish. Cover the pan with foil, and cook for 6-10 minutes until the rice and shrimp, scallops and halibut are cooked through and the shellfish are open. (Discard any shellfish that remain tightly shut once everything else is cooked.) Slip a spatula under the rice and check to see if it turned golden brown. If not, set the pan over the heat, uncovered, for a few minutes to lightly caramelize the bottom. Sprinkle with parsley and bring the whole pan to the table for serving.