Wednesday, January 27, 2010

1/27/10 - Paella....any way you pronounce it!

Today I was getting ready to make Paella for the first time I had a good laugh when I searched for a recipe. I am usually a fan of Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa) and I saw that she had a pretty popular recipe posted on the Food Network site from her Barefoot Contessa at Home cookbook. Of course that was one of the recipes that I searched on and I came to this interesting discussion on Ina's accent / pronunciation of certain words (Martha Stewart is not spared either). Pie-ella or Pie-aye-ya doesn't matter to me and to be honest and now that I have said this word about 100 times to myself while cooking I don't even know how I say it anymore!

As always I didn't follow this recipe exactly - as some mentioned in the comments lobster seems a little rich for such a strongly flavored dish and well I didn't have any on hand. I did however have more than enough clams and muscles! So many in fact that I had to actually take another pan out to cook them all. In order to make this dish light but satisfying I decided to cut down on the amount of rice that I used but added quite a lot of seafood. My paella included 1/2 of an andouille sausage (which was spicy!), muscles, clams, scallops, haddock and delicious. The flavor of the sausage might have moved this paella into the cajun style of cooking rather than traditional spanish so I guess this is more of a fusion type dish.

Cajun Paella
1 c paella rice (many other recipes call for basmati or other long grain white rice)
3 c chicken broth
1/4 white onion - diced
1/4 red bell pepper- diced
1/4 green bell pepper - diced
3 cloves of garlic - crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp saffron
1 tbsp smoked paprika
salt & pepper
1/2 andouille sausage - diced
1/2 lb haddock -diced
1/2 lb scallops - bay or diced
1/2 lb jumbo shrimp - shelled
12 little neck clams
12 muscles

1) in small pan heat chicken broth and saffron
2) in a frying pan or paella pan - add oil and sweat onions and peppers
3) add garlic - careful not to burn it
4) add rice to mixture - coat with oil - mix for about 7 min till completely coated
5) add 2 c of the chicken broth - stir to evenly distribute - allow to cook 15 min without stirring or disturbing
6) in a separate stir fry pan add the remaining broth and allow to reach boiling - add the clams and muscles and cover to steam
7) add diced fish, shrimp and scallops to the top of the rice mix - cover and let cook 10 min
8) shut off heat on paella pan and allow to sit for 10 min
9) remove open clams/ muscles and discard any that did not open
10) gently mix seafood into rice mixture, add paprika, salt and pepper (crushed red if you like) and serve
11) serve a spoonful of rice mixture topped with the clams/ muscles


Janice said...

This looks great, I like how you added more seafood in there, that's something I would have done as well. I also like the cajun flavors.

Terra Wellness said...

i love love love paella so much! Stephen makes a great paella. And he's obsessed with curing his paella pan...

Now I need to bug him to make me some because the picture of your paella made me drool!!!

Carla said...

thanks terra! I think I still need another trial or two before I am happy with it -- I used a little too much broth on the rice and so there wasn't the nice crust at the bottom.... I did oil the pan though before I put it away

and thanks I thought jeremy did a great job on the photo too but it got rejected b.c of the lighting/sharpness on two of the food sites!

Gabriella said...

Dear Carla'stastytreats, the cajan paella dish looks incredible. I like the idea of using clams instead of lobster and am still trying to figure out how this is pronounced too! OMG! Incredible presentation. Loved your site, very professional. Photos were crisp and clear. Recipes concise and easy to read. I shall be back for a bite of more.
Thank you for sharing.
Cheers, Gaby
You can visit me at

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