The ultimate one-pan crowd pleaser, there's nothing like the satisfying clunk of dropping a piping hot skillet filled with crispy brothy rice, veggies, bacon bits, and plenty of fresh seafood down on the table.
Paella was in the first iteration of our cookbook, and we actually removed it to make space in our second edition. Nevertheless, it's still one of our all-time favorite ways to impress a crowd, our favorite meal to enjoy on the porch for a late summer night. If you've got saffron, great. We usually don't and add a dash of turmeric for color. Paprika and lemon are essential, and get you most of the way there.
Now all that's left to do is do like the Spaniards do: invite some friends over, pass around a bottle of red wine and enjoy many late hours at the late summer dinner table.
Summertime Seafood Paella
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium white onion, diced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large pork sausage, sliced
3 strips of bacon, diced
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1 bell pepper, diced
2 cups short-grain white rice
4 1/2 cups chicken or veggie broth, divided
¼ cup green peas
1 large tomato, chopped
6 frozen jumbo shrimp, peeled and thawed
10-12 fresh mussels (optional)
½ tsp. red chili flakes, plus more to taste
1 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
Zest from one lemon
1 lemon, sliced (can be the same lemon)
¼ cup parsley, chopped (optional)
Preheat a large (14" is ideal) deep skillet with olive oil to medium. Add garlic and onion and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add sausage, bacon, turmeric, and pepper, and cook, until the sausage browns, about 8-10 minutes.
Add rice and stir until each grain is coated.
Add peas, tomato, and other spices and stir until well mixed.
Add the broth and bring everything to a boil.
Turn heat down slightly (medium-low) and let everything cook for 15 minutes. Try to avoid stirring the rice too much so the bottom gets nice and crispy. You may need to add more water or broth. Add more salt to taste according to preference, as well as lemon zest.
Nestle the shrimp and mussels into the rice mixture and cover the whole pan. Let sit for 10 minutes, or until the mussels have cracked open.
Garnish with lemon and parsley, and enjoy with a nice Spanish wine.