Nothing says let’s stay in and stay warm over a stunning, homemade Spanish Paella dish with bright, vibrant colours and seafood. With rich favours and the perfect amount of heat, this classic dish will win your hostess with the mostest badge and is the greatest, unconventional way to celebrate the Autumn season.
All it took the was some major jet lag and waking up hungry to a nippy Saturday morning in the city, only to realize it was 5AM. The only place that could possibly serve me at this time was a 24 hr diner or bargaining at the local farmer’s market. Who doesn’t love to drive a good bargain? From consuming also too many spuds and good roasts from my previous trip, I was craving for a good diverse dish– something Toronto is greatly known for offering and excelling at.
But how did a Spanish dish come to mind? A few things influenced this idea– St. Lawrence Market sits across from one of my favourite Spanish restaurants, called Barsa Taberna, which I normally nab a big pan of paella. I wanted to be able to throw everything into a pan of some sort and not have to worry about having too many components, such as making a separate pesto or cook a few things differently for one meal, etc. Lastly, I wanted to make a dish that could incorporate some nice heat, punchy colours, packed with flavours and best of all, lots of fresh seafood.
- 1 medium size onion
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 tomatoes
- 2 dried Guajillo chili peppers
- 3 large gloves of garlic
- 1 lemon
- bunch of curly parsley
- Bomba Spanish Paella rice
- ½ gram of saffron
- fish stock
- ½ lb black tiger shrimp
- ½ fresh mussels, scrubbed and soaked
- ½ fresh neck clams, scrubbed and soaked
- sea salt
- black pepper
- smoked paprika
- extra virgin olive oil
- For prep, dice your tomatoes and red bell pepper into small cubes.
- Julienne your onion.
- Mince your garlic cloves and parsley.
- Slice your lemon into either slices or wedges.
- Slice your dried Guajillo chili peppers as well.
- Lay out some tin foil and place your saffron in the middle. Fold the tin foil over the saffron like a folded note, ensuring the spice doesn't fall out.
- In a large pan with medium heat, place the folded tin foil of saffron on the pan for 10 seconds on each side and remove from the pan. This will toast your saffron, releasing more of its amazing flavour and aroma.
- Sprinkle sea salt throughout the pan. As there will be a lot of ingredients going into the pan, we want to ensure it's all seasoned nicely.
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, red bell peppers, tomatoes, then cook for and sauté until softened.
- Add the garlic, parsley and black pepper, cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add the fish stock and bring to boil.
- Add the Spanish paella rice evenly around the pan.
- Let the rice cook in the sauce from all your ingredients for about 5 minutes, you will notice it will start to brown on the bottom, which is what you're looking for.
- Take your toasted saffron out of the tin foil envelope and crush them with your fingers to have them in smaller bits to evenly sprinkle into the pan and allow them to release more of their fragrance.
- Add the dried Guajillo chili peppers, smoked paprika, saffron and season with salt and pepper if needed. Stir everything together.
- Cook for about 15 minutes with the lid or until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. The rice will not be cooked through at this time.
- Turn down the heat and stir the rice around a bit, you will notice the crust on the bottom of the pan, that's what you're looking for.
- Remember to taste, feel free to add a little more salt and pepper over everything. I like to season a bit more as I move along.
- Move the pan around and rotate so that the rice cooks evenly.
- Arrange the shrimp, scrubbed and soaked mussels and clams, along with the lemon slices over the rice, cover with a lid again and cook for another 10 minutes or until the mussels and clams open up.
- Turn off the heat and garnish with additional parsley and whole Guajillo chili peppers.
Optional, you can use a frying pan, like I did or paella pan, which you can purchase here on Amazon for $19. A cast iron pan would also work.
Love the dish? Why not pin it to your Pinterest board and try it yourself!
If you could share your experience below, I’d love to hear about it.