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How to Make a Good Seafood Spanish Paella - Caribbean Recipe
In my first hub My Love for Digital Scrapbooking, I included a scrapbooked picture of fun meals I've made, as an example of a digital scrapbooking layout. A comment on that hub, made by Wife Who Saves, asked me if I have plans to write a hub on the recipe for the Seafood Paella which she found was good. I did not think about such a thing, after all - it was my first hub.. so I was clueless about what next! Thanks Wife Who Saves for the suggestion.. and I'm writing this just for you!
Before I got married I never really tried my hand at cooking. I only made simple stuff, like potato salad. Living at home, I didn't have the need to cook and even though I did do it off and on.. it was nothing compared to what I had to do when I got married!
My husband and I moved to Brazil and I was faced with the task of cooking! He's a great cook but me.. it was all new. Thank goodness my mother-in-law gave me a "Naparima Girls' High School Cookbook", with the inscription 'remember a way to a man's heart is through his stomach'. Boy does she know her son! Well this cookbook was one of the best gifts I've ever gotten. It's titled - The Multi-Cultural Cuisine of Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean" .. It saved our lives! So thanks are in order to my mother-in-law!
Spanish Paella Recipe from the Naparima Cookbook
This recipe is said to serve 12. I think this is all relative to just how much the people eating likes to eat!!
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3/4 cup sliced onion
- 3 lbs chicken, cut in pieces and seasoned with salt and pepper (note: this is optional - I like to make it with only seafood.. no chicken necessary!)
- 2 oz. bacon or ham, cut in pieces (again optional)
- 2 cups long-grained rice
- 1 small lobster, cut in pieces
- 8 or more large shrimp
- 8 clams
- 4 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup chopped pimentos
- 1 tsp. powdered saffron (turmeric)
- 3 1/2 cups hot chicken broth or stock
- 2 tsp. salt
- hot pepper to taste
- 4 or 5 slices white fish (seasoned)
- chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup cooked green peas
- tomato wedges for garnish.
Before I continue with the method, let me just say that the ingredients above are just a guideline... feel free to use whatever seafood (or meat) you wish you use! For instance, in your grocery you might get a seafood paella pack which will contain a mixture of seafood items and this will be good enough. I like to use Squid (calamari) as one of the seafood in the paella. Okay.. let me continue.
- Heat oil in a deep, large, heavy pot; add garlic and onion and cook until transparent
- Add chicken and bacon, sauté for 5 minutes over moderate heat (if you choose not to put any meat in your paella, just simply skip this step)
- Add rice and continue to cook for 5 minutes more.
- Add lobster, shrimp, mussels, clams, tomatoes and pimentos and cook for 2 minutes
- Dissolve saffron in hot chicken broth and add to chicken and rice mixture
- Season with salt and hot pepper; stir well
- Cover pot with lid or foil and cook on low to medium heat, for about 20-30 minutes or until rice is almost tender.
- Arrange pieces of fish on top.
- Continue to cook until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.
- Do not stir, sprinkle with chopped parsley and cooked peas.
- Garnish with tomato wedges.
An alternative method is to cover the mixture with foil and bake in a preheated oven at 350ºF for about 35-40 minutes.
Also, if you find that seafood is fresh.. garnish with lime/lemon wedges.
My recommendation: have fun with this recipe! Mix it up to add the stuff you like to eat and don't bother with the things that you dislike. It is an easy to follow recipe that you and your family and friends can enjoy!