This time next year (hopefully), I will be gearing up for my study abroad adventure in Spain. I’ll live with a gracious host family at their quaint and cozy home in the heart of breathtaking Sevilla; study language and culture; take traditional cooking classes; dance at salsa clubs; venture to the beautiful coast, Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia; savor authentic cuisine at the best restaurants as well as my family’s kitchen; and basically waltz around trying to convince people I belong there with my Spanish…con tal de que me acento de Alabama no sea obvio. 😉
For now, though, I’ll have to stick with experiencing Spain in a slightly less direct manner:
I think I can live with that.
As a disclaimer, the most authentic “paella” has a pretty strict ingredient list and precise preparation method, so this is a twist on the traditional. But while I’ve never had paella from Spain, I hope it would taste something like this.
This dish bursts with flavor, texture, and vibrant colors from sweet and smoky spices, succulent shrimp and melt-in-your-mouth fish, whole grain rice, and loads of tasty veggies. It’s healthy, hearty, filling, quick, and all made in ONE PAN! Gotta love it.
- 1.5 tsp EVOO, divided
- 4 oz raw sea bass, chopped*
- 4 oz raw shrimp**
- 1.5 tsp lemon juice, divided
- 1/2 Tbsp white wine
- 1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper***
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 cup canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup brown rice
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 tsp + dash smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp + dash dried oregano
- black pepper (or cayenne), to taste
- pinch crushed saffron threads
- 4 oz chopped asparagus
- ~1/3 cup canned artichoke hearts, sliced
- 1/2 cup baby sweet peas, frozen and thawed
- 2 pimiento-stuffed green olives, sliced
- Heat 1/2 tsp EVOO (or more if needed) in a medium skillet. Add seafood, along with a dash smoked paprika, dried oregano, and black pepper (or cayenne for extra heat). Sauté until shrimp are pink and fish opaque; toss with 1/2 tsp lemon juice. Set seafood aside and cover with foil.
- In the same skillet over medium heat, deglaze with wine. Add remaining 1 tsp EVOO; swirl to coat. Add onion, bell pepper***, and garlic; cook about 1 minute, until fragrant. Then stir in tomatoes, broth, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp dried oregano, saffron, and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook about 25 minutes, or until rice is al dente.
- Stir in chopped asparagus and re-cover; continue cooking on low 5-8 minutes, until rice and asparagus are tender.
- Finally, stir in artichokes, peas, sliced olives, additional 1 tsp lemon juice, and cooked seafood.
- Divide into 2 bowls and enjoy!
- *You can sub any white flaky fish, another type of shellfish, or even chicken
- **Or scallops
- ***Jarred roasted red sweet peppers also work well; just slice and stir in near the end.
- Inspired by the paella at Emiliano's Cafe, Gainesville