Until now, I’ve tried to make paella exactly once. Everything went wrong – I definitely stirred the rice (huge mistake), overcooked the fish, and was heavy handed with the paprika. So when the folks at Culinary Collective reached out to see if I wanted to share their paella kit with my readers, I felt a pang of self-doubt. But I love a challenge and was eager to master the Spanish classic that had bedeviled me in the past, so I decided to put my previous effort behind me and take another crack at paella.
When my kit arrived, I started to feel more confident – almost everything I’d need was there and it all looked fantastic. Aneto’s Valencian and Seafood paella bases both promised simplicity without sacrificing the richness that’s essential to a great paella. What’s more, the ingredient lists meant I wouldn’t have to compromise on my commitment to fantastic, whole ingredients – Aneto’s Valencian Paella base is made from a slow-cooked, all-natural blend of traditional ingredients like rabbit, duck, snails, and a host of flavorful vegetables. The seafood base had an equal commitment to great traditional ingredients. The kit also included a bag of bomba rice, prized for its ability to absorb liquid and remain tender, as well as organic piquillo peppers and a paella pan.
The spring weather seemed to call for seafood, so that’s what I went with. Aneto’s paella bases are incredibly flavorful so I only needed a few clams, shrimp, a little chopped squid, and a single link of smoked andouille to round out the dish. From there, things were simple. I seared the andouille, toasted the rice, poured in the base, and boiled until tender. I then tucked in the peppers and seafood and finished things off in the oven.
Of course, proof of success was in the bite – tender rice, plump seafood, and I even got a layer of crispy soccarat on the bottom!
To help you achieve your own paella success, and celebrate National Paella Day on March 27th, I’m partnering with Culinary Creative to give away a paella kit to one reader! Kit includes Aneto Valencian Paella base, a bag of traditional bomba rice, a jar of organic piquillo peppers, and a paella pan. To enter, leave a comment on the post below and follow Culinary Collective and Brooklyn Supper on Instagram. Culinary Collective is an importer of traditional Spanish ingredients, for more information on their brands, check out Matiz and Aneto on Facebook.
Giveaway closes April 1 at 12 noon EDT. Thanks for entering! Giveaway now closed. Thanks for entering!
Notes on the recipe: thanks to the flavorful base, this paella cooks up simply. Make sure your clams are sealed tight, and cleaned well before adding them the the paella. If you can, use peel-on shrimp, since the peel will protect the meat and seal in moisture during the cook time. Finally, I’ve found that the cook time can vary quite a bit and the best way to know if it’s done is by taste. When rice is nearly tender, add the shellfish.
- 1 teaspoon neutral heat-tolerant oil
- 1 link smoked andouille sausage, sliced into 1/4-inch thick coins
- 1 1/4 cups bomba or Arborio rice
- 1 carton Aneto Seafood Paella Base (33.83 ounces)
- 6 roasted piquillo peppers from a jar, cut into thin strips
- 1/2 pound cleaned squid, sliced into 1/2-inch thick rounds
- Dry Spanish white wine, as needed
- 1/2 pound peel-on shrimp
- 8 littleneck clams, well-cleaned and rinsed
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked sea salt
- 1 tablespoon minced parsley
- 1 lemon cut into wedges
Set paella pan over medium-high heat. Add oil, and when hot, sliced sausage. Sear on both sides, remove from pan, turn heat down to medium, and add rice. Toast rice until light golden and fragrant, 1 - 2 minutes. Stir in Paella Seafood base and bring to a boil. (Once liquid is added, rice needs to cook undisturbed – do not stir, even once, after this point.) Adjust heat so mixture bubbles vigorously, but doesn't spit. Cook 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Turn heat to medium-low, so that mixture bubbles gently. Scatter squid and piquillo peppers over the top, pressing gently into rice mixture. Simmer until rice is tender, 25 - 35 minutes. (To check rice, use a small spoon to skim a few grains of rice from the very top and taste.) If mixture begins to dry out, add a small splash of white wine as needed.
Once rice is just about cooked through, add a splash (about 3 tablespoons) of white wine to the top and tuck clams, hinge side down, and shrimp into paella. Remove from stovetop and slide into oven. Cook 10 minutes, or until shrimp are pink and cooked through and clams have opened.
Finish paella with paprika, sea salt, and parsley. Garnish with lemon wedges. Serve immediately.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Culinary Collective. As always, all options expressed are my own. Thanks for supporting Brooklyn Supper’s partners!