Seafood Paella
(serves 4)
a pinch or three of saffron
1/2 c white wine, warmed
    Wash and strip the shells (up to the tail segment) from:
1/2 lb medium or large shrimp
    Boil the shells in a pot with:
2 c water
    for 20 minutes.  Strain the shrimp stock, add enough water or additional shrimp or chicken stock to make 3 cups, and keep warm.
    Heat a 14" paella pan over a medium-high flame, add:
2 T olive oil
    and saute the sofrito:
1   yellow or white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
    When the onions are translucent, stir in:
1   tomato, halved, grated, skin discarded
    and cook until the water from the tomato has evaporated.  Then add:
1 1/2 c rice, Valencian, Arborio, or other medium-grained variety
    and stir to coat the rice thoroughly.
1/2 t smoked paprika
1/2 t salt
1/2 of the shrimp stock, heated near to boiling
    the white wine & saffron mixture
    Stir the pot (for the last time) and lower the heat to maintain a slow boil.  As the rice cooks, add the rest of the shrimp stock, and arrange into it:
the prepared shrimp
    red bell pepper strips, fresh or roasted
1/4 c fresh peas (or green beans, chopped into 2" pieces)
8 fresh clams, in the shell
8 fresh mussels, in the shell
    When everything has been added, cover the paella with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for 15 minutes, or until the rice and seafood are cooked.  Place the paella back on a low burner, uncover it, and decorate it with:
    lemon wedges
1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped
Serve immediately, or let it sit on a low heat long enough to nearly scorch the rice on the bottom of the pan. This caramelized rice is called the socarrat, and is considered a great delicacy.
    Buen Provecho!
Notes & Variations:
  1. Be sure to read the notes on making paella.
  2. The clams may be steamed separately (add their juices added to the stock), and arranged on top of the paella a few minutes before serving to re-warm them.
  3. Experiment with other seafood.  Squid can be lightly sauteed in the oil to pre-cook it before frying the onions.  Try pieces of white fish, crab legs, lobster tails.
  4. Any combination of meats, seafood, and vegetables can be delicious.  Check out our Paella Valenciana and Vegetable Paella recipes for ideas.