Sometimes the hardest thing about cooking seems to be answering the question ‘What to eat?’. After going back and forth between some options somehow paella escaped my mouth. This Spicy seafood paella with bell pepper and peas!
From the freezer I got us a piece of corvina fish. At the supermarket we bought a red bell pepper, some vine tomatoes and cute little green peas. And suddenly Mr. Eats hold this tongue. Some black mussels had flirted with him while we waited at the fish department for some shrimps. So he ordered ‘a handful’.
The fish-guy himself decided he had small hands and asked if he could do two. Oh, well okay. Same for the shrimps? Why not! This hand obviously could carry more shrimps than mussels. A bit too much for our paella.
“Well, there we’ll our Sunday Afternoon snack” Mr. Eats said. Another reason to love him.
At home, I immediately put a skillet on the stove, while Mr. Eats cleaned the shrimps. I turned the knob to highest and only added some olive oil when the pan got steamy hot. Added the shrimps, some garlic straight from the press, a pinch of paprika and some pimentón (Spanish smoked paprika) and heated them until pink.
It was hard to save some for the paella.
Love your browned bits!
Although the skillet really was smoking hot, the still half-frozen shrimps cooled down the pan a lot. A bit too much; the icewater melted and rather steamed the shrimps as to bake them. It caused the shrimps to stick to the pan. So after scooping them onto the serving plate I added a splash of white wine to the pan. Brought it to boiling point and stirred all the flavors that were glued to the bottom loosed. That’s what cooks call deglazing.
I let the wine reduce to about 1/4th of its original amount and add the thick sauce to boost my Spicy seafood paella with bell pepper and peas with even more flavor.
Spicy seafood paella with bell pepper and peas
Paella is a great dish to add all kinds of leftover meats, fish or veggies. Since my fridge’s veggie drawer was empty, I just bought all my ingredients.
You need (for 2):
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 red bell pepper
1 glove of garlic
100 gr | 1/2 cup paella/risotto rice
50 ml | 1/2 cup white wine
400 ml vegetable stock (or fish/chicken stock)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
pinch of pimentón (Spanish smoked paprika)
50 gr | 1/3 cup small peas
handful of black mussels
handful of shrimps, peeled and deveined
150 gr | 1/3 lb white fish (any is okay!)
salt and pepper
2 lemon wedges
Bake the veggies. Peel and chop onion and cook over medium fire in the olive oil using a wide skillet. Preferably a paella pan. Chop bell pepper and add after 5 minutes or so. Heat thoroughly and brown a bit. Then, again after 5 minutes or so, add chopped tomatoes and stir. Add peeled and chopped garlic as well.
Add the rice. Stir and let soak up the oil and water. Then deglaze, by adding white wine. Stir well, maybe you should turn the fire a bit higher for the wine to start cooking faster. In the meantime, heat your stock.
Add stock. And spices. Let it cook over low fire until rice is almost done. Stir occasionally so all rice grains can absorb the stock. When is the rice done? That depends on your rice, so just taste every now and then after 10 minutes or so. Add peas approximately the number of minutes they need to cook (see package) before your paella is done.
In the meantime, clean and dry fish and seafood.
Add fish and seafood. The moment you think the rice will need a minute of 4, add mussels and shrimps (in case they’re uncooked, else add them the same time as the fish). Make sure heat is on, so they’ll cook. When the first shelves open, add fish – cut into bit-size pieces. Carefully stir to prevent rice and fish from sticking. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Tip: You also can do as I did: first bake the shrimp (preferably when completely defrosted! ;-)), remove them and make your paella in the same pan to fully extract their flavor.
Serve with the lemon wedges.
Tip: We also found some leftover cooked ham and roasted beef in our fridge and added that as well, as paella is a great dish to make up all kinds of leftover meat and veggies.