seafood paella

I’m always surprised by the random cravings I get. For example, paella.  I can probably count the number of times I’ve had paella on one hand.  I can’t remember a particularly remarkable paella that I can point to in my memory as a definitive paella experience.  Yes, I remember having paella in Barcelona but I also kind of remember thinking it was weird (oh the trips before I was super into food…).  BUT for some reason I’ve been nursing a paella craving for MONTHS.  Honestly, months.

Maybe it’s something about the combo of a one pot rice dish + the addition of a ton of seafood that I find calling my name.  Not sure.  But for whatever reason I set out in search of a paella recipe.

Easier said than done.  Sure there are a TON of paella recipes out there but they are all SO DIFFERENT.  Some have all seafood, some have only vegetables, some have whole pieces of chicken, some have a combination of all three.  The list literally goes on and on.  And since I don’t necessarily have a great starting point for paella I wasn’t really sure how to go about judging the awesomeness of said recipes.  So I decided to make my criteria that it must be seafood-based and ideally no chicken.  This recipe from Food52 seemed to fit the bill.

One of my never ending struggles in Chicago is finding proper ingredients.  Yes, Chicago is a restaurant capital but it is also really spread out and not nearly as diverse as Toronto, which makes finding certain ingredients a bit of a wild goose chase.  For example, I couldn’t find paella rice.  I didn’t think I’d have trouble finding this at all but trips to big supermarkets, Whole Foods, AND World Market left me empty-handed, so I used Arborio rice (the kind that you would use for risotto).  Also couldn’t find wood roasted paquillo peppers.  I substituted Peppadew peppers on a whim having no idea if they were even remotely similar to paquillo peppers. True story. Also, the world didn’t explode. Phew.

I would also like to point out that this was my first time selecting, buying and cooking clams. I’m always surprised by the things I haven’t cooked before. And of course it didn’t occur to me to learn about clams before heading to the market so just picture me in the market, iphone in hand googling “how to select clams”.

From start to finish this took about an hour, which isn’t so bad. After reading through the recipe I realized that I didn’t have to prep all of the ingredients before hand and kind of just did it as I went along which definitely reduced the amount of time required.

The results were pretty delish. I can’t quite explain it but it didn’t match the flavour profile I was expecting, but it was still good, although a bit spicier than anticipated. And it was a pretty handsome dish, who can be mad at that?



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2 Responses to Seafood Paella

  1. […] it looked awesome in the show, so it’s going to be made in my kitchen in the near future.  Here’s a recipe I found that sounds pretty delicious.  Hopefully you’ll enjoy!   Los Pollos Hermanos […]

  2. Winy says:

    This looks delicious, going to try it!!

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