Have you heard of paella? It’s a Spanish rice dish that originates from Valencia, a region along Spain’s Eastern coast. It is such a traditional Spanish dish that many would consider it the national dish of Spain. While there are three classic types of paella: seafood, mixed (meat and seafood), and Valencian (meat, green vegetables, and beans), like many dishes that are rooted in tradition, paella is more of a technique than a set recipe. Hopefully I’m not over-simplifying things. But, looking at the dish this way helped us to take paella from a seemingly un-approachable feat, to quite a tasty challenge.


Report this ad Here are the basics: Meat is sauteed in olive oil. Vegetables and seasonings are then added and sauteed. Next, the rice is added. Finally, the water or broth is added, along with any seafood, and the dish is simmered over a fairly high heat, uncovered and undisturbed, until the rice is cooked. (For the Valencian version the water is added before the rice and allowed to simmer with the meat and veggies to create the broth that the rice cooks in.) This makes Paella a fantastic one-dish meal that is incredibly versatile and brings out the flavors of whichever ingredients you have on hand. For this Paella, we used mushrooms and white fish, which gave the dish a nice and mellow flavor that was complemented beautifully by the bright tomatoes.Pinterest  descubre ideas creativas y guárdalas


PRINT PREP TIME 10 mins COOK TIME 25 mins TOTAL TIME 35 mins   Author: Sarah | Curious Cuisiniere Recipe type: Dinner Cuisine: Spanish Yield: 4-6 INGREDIENTS 1 tsp olive oil ½ small onion, chopped 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 c tomatoes, diced 4 oz mushrooms, sliced 1 celery stalk, diced (roughly 1 c) 1 c white rice 2 c water 1 c chicken stock ½ c white wine ½ lb white fish (we used Pollock), cut into 1” chunks INSTRUCTIONS Report this ad In a 12” cast iron (or non-stick) skillet heat olive oil. Add onion and garlic and sauté until soft, 5 min. Add tomatoes, mushrooms, and celery. Heat slightly, 1-2 min. Add rice and sauté until lightly toasted and shiny, 1-2 min. Add water, stock, wine, and fish chunks. Stir briefly to combine. Simmer over medium high heat, uncovered and undisturbed, for 10 min. If your mixture begins to dry out add ½ c of water or stock. After 10 minutes, lower the heat to medium and continue cooking until the rice is tender. (When you are finished, you should have a slight crispness to the bottom layer of rice. Not burnt, mind you, just a slight crisp browning. If you start to smell burning during the cooking process, turn your heat down.

Read more at Curious Cuisiniere: Mushroom and White Fish Paella

How To: Make Authentic But Easy Paella


How To: Make Authentic But Easy Paella


I made some new mom friends from PickyKidPix’s trip to Italy to play soccer! My friend Nathalie is originally from Spain and she taught me how to make authentic paella. In this version, she was clear that this is authentic Valencia paella which features seafood since it’s a coastal town.

There are many versions that utilize the bounty of their particular area which can include rabbit, chicken, and chorizo sausage. But this version does not; strictly seafood — squid, small shrimp, and scallops but those tiny octopi would be good too. She also made her own seafood stock by boiling cod in water with onions, bay leaf, and salt but she said an easy substitute is canned chicken stock. That works even if you are not adding chicken.

As for quantity, paella is meant to feed a crowd. She made enough for 10-12 (in her mind) but it really was enough to feed at least 15. Paella is great like that for stretching; you simply add more rice.

How To: Make Authentic But Easy Paella

She was specific about her ingredients too.

How To: Make Authentic But Easy Paella

rice: she prefers long grain white rice

saffron: she uses spice packs which she buys in Spain but you can also use 1/2 teaspoon of saffron. The spice packs are available at Amazon too.

olive oil: extra virgin but it doesn’t have to be from Spain. Trader Joe’s has Spanish olive oil though!

spanish olive oil from Trader Joe's for paella

olives: these must be Spanish because they are the right size and flavor. I found mine at Trader Joe’s too!

spanish olives from Trader Joe's for paella

peas: any small frozen peas will do, but keep them frozen in the freezer until you need them so they don’t get mushy in the pan. You want them rock-solid frozen when you add them to the paella

roasted bell peppers: you can roast and then julienne red bell peppers and then lay on top of the paella at the end for a stunning design. We were hungry and opted out of that.

seafood: get whatever is fresh but do cut up in small 1/2 inch chunks so that it’s easy to combine with the rice.

How To: Make Authentic But Easy Paella


Step 1: Prep

The idea here to chop everything into roughly the same size pieces before you heat the paella pan.

The Sofrito

1 small onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

The Seafood

1 pound squid – cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 pound small shrimp – peel and de-vein

1 pound small scallops – cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Other Ingredients

rice – one small handful per person

tomatoes – 3 medium tomatoes, minced

Jarred Spanish olives – about 1/2 cup or to taste

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

saffron or spice packet. If you are using saffron, put 1/2 teaspoon saffron into a small bowl with  ¼ cup hot water and let sit for 15 minutes.


The Stock

Heat to a boil and then simmer for about twenty minutes.

1 pound cod (or other mild white fish)

3 quarts water

salt to taste

1 onion

1 bay leaf


Cooking the  Paella

Step 1: Heat about 3 tablespoons of olive oil using medium high heat.

Step 2: Add the Sofrito (garlic, onions and bell peppers) that you chopped into small pieces. Sauté for a few minutes until onion is softened.

Step 3: Add the seafood.

How To: Make Authentic But Easy Paella

Step 4: Add the tomatoes.

How To: Make Authentic But Easy Paella

Step 5: Add the seasoning packet or the saffron. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

How To: Make Authentic But Easy Paella

Step 6: Add a small handful of rice per person. Notice how she spreads it around in little mounds. At this point, you can no longer stir the pot AT ALL!
How To: Make Authentic But Easy Paella

Step 7: Ladle in the broth to nearly cover the rice. Turn heat down to medium-low.

How To: Make Authentic But Easy Paella

Step 8: Add the olives and then add in handfuls of peas. Keep adding broth as needed. While you can’t stir the food, you can move small piles around slightly just to make sure they are covered in broth. I tamp down the rice that isn’t covered in broth to submerge it. Rotate the pan if you are using more than one burner to distribute the heat evenly.

How To: Make Authentic But Easy Paella
Step 9: The paella is ready when the broth is absorbed and the rice is cooked through; about 25 to 45 minutes. You can see when the rice is done or you can simply taste it.

Nathalie says you can take the paella off the heat and cover with newspaper or aluminum foil for five minutes but we skipped that part because we were hungry and the rice was perfect.  It’s really important to make sure that the rice is fully cooked.

How To: Make Authentic But Easy Paella

Step 10: Serve with lemon wedges and eat immediately! (Note that my friend Nathalie uses limes which are not common in Spain but taste more like the lemons there.)

To examine any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.

How To: Make Authentic But Easy Paella

I am an Amazon affiliate which means if you buy anything through my blog, I get a very small kickback at no cost to you. I use this money to pay the postage and handling for my giveaways.


 I love Paella and was craving it.  So I decided to try it on the grill instead of stove/oven.  It turned out better to me with a more smokey flavor.  I thought it would be harder to control the heat, but it was perfect.  It was so good, I made it twice when Kara’s parents came to visit.
1 package Spanish Chorizo or Portuguese Sausage, sliced
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound chicken, cut into bite size piecesand seasoned with salt and pepper
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Pinch of saffron
Salt and Pepper
Freshly chopped parsley
2 cups of uncooked short grain rice
32 ounces (1 box) of chicken stock
1 small jar of pimentos
1 pound of shrimp, shelled and seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika
2 large squid, sliced in rings
20 Manila clams
 Make sure charcoal is spread evenly under the pan.
 Brown sausage in hot Paella pan.  Remove sausage.  Add olive oil and brown chicken until thoroughly cooked.  Removed cooked chicken and set aside with sausage.  Sautee onions until translucent.  Add garlic. Add rice and mix with onions and garlic.
 Return chicken and sausage.  Add stock.  Stir well and get to a fast simmer.  Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and turning the pan so Paella cooks evenly.
 Add seafood.  Once clams open, remove until rice is soft.
Arrange the seafood and serve.  Enjoy.

Chorizo Paella

I made us a big skillet of awesomeness.


And I did it all in one pan… without even heating up the kitchen.


Skillet Grilled Seafood and Chorizo Paella | @hbharvest

Although, now that I say that out loud I am silently thinking to myself that at least for me, up here in the mountains, it’s really not that hot out, like at all. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind heating up my kitchen right about now. I mean, I am highly embarrassed to admit this, but I totally have my heater blowing on my legs right now.


Don’t judge, it’s cold and stormy here and I am about to head out to bring the goats in from the field, and well, it kind of gives me chills just thinking about it. I really should have brought the goats in like an hour ago, but I am procrastinating going outside by telling myself that I need to finish writing this post first. Is it just me or has it been on the colder side this summer?

Even when I was in Cleveland visiting family it was only in the low 70’s. Now come on, I need at least 80 degrees to be extra happy and in my shorts and t-shirts. 70 is more like leggings and a sweater, and the current 45 degrees I am experiencing in Colorado, well that’s more like socks, leggings and a BIG cozy sweatshirt… maybe even some serious snuggles with a blanket.

Sidenote: I was recently asked how I survive living where I live when 85 degrees is my ideal temperature. The honest answer, it’s a struggle! If it weren’t for my family and the fall (I adore an awesome, cozy fall and the months of September, October, November and December are awesome up here), I might not be able to get through the rest of the year.

Skillet Grilled Seafood and Chorizo Paella | @hbharvest

Completely random sidenote # 2: Since I seem to be in the procrastination mode… and I am oh so easily distracted… I decided to be weird and watch the running of the bulls on snapchat.

OMG, that’s CRAZY!

Skillet Grilled Seafood and Chorizo Paella | @hbharvest

Oh but hey!! The running of the bulls kind of fits in with my Spanish themed recipe, right? I mean, not really, but the running of the bulls is done in Spain and paella was created in Spain, so hey, it kind of justifies my distraction and ties it in with this post, you know, like background research.

Not gonna lie, I’d chose this skillet grilled seafood and chorizo paella over running with the bulls in Spain any stinkin’ day. Just sayin.

Skillet Grilled Seafood and Chorizo Paella | @hbharvest

Ok so the paella.

Can you believe I made this whole thing on the grill, and dirtied just one dish, one cutting board and one knife?!?! I was SO happy about the minimal mess since lately cleanup around here has been a 2+ hour project and the thought of cleaning even one more dish, or vacuuming up another crumb or wiping more stickiness up off the floor is pretty much daunting.

Clearly not only the flavors of this dish were welcomed with open arms, but also the simplicity of this dish! Bring on more easy clean up meals… please!!!

Making paella on the grill is really just the same as making it on the stove. You simply need to try to keep the heat of your grill a consistent temp and you’re good to go. Bonus, you also get a little smoky flavor from the grill as well!!

And if you don’t have a grill? Well don’t worry, you can totally just make this on the stove-top. Works great both ways.

Skillet Grilled Seafood and Chorizo Paella | @hbharvest

For my paella, I used a mix of chicken, chorizo and seafood. You can do all three like me, pick your favorites or leave them out completely and make a vegetarian version. It’s totally adaptable to your personal taste buds. For the seafood, I used a mix of a lobster tail, jumbo tiger shrimp, clams and mussels. It was the perfect combo if you ask me and made for a really pretty dish too!!

I also finished my dish off with a drizzle of truffle oil, which I kind of think was awesome, but I do realize that truffle oil is a bit pricey, so only use it you have some.

OH and I didn’t just use plain green olives. NOPE. I used blue cheese stuffed olives (my favorites are the DeLallo brand) cause I mean, a little cheese never hurt. <–Truth.

Double OH, if you’re out to impress someone, make this dish, it’s definitely a show stopper!

Skillet Grilled Seafood and Chorizo Paella | @hbharvest

Skillet Grilled Seafood and Chorizo Paella.

  • prep time: 10 MINUTES
  • cook time: 45 MINUTES
  • total time: 55 MINUTES

yields: SERVES 6


    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1/2 small sweet onion, chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
    • 4 ounces spanish chorizo, sliced
    • 3-4 heirloom tomatoes, chopped OR 1 (15 ounce) can whole peeled san marzano tomatoes
    • 1 (8 ounce) jar roasted red peppers, sliced
    • 1/4 cup white wine
    • 2 cups jasmine or basmati rice
    • 4 cups chicken broth
    • 2 small skinless chicken thighs or breast
    • 1/3 cup blue cheese stuffed green olives
    • 1 teaspoons spanish smoked paprika
    • 1 teaspoon salt + pepper to taste
    • pinch of saffron
    • 16 ounces fresh seafood (I used 1 lobster tail, 6 jumbo shrimp, 4 clams, and 4 mussels)
    • juice of 2 lemons
    • fresh chopped parsley, for serving
    • white truffle oil, for serving (optional)

Powered by Chicory


Preheat your grill to high heat.*

Place a very large cast iron skillet (it should be at least a 12 inch circle or oval skillet) on the grill grates. Allow the skillet to heat with the grill. Once the skillet is hot, add the olive oil, onion and garlic. Season lightly with salt + pepper and cook about 3-5 minutes, stirring often or until the onion is soft and sweet. Add the chorizo and cook until just browned, about 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes (crushed by your hands if using canned), their juices and roasted red peppers. Continue cooking another 5 minutes.

Add the wine to deglaze the pan and then stir in the rice, cooking until toasted, about 3-5 minutes. Slowly pour in the chicken broth and give everything a good stir. Slide in the chicken, green olives, paprika, another pinch of salt + pepper and a good pinch of saffron, stir gently to combine, cover tightly with the skillet top or tin foil and then place the lid on the grill. Grill covered for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss the seafood with a little olive oil, salt + pepper. After 15 minutes of cooking on the grill, carefully remove the skillet top or foil and add the seafood to the skillet. Cover again with the top or the foil and return the grill lid, continue cooking another 15 minutes or until the seafood is cooked through and the rice fluffy.

Remove the skillet from the grill and drizzle the dish with lemon juice. If desired drizzle with white truffle oil as well and season lightly with salt + pepper. Garnish with fresh parsley. EAT!

*You can also make this on your stovetop, just follow the directions and cooking times as directed above.

Skillet Grilled Seafood and Chorizo Paella | @hbharvest

And ok, kind of DELICIOUS too!

Mastering the Art of Paella


My friend Anu made this amazing Paella that my boyfriend still talks about to this day. Not only is he a wonderful cook but a humorous writer and a talented photographer, so I asked him to write about his experience with Paella….

“Even before Arati (that’s his lovely wife) and I went to Spain in April 2010, I had been a serious fan of Spanish food, wine, and lifestyle (call me a Spanophile). Last year I learned that every November since 2003 the Paella Lovers United (PLU) group in Austin had been holding a paella cookoff and competition. So going to Spain, one of my goals was to taste the real deal, deconstruct it and bring back some of the authentic ingredients.

From what I’ve read online and learnt in Spain, the very original paella was actually a land (turf) meat dish with rabbit and snails – basically stuff farmers could find easily in the countryside. Then other meats like chicken and duck were introduced. Later on seafood started being substituted by the Valencians and today most people think of paella as a seafood dish.

After coming back with somewhat smuggled paprika and saffron from Barcelona, I put together a team of cooking fans from my work to compete in the PLU competition. Our name? La Bomba –  a combination of the name for the Spanish rice used for paella (Bomba) and one of the  finest LDP movies ever (La Bamba). Our friend who is a brilliant designer and a screen printing enthusiast, Mari, came up with a t-shirt logo that would sum up our recipe strategy – we are going old school, baby!

La Bomba team logo designed by Mari DiGiovanni.

Our recipe strategy is to go traditional style with land meats – specifically, rabbit, duck, Spanish chorizo and pork (pork belly). Since I’ve been back from Spain, we have practiced numerous times. The first time we cooked it, we went seafood style on a small 14” pan and using risotto rice (almost blasphemous, but we were desperate) – it turned out very delicious.

First attempt: seafood paella on a gas grill – delicious! (Photo: Anu Saha)

The times after that, it has been on a giant 22” pan on an open wood fire with meats instead of seafood.

The main things you have to focus on are the following:

–  Rice:  Gotta use bomba rice – no substitutions.  The ratio is always 3 cups stock to 1 cup rice.

–  Meats:  I pick up what I can at the farmer’s market (Kocurek Family has awesome pork belly).  Rest I get at Central Market.  I never said this was going to be cheap.

–  Sofrito:  It’s a mixture of grated tomatoes, grated onions, garlic and olive oil cooked down to almost a paste and is the main flavor base for your paella.

–  Soccorat:  The hardest thing to perfect.  This is the slightly burnt but deliciously crispy layer that forms at the bottom of the pan – highly prized bites.

–  Paprika:  Use only nice smoked Spanish paprika.  It will cost you a pretty penny, but totally worth it.  I got mine from the Central Market bulk foods division.

–  Pan:  It’s not too expensive to get a 22” (~$55) or 13” pan (~$19) from Sur La Table

–  Heat:  Outdoor grill/firepit with wood or wood charcoal.  I use a mix.  While a gas grill or charcoal brickets may seem like a convenient shortcut, avoid the temptation.

Speaking of ‘convenient shortcuts’, there are enough Rachel Rays and Sandra Lees on TV to show you how to trivialize, butcher and drive into extinction hundreds of years of culture and tradition by taking yumm-o shortcuts – I ain’t doing it. My mama cooks the real deal, and I will do all I can to keep those amazing recipes alive. I can understand using canned stock instead of making your own – but there’s a line. [Stepping off my soapbox now].

Now for more of the actual cooking. This recipe is for a 22-inch pan. I’ve learned to cook like my mom, so pardon the lack of precise (or any) measurements.

–  4 lb tomatoes, grated – keep all the juices

–  2 medium white onions, grated – keep all the juices

–  8 cloves of garlic, minced

–  1 (2- to 2 1/2-lb) rabbit, cut into bite-size pieces

–  1 good sized duck leg cut into bite-size pieces and skin scored

–  ½ lb of pork belly, cut into bite-size portions

–  2 links of Spanish chorizo (no preservative ingredients), sliced into disks

–  1/4 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads

–  Spanish extra virgin olive oil, enough to cook with

–  Spanish smoked paprika

–  Salt

–  Black pepper

–  1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch strips

–  1 lb long beans

–  1 jar/can of Spanish red peppers

–  5 cups of bomba rice

–  15 cups of low sodium chicken  broth

–  Lemons, for garnish and topping

Cover all the meats with some paprika, salt, pepper and olive oil and let sit in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. Get the fire going and start heating the pan on the grill. Start browning the duck with the skin side down and then turn them over. You are just looking for a good crisp skin and not trying to cook all the way. Barely crisp the pork belly because it’s most likely already a cooked or smoked meat. Similarly brown the rabbit pieces and chorizo. At this point, you should see a lot of rendered pork and duck fat. If you throw any of this delicious tasting God’s gift to mankind away, I *will* unceremoniously unfriend you on Facebook. Now is a good time to sautee any garnishing vegetables, like long beans, strips of red bell pepper, etc. Remove the meats and sautéed vegetables off to a side dish.

Now for the sofrito. In the fat in the pan, add just a bit of olive oil (please don’t call it “E-V-O-O”). Then add the grated onions (including the juices) first and keep them moving all around the pan. You want the onion to start reducing and slightly caramelizing – this should take about 8 minutes. Now add the garlic and grated tomatoes (again, with the juices), salt and some paprika. Mix it up well and keep it moving all around the pan, trying to reduce the liquid down. You can also add about half a jar of the Spanish red peppers now. In 15-20 minutes, it should start becoming a dark reddish brown paste with no liquid present. This is your sofrito – the flavor base for your paella.

Sofrito in its last stage. (Photo: Anu Saha)

In the meantime, in a small bowl, crush the saffron with the back of a spoon and dissolve it in a bit of the broth you have heating in the stock pot.

Next add the rice and mix it up well to coat all the grains with the sofrito. Mix in the meats back in at this point to also to get coated well with the sofrito. Then slowly pour in all the broth (which you should keep heated in a stock pot on the stove – never add cold stock to a hot pan of rice). Also pour in the saffron infused broth at this point. Channel your inner mason and carefully spread out the rice and meats evenly all over the pan. You won’t be able to see anything under all that broth, but have faith in your zen as you go all Japanese sand garden on this beast.

The whole thing should start coming to a slow simmer at this point. Let it sit and don’t touch it or disturb it! You want the rice to have an al dente feel to it – soft outside with a slightly firm bite to it. It should not be creamy like a risotto but not too dry. So try to keep some extra stock around to add if the rice doesn’t cook through.

After all the liquid disappears (around 15-20 minutes) give it some more time and start checking around the center and the edges for the soccorat. I like to put my nose just above different parts of the paella to try to smell that slightly burnt caramelized aroma of the soccorat.

Once you have confirmed some decent soccorat-ization, top with the beans, peppers, etc and take it off the heat. Dig in! I like to add a bit of sea salt and squeeze a bit of lemon after I serve myself some paella on my plate. And of course, get a glass of some good Spanish red wine.

Done! Have fun w/ the garnishes. (Photo: Anu Saha)

Our Spanish Wine (Photo: Anu Saha)

If you can serve this with a side of grilled and charred green onions and asparagus accompanied by a home-made romesco sauce, someone will ask you to marry them.”

(Photo: Mari DiGiovanni)

Want to try delicious paella cooked by 30 different teams, including Anu’s team La Bomba? Head on over to Paella Lovers United and buy a ticket for the November 6th, 2010 cook-off.

Origin and history of Paella

paella«La paella» is a cooking utensil, traditionally and preferably made of iron, but now often made of stainless steel. The base of the paella is flat and should be of a good thickness. The pan is circular and shallow, and has two round handles on opposite sides. The word itself is old Valencian and probably has its roots in the Latin ‘patella’ (a flat basket in Galicia). The Castilian ‘paila’ and the French ‘paele’ mean the same thing.

During the centuries following the establishment of rice in Spain, the peasants of Valencia would use the paella pan to cook rice with easily available ingredients from the countryside: tomatoes, onions and snails. On special occasions rabbit or duck might be included, and the better-off could afford chicken. Little by little this ‘Valencian rice’ became more widely known. By the end of the nineteenth century ‘paella valenciana’ had established itself.

Nowadays whole families will troop off to a restaurant to eat paella, or make it at home with all those present lending a hand with the preparation. The whole thing becomes a mixture of party, ceremony and debate, or rather, considering the volume at which it is maintained, argument between the master paella cooks who are present and who are all convinced they know best how to make it.

However, there is nothing more agreeable than a paella picnic, when everyone crams themselves into cars, the boots laden with food and drink, to bump their way down to a favourite beach or up into the mountains. There, wood is gathered for the fire and olives and sausage are nibbled, while discussion rages over the rice, glistening yellow and bubbling in the warm air. It is the most sociable of occasions.

«Paella» is pronounced «pa-e-ya» with the «e» as in «let».


Spanish national dish served in an authentic paella pan.
Prices are per portion.
Minimum two portions.