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Spanish Paella

You can substitute mussels for the clams or use a combination of both. Be sure to scrub and debeard the mussels before cooking.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 lb. Spanish chorizo or other spicy smoked sausages, cut into slices 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice, such as basmati
  • 1/2 tsp. saffron threads (optional)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 to 2 lb. small clams, such as littleneck or Manila, scrubbed
  • 1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup frozen petite peas

Directions:

Cook the sausages and rice
In a large fry pan or paella pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the sausage slices and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on both sides, about 3 minutes. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic and sauté until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the rice, crumble in the saffron and cook, stirring, until the grains are well coated, about 2 minutes. Pour the broth into the pan and stir in the 1 1/2 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the rice has absorbed nearly all of the liquid, about 20 minutes.

Cook the shellfish
Press the clams, hinge side down, into the rice, discarding any that do not close to the touch. Spread the shrimp over the rice and top with the peas. Cover and cook until the shrimp are opaque and the clams have opened, about 5 minutes more. Discard any unopened clams and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, One Pot, by Carrolyn Carreño (Oxmoor House, 2008).