Gena and Don’s Seafood Paella

A few years ago, our friend Gena was out for a visit and, after pouring her a glass or two of white wine, the two of them started to invent. This is basically what  transpired. Me? I set the table and watched and just listened to these two. Believe me, this was an education. More laughter than a comedy club.


  • 3 tbsp. Spanish olive oil
  • 1/2 – 3/4  lb. raw jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 1/2 tsp. sweet Spanish smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 4 oz. Spanish chorizo, sliced into 1/4 inch half moons
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • pinch of saffron threads, crumbled
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 3 cups of fish or chicken stock
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 pound manila clams, well washed and purged
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 lb. mussels, well scrubbed and debearded
  • 3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 lobster tails, quartered

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Set a 14 inch paella pan over medium high heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season shrimp with 2 teaspoons paprika and pinch of salt. Once oil is hot, sear shrimp, about 1 minute per side. Remove from pan and set aside.  Add the remaining oil and chorizo to pan and sear, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is nicely browned (1 – 3 minutes).

Add onion, garlic and saffron to pan and saute, stirring often, until lightly carmelized – 6 – 7 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Season with the remaining salt and paprika. Add stock to the pan, bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer and cook, without stirring, until the rice is no longer soupy but some liquid still remains. Give the rice a stir to loosen and add the clams with their opening edges facing up. Reduce to low heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Add the peas, mussels (again, facing up) and shrimp to the pan and continue and stir if using  lobster tails.

Transfer pan to the oven and cook until the clams and muassels have opened and most of the liquid has been absorbed, and the rice is almost cooked through (10 minutes). Remove from the oven, cover and let stand for about 10 minutes before serving. Serve with the garnished parsley.

Oh yeah, be sure to have more wine in the cooler. Now, where did I put my glass?  Gena, did you take it?



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