This version may not be strictly traditional, but capers, seafood mix and Spanish saffron bring the flavors of paella together. Traditional paella takes a while to cook and can be tricky. Precooking the rice is a great shortcut but authentic Spanish saffron is not optional and worth the price tag.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 1/2 cups of cooked long grain rice
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 Lb. bag of frozen seafood mix, thawed (I used Trader Joe’s calamari, shrimp and scallops mix)
- 1 pinch of saffron threads
- 1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
- ½ cup diced carrots
- 2 Tbs. capers
- Fresh mussels and shrimp for decoration (optional)
- 4 lemon wedges (optional)
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, carrots and garlic. Once onions are transparent add the chicken broth. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 6 minutes. Add thawed seafood mix, thawed peas, capers, saffron, salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes. Add cooked rice mixing well.
Place boiled mussels and cooked shrimp on top (optional). Cover and remove from the heat. Let it rest, covered, until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.