When done right, Paella is one of my favorites. I’ve dreamed of a scheme to get me to Spain for a long weekend just to try some true Paella (and maybe a glass or two of sangria while I’m there). So far, no trips have materialized, but I’m sure I can figure that one out one day.
Scott constantly requests my “paella” which is really seafood and cous cous, which is not paella at all. But, it’s tasty, a big giant dish of seafood and some kind of starch mixed together with spices. So…. here is my own personal recipe!
Kim’s Not So Paella
1/2 pound fish (I almost always use Halibut; your favorite fresh fish would work fine)
1/2 pound scallops
1/2 pound mussels or shrimp, whatever happens to be fresh at the market
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp dried dill (2 tsp if fresh)
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced into quarters or halves if large
salt & fresh ground pepper
1 box herb & garlic cous cous
3 cups loose spinach
3/4 cup dry white wine
Extra virgin olive oil
Cut the fish into bite size pieces, place in a bowl and squeeze 1/2 the lemon over the pieces. Put back in the fridge while preparing the remainder of the food. Rinse the scallops and dry. De-beard the mussels and rinse thoroughly.
Heat a grill pan on high. While waiting for pan to heat, heavily pepper the scallops with fresh ground pepper. Once the grill pan is hot, add the scallops (use some evoo if you need, I usually drizzle a bit). Let each scallop cook about 1.5-2 minutes per side. Remove and set aside.
While the scallops are cooking, heat 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet. Add garlic to skillet, saute until tender, but not soft. Add fish with lemon juice (from marinade). Add spices (dill, cayenne, thyme and salt) and sliced tomatoes. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the wine to the skillet, stir and coat the fish. Continue to cook, reducing the wine mixture significantly, about 7 minutes. In the meantime, cook the cous cous (usually about a 7 minute process).
Once the wine is reduced, add the mussels and toss a lid on your large skillet (does not need to be tight fitting, but would be best if it is). Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the mussels have opened up.
Presentation: Scoop the cous cous into a large bowl. Throw a couple of handfuls of spinach (about 2 cups) on top of the cous cous. Scoop the seafood on top of the spinach, topped with the grilled scallops and serve immediately.
Notes: goes extremely well with SA Celebrations (Junior Forum Cookbook) Beer Bread and a crisp white wine. I also sometimes top with some fresh pecorino or Parmesano reggiano if it’s around.