Seafood and Andouille Paella

Main Course

Recipe courtesy of Louisiana Kitchen & Culture

Serves 6 - 8

Ingredients: 
  • three dozen small to medium mussels, purged*
  • 5 1/2 cups clam juice or seafood stock, as needed 
  • 1/2 teaspoon crumbled saffron thread
  • 3/4 pounds firm fleshed fish, such as snapper, grouper, and mahi mahi (feel free to mix several different varieties), skin off, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 pound small cleaned squid with tentacles, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (optional)
  • 1 pound andouille, cut into quarters lengthwise and diced
  • 18 large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails left intact
  • Salt, as needed
  • 4 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • olive or vegetable oil, as needed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced to 1/4 inch
  • 1 red pepper, diced to 1/4 inch
  • 1 green pepper, diced to 1/4 inch
  • 1 bunch small green onions, diced to 1/4 inch
  • 1 medium tomato, diced to 1/4 inch
  • 3 cups white rice, prefererably Arborio

*Tip: How to easily purge mollusks

Seafood Andouille Paella

Seafood Andouille Paella 

Click image to enlarge.

Method: 

Preheat oven to 400ºF gas, 450ºF if electric.

Place half the mussels in a pan with about a cup of water. Cover and bring to a boil; check in a few minutes and, using tongs or a slotted spoon, remove mussels to a separate bowl as they open. Reserve the meat, discarding the shells. Pour the remaining liquid into a sauce pan and add enough clam juice or seafood stock to make 6 cups. Add the saffron and bring to a bare simmer; cover and keep warm over very low heat.

If using frozen seafood, sprinkle the Gulf fish, shrimp, and squid (if using) with a little salt and let sit for ten minutes; this process brings back the taste of the ocean.

Using the flat side of a chef's knife on a cutting board, mash together the parsley, minced garlic, thyme, and a pinch of salt. Stir in the smoked paprika and cayenne, and a little water if necessary to form a paste. Reserve.

Cover the bottom of a large paella pan or shallow casserole with oil and heat. Add the fish, squid, and andouille and sauté for two minutes; remove to a warm pan (will not be cooked through). Add the shrimp and saute for two minutes, remove to a separate warm pan (will not be cooked through).

Add more oil to the pan if necessary, heat, and add the yellow and green onions and red and green peppers and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the vegetables begin to soften. Raise the heat to high, add the tomato and cook until the tomato just begins to break down.

Add the rice to the pan mixture and stir to coat; cook, stirring frequently, until the rice begins to turn translucent. Add all the warm saffron-infused broth, stir, and bring to a boil. Cooking, stirring occasionally and rotating the pan, for about 3 minutes. Add the reserved fish, squid, andouille, and reserved mussel meat, and the parsley/garlic/paprika paste and stir to combine. Taste for salt and adjust seasoning if necessary. Continue to boil until the rice is no longer soupy, but enough liquid remains to continue cooking.

Arrange the shrimp and mussels over the top of the dish, making sure to place the mussels so that the side that will open faces up. Place the pan in the oven and cook for about 15 - 20 minutes, until the rice is just al dente. If cooking liquid remains, place over high heat until absorbed; remove to a warm spot, cover, and let it rest for ten minutes or until the rice is cooked to desired texture.

Serve at once.

Note: Lodge Manufacturing makes a great paella pan. Find paella pan here

 

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