April 1, 2005

Mary and Bill's Paella

One of our favorite dishes to prepare either for entertaining or just for us, is our version of the Basque dish, Paella. This has proven to be extremely popular with our guests, both on board or at home.

Some of our friends have asked for the recipe, so we thought we’d share it with all of you.

If you try it, let us know how it turned out.

Mary and Bill’s Paella…

This is very variable recipe, depending on what seafood looks best that day, so go shopping and buy what looks good.

The pan that you make the Paella in is important. It should be a large diameter shallow skillet. The recipe below works best in a skillet of at least 12 inches or a larger paella pan. We have a 15 inch Paella pan at home. If you don’t have skillets that size, spit the recipe between two pans.


  • 2 very spicy sausage (e.g. Hot Italian)
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp chopped garlic (use more if you wish)
  • 1 cup Arborio rice (use more as you wish)
  • 2 1/2 cup chicken broth or stock for each cup rice
  • Good pinch Saffron (Heat some broth and steep the saffron ahead of time)
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • Crushed red pepper as desired
  • 1 to 2 cup peas (frozen are OK)
  • Shrimp (best with shells on) – about a dozen large
  • Mussels (They work better than the clams.) – about a dozen large
  • Fish such as salmon, and /or scallops, squid, octopus or ? (We like salmon or scallops) – about a pound cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 sliced roasted red pepper for topping
Crumble the sausage and sauté until brown. It should not be cooked until done at this point. Remove the sausage and reserve.

Add olive oil to the pan if the sausage did not render out much fat. Add the rice and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned.

Add the garlic and return the sausage to the pan. Careful not to burn the garlic. After the garlic is lightly browned add the stock, saffron and tomatoes.

After this simmers a short time taste the broth to see how much more red pepper you want to add. Then add it.

The peas go in next but wait until just before you add the seafood (at around the 10 minute mark).

The total cooking time for the rice is about 20 minutes. You’ll need to taste the rice to determine if it needs more liquid but remember that the mussels will add some. Also you will need to determine how long the seafood will take depending on size. Have the seafood room temp before putting it in.

When adding the seafood, push the pieces into the rice. All the seafood won’t necessarily go in at the same time, it depends on the size of the pieces.

When everything is in, add the roasted red pepper decoratively across the top.
At the 20 minute mark the rice should be done but still al dente.

Generally the peas and fish go in at around 15 minutes, the shrimp and mussels at 17 minutes and everything is done at 20 minutes (plus resting time).

Turn off the heat and cover with a lid or a towel and let the rest off the flame for at least 7 minutes. Then serve and enjoy!

Enjoy, We’ve tried a lot of different seafood ingredients but this combo is our favorite. It has infinite possibilities. You can also use chicken, pork, clams, etc. Meats such as chicken or pork should be cut into bite sized pieces and browned before hand, as we did with the sausage.

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