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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Smoky Seafood Paella

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Smoky Seafood Paella

This paella is the ultimate camping meal. It’s warm and filling, and the smell will have you salivating for that first bite. While you probably wouldn’t make this unless you were car camping, lightweight dried spices and bouillon cubes simplify the packing.

“This paella is the ultimate camping meal. It’s warm and filling, and the smell will have you salivating for that first bite.”


2 fish, chicken, or vegetable bouillon cubes + 6 cups (1.5 L) water, or 6 cups (1.5 L) homemade broth

1 tsp (5 mL) saffron

2 tsp (10 mL) extra-virgin olive oil

5 oz (140 g) chorizo, Andouille, merguez, or other cured, spicy sausage, sliced (optional; see tip)

1 large yellow onion, diced

2 red or orange bell peppers, cored and diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

3 cups (750 mL) medium-grain rice (Bomba or Calasparra, or Arborio or Carnaroli in a pinch)

1/2 cup (125 mL) white wine

2 large tomatoes, chopped, or 2 cups (500 mL) whole cherry tomatoes

3 Tbsp (45 mL) smoked paprika

1 Tbsp (15 mL) dried parsley

2 cups (500 mL) frozen peas, thawed

1 lb (450 g) mussels

1 lb (450 g) large shrimp, tails on, peeled and deveined

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 bunch parsley, chopped, for garnish (optional)

1 lemon, in wedges, for garnish


In large bowl, add saffron and bouillon cubes to 6 cups (1.5 L) water and set aside while bouillon cubes dissolve.

In paella pan or large cast iron pan, heat oil and add sliced sausage. Cook for 5 minutes over medium flame, until golden. Add onion, red pepper, and garlic, and sauté for 5 minutes, until onion is translucent, rotating the pan occasionally for even cooking (throughout the recipe). Stir in rice and coat in oil for 1 minute. Add wine and stir for 1 minute, until almost evaporated. Add tomatoes, smoked paprika, dried parsley, and the 6 cups (1.5 L) broth and simmer, uncovered, for 12 minutes over a medium flame. If paella looks dry, move pan away from the heat a little and add 1 cup (250 mL) water. You want a crust to form on the bottom, but you don’t want it to burn.

Meanwhile, rinse and debeard mussels, discarding any that are ajar and don’t close when squeezed together at the tip. Reserve in large bowl, but not in water or the mussels will die.

Taste rice mixture before adding seafood, and add salt and pepper to taste, remembering that seafood will add sodium naturally. Stir peas into rice mixture, then add cleaned mussels and shrimp. Cook for 15 minutes more. Cover pan only if there’s a breeze or if your fire isn’t strong enough to make mussels open.

Let cool for 5 minutes, covering if not already covered. Garnish with parsley, if desired, and serve with lemon wedges.


To make this dish into a vegan paella, use vegetable stock. Eliminate sausage and seafood and increase the vegetable quotient with some of your favourite vegetables, such as asparagus, and add mushrooms for a hit of umami flavour.

Each serving contains: 639 calories; 35 g protein; 15 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 87 g total carbohydrates (5 g sugars, 6 g fibre); 585 mg sodium

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