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Traditional Spanish Paella
Recipe courtesy Sandie Jarrett

Serves 6 - 8

Spanish Nights

When you are in the mood for a sultry Spanish Night, nothing is more classic than Paella.  Follow the step-by-step instructions for preparing this entire meal.  Although it takes a little time, it is easy enough for most beginners, yet authentic enough for experienced palates. 

Our favorite presentation for this amazing dinner is in our small citrus orchard, under the umbrella of our huge elm tree.  The table is set simply, with the paella served directly from the pan, an ancient basket filled with chunks of rustic bread, pools of golden Ascolano olive oil in saucers for bread dipping, and a simple Spanish Salad.  A simple, red table wine is served in plain glasses and we talk for hours while the magic of Benise's Spanish Nights wafts through the summer breeze.

The Menu

Paella (Saffron Rice with Seafood and Chicken)
Classic Spanish Salad
Crusty Loaf of Country Bread or a Baguette

Note: The ingredients for each dish are listed first, followed by the instructions. 



12 medium-sized raw shrimps in their shells
6 – 8 ounces bay scallops
3 garlic-seasoned smoked sausages (Chorizo)
1 1/2 to 2 pounds chicken, cut into serving pieces
2 sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium sized sweet bell pepper cut into strips 1-1/2 inches long and inches wide
1 large tomato, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
3 cups raw medium or long-grained rice
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads pulverized
6 cups boiling water
1/2 cups defrosted frozen peas
2 lemons, each cut lengthwise into 6 wedges

Spanish Salad


1 full head of romaine or 2 – 3 hearts of romaine
1 Roma tomatoes
1 medium red onion
1/4 cup Lemon Infused Olive Oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Citrus Sea Salt
Black pepper, freshly ground

Crusty Bread


1 - 2 loaves of a rustic, crusty bread or baguette

The Game Plan for the Entire Menu 
  1. Remove peas, scallops, and shrimp from freezer and set aside. 
  2. Finely chop onion, garlic, and bell pepper.
  3. Slice lemons into wedges, set aside.
  4. Prepare tomato for sofrito:
  5. Bring a pan of water to a boil. 
  6. Drop tomato in boiling water; boil for 10 seconds.  Run under cold water and peel with a sharp knife.  Stem and core tomato.  Slice in half lengthwise.  Remove seed pod and finely chop.
  7. Prepare 2 Roma tomatoes for salad by cutting into wedges, set aside. 
  8. Peel and thinly slice red onion, set aside for salad.
  9. Shell shrimp, leaving tails intact.  Devein, then set aside. 
  10. Place sausages in skillet and cook to brown.  Set aside to cool.
  11. Pat chicken dry, season with salt and pepper.  Heat cup olive oil in skillet over high heat.  Add
    chicken and brown.  Remove when browned and set aside.
  12. Discard fat from skillet and add cup olive oil.  Heat on high, adding onion. Garlic, peppers, and tomato.  Stir while cooking briskly until most of the liquid evaporates and mixture is thick enough to hold shape lightly in a spoon.  Set the sofrito aside.
  13. Slice sausages into inch rounds and set aside.
  14. 1/2 hour before serving, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  15. Boil water for rice (need 6 cups)
  16. In a 14 inch skillet, combine sofrito, rice, 1 teaspoon salt, and saffron.  Add boiling water, return to boil over high heat.  Remove from heat immediately.  Adjust seasonings as necessary.
  17. Arrange meats and shellfish on top of rice and scatter peas at random over the whole.
  18. Set the pan on the floor of the oven and bake uncovered for 25 – 30 minutes or until all liquid has been absorbed by the rice and the grains are tender but not too soft.  At NO POINT should the paella be stirred after it goes into the oven.
  19. Roughly chop romaine for salad. 
  20. Start salad dressing by mixing the vinegar and garlic in a small bowl.  Let sit 5 minutes, then whisk in the olive oil.  Blend well.
  21. When paella is done, remove from oven and drape towel over top.  Let rest 5 to 8 minutes. 
  22. Toss romaine with dressing and arrange tomato wedges and red onion on top.  Season, to your taste, with lemon or citrus sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  23. Garnish paella with lemons and serve at the table directly from pan.
  24. When paella comes out of the oven, put bread on stone and heat through.
  25. Enjoy!


Links to Products:  Sea Salts & Seasonings  |  Gourmet Olive Oils  |  Infused Olive Oils
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