clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
The Hirshon Spanish Seafood Paella Grilled Over An Open Fire - Paella de Mariscos

The Hirshon Spanish Seafood Paella Grilled Over An Open Fire – Paella de Mariscos

  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale
  • For the seafood broth:
  • 4 tbsp. Spanish olive oil
  • Reserved shrimp shells from 1 pound medium-sized wild shrimp, heads-on
  • 1 “chicken” lobster, cut into pieces
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small carrot, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup dry sherry
  • 6 1/2 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups top-quality bottled clam juice – TFD prefers Bar Harbour brand
  • 6 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large chipotle chile in adobo
  • 1 star anise (TFD addition, not in original Spanish recipe)
  • Very large pinch saffron threads
  • ***
  • 1 tbsp. bittersweet smoked paprika
  • 4 medium tomatoes, minced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and minced
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 6 1/2 cups seafood broth
  • 1/2 cup “Flavor Bomb” made by combining 1/2 cup dry (NOT SWEET!) sherry, 1 1/2 tablespoons cumin seeds, 1 1/2 tbsp. bittersweet smoked paprika, 1 tbsp. fresh thyme, 1 bay leaf, 1/2 tbsp. Piri Piri powder and 1/2 tbsp. saffron threads
  • 2 1/2 cups short-grain rice, preferably Valencia or bomba
  • 1 1/2 lbs. small clams, cleaned
  • 1/2 lb. mussels, cleaned (optional – if you don’t like mussels, replace with small clams or with chopped monkfish fillet)
  • 2 lbs. extra-large, head-on shrimp in the shell
  • 1/2 lb. cuttlefish or small squid, cleaned and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1/2 lb. Atlantic lobster tail, still in the shell, split lengthwise and chopped into pieces
  • ***
  • To garnish:
  • minced parsley
  • wood-smoked piquillo peppers
  • pitted castelvetrano olives
  • lemon wedges
  • Spanish alioli sauce, made from:
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • Pinch of salt
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Spanish extra-virgin olive oil


  1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Add the shrimp shells and chopped lobster and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until browned, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the onion and carrot and cook, stirring, until the onion begins to brown, 5 minutes longer. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Add the sherry and boil for 1 minute, then add the water and return to a boil. Stir in the garlic, thyme, bay leaves, chipotle and saffron and simmer over low heat for 25 minutes.
  3. Strain the broth into a saucepan, pressing hard on the solids; you should have 6 ½ cups. Season with salt and combine with ½ cup of “flavor bomb”. Cover and keep warm over low heat.
  4. Make the alioli sauce:
  5. Place the garlic in a mortar along with the salt. Using a pestle, smash the garlic cloves to a smooth paste. (The salt stops the garlic from slipping at the bottom of the mortar as you pound it down.) Add the lemon juice to the garlic.
  6. Drop by drop, pour the olive oil into the mortar slowly as you continue to crush the paste with your pestle. Keep turning your pestle in a slow, continuous circular motion in the mortar. The drip needs to be slow and steady.
  7. Make sure the paste soaks up the olive oil as you go. Keep adding the oil, drop by drop, until you have the consistency of a very thick mayonnaise. If your allioli gets too dense, add water to thin it out. This takes time—, around 20 minutes of slow motion around the mortar —to create a dense, rich sauce.
  8. To make the fire:
  9. To set up a campfire for cooking, make sure the fire pit is large enough to hold a medium fire next to the grill grate. If the fire pit doesn’t have a grill grate, use one from your own grill and prop it on a few large rocks, leaving 6 to 8 inches of room to move logs and hot coals around underneath it. Leave space to move food away from the fire in case it’s cooking too fast.
  10. Start a campfire, (preferably using hickory or oak logs) continuously adding new logs to give yourself plenty of hot coals to work with. When some of the logs have burned down and are glowing red with gray ash, use tongs to move them under the grill grate. You want to avoid flames right underneath the grate.
  11. When you can hold your hand over the grate for just a few seconds before it’s too hot, you’re ready to start cooking. Keep adding wood and moving coals under the grate as needed while you cook.
  12. Heat olive oil and add the diced onions and bell pepper and stir-fry for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and garlic and cook for another 10 minutes, until mixture has thickened slightly. This is called a sofrito, which serves as the base for paella and other Spanish and Latin American dishes as well.
  13. Add the rice, paprika, and saffron (if using) and stir to combine. Add the combined seafood broth and flavor bomb and stir until mixed well.
  14. At this point, it is important NOT to stir the paella. By not stirring you will allow the socarrat to form on the bottom of the pan.
  15. After about 10 minutes, add the seafood. Arrange them evenly on top of the rice, and again, do not stir. Let the paella cook, uncovered, for about another 20 minutes, rotating the pan occasionally to make sure the bottom cooks evenly.
  16. The paella is ready when all the liquid has been absorbed, the socarrat has developed and the seafood has cooked through (discard any clams or mussels that did not open).
  17. When it’s done, remove the pan from the heat, cover it with foil and let it sit for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish before serving with parsley, piquillo peppers and olives and serve with alioli and lemon wedges on the side.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours