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Spicy Seafood Paella

Spicy Seafood PaellaSpain's famous paella originated in the Atlantic port of Valencia—but today, each region along the coast has its own version of the hearty dish. Paella takes its name from the traditional cooking utensil, a round, flat tow-handled iron pan. If you don't have a paella pan, a heavy casserole dish or wide frying pan will do just as well.

Recipe Ingredients:

1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound chorizo sausages, casings removed
1 green bell pepper, halved and seeded
1 medium-size red onion, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 1/2 cups long-grain rice
3 cups bottled clam juice
1/2 cup water
1 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry basil
1 (9-ounce) package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and drained
1 1/2 pounds firm-textured white-fleshed fish fillets
12 small hard-shell clams in shell, scrubbed
1 pound medium-sized raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
12 mussels in shell, scrubbed
1 pound cooked crab legs in shell, cracked
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch wide strips

Cooking Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a 14-inch paella pan or 4-quart oven-proof pan over medium-high heat. Crumble chorizo into pan and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned.
  2. Coarsely chop half the green bell pepper; cut remaining half into 1/4-inch wide strips and set aside.
  3. Add chopped bell pepper, onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes to pan; cook, stirring often, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in rice, clam juice, water, wine, saffron, black pepper, salt, basil, and artichokes. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat. Then remove from heat, cover, and bake in a 350°F (175°C) oven for 30 minutes, stirring twice.
  5. Meanwhile, rinse fish, pat dry, and cut into 1-inch pieces.
  6. Stir rice mixture, then stir in fish. Push clams, shrimp, and mussels into rice. Arrange crab on top. Cover and continue to bake until rice is tender to bite, clams pop open, and shrimp are opaque in center; about 15 more minutes (cut to test).
  7. Discard any unopened clams. Garnish paella with green and red bell pepper strips and serve immediately.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.