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Estrella Dam Paella

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A crisp, clean Spanish lager steps in for the traditional splash of white wine in our seafood paella.

By Laraine Perri

Spain has many treasures—the Alhambra and the siesta among them. But paella, the country’s magnificent national dish, may just be the greatest. The ultimate one-dish dinner, paella gloriously celebrates rice and serves it up as a spectacular platform for the meat, seafood and vegetables nestled within it. This version is ratcheted up by bold, irresistible chorizo, but the briny shellfish rules. It’s all pulled together with saffron, smoked paprika-infused rice and a crisp, clean Spanish lager that steps in for the traditional splash of white wine. The dish has all the allure of Spain itself.


Serves 4

  • 12 large mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 12 ounces extra-large shrimp (about 16 to 20),
  • peeled, deveined, tails on
  • 6 ounces squid bodies, cut in 1⁄2-inch rings
  • 6 ounces fully cooked Spanish chorizo, cut on an
  • angle in 1⁄4-inch slices
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1⁄3 cup Estrella Damm
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced
  • tomatoes, drained well
  • 2⁄3 cup frozen peas
  • 11⁄4 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • lemon wedges
  1. Preheat an oven to 450 degrees. In a small saucepan, combine the broth and saffron; bring to a simmer and keep warm.
  2. Heat the oil in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the chorizo, and sauté 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the onion; sauté 2 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic; sauté 1 minute more. Stir in the paprika and season lightly with salt and pepper. Add the rice, toss 1 minute to coat. Pour in the beer, stirring to deglaze the pan. Add the broth and tomatoes, stirring briefly to combine. Cover the skillet and transfer to the oven; bake 10 minutes. Do not stir the rice after this point.
  3. Nestle the mussels in the rice, hinged-side down. Cover and bake 5 minutes. Gently nestle the shrimp and squid in the rice and scatter the peas over the top. Cover and continue baking, 5 to 7 minutes more, or until the seafood is just cooked through and the mussels have opened. Remove the pan from the oven and let rest, covered, 5 minutes. Discard any mussels that haven’t opened, check the rice for seasoning, and sprinkle the parsley over the dish. Serve the paella straight from the pan, with lemon wedges for squeezing over the top.



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