Seafood paella based meals as the main course are something that the Dominican families like to enjoy. The combination of rice, fish, coconut and some vegetables is a blend that has many characteristics of a stew.
It is the crunchy rice and reduced amount of liquid that changes the dish from a simple stew into a distinctive meal.
The paella is simply a unique Spanish meal that
can be adapted to the traditional cooking style of the Dominican
Republic by combining a few different ingredients.
Preparation Time: approximately 30 minutes
Baking Time: 45 to 60 minutes
Servings: This recipe will feed 6-8 people. (If you do not have a pan large enough to cook this entire dish you can use 2 pans or casserole dishes.)
3 cups firm fish (dorado, cod or herring) that has been cleaned and cut in bite sized chunks
3 bay leaves and 6 fresh rosemary sprigs (tied with some cooking string)
2 onions peeled and diced
12 cloves of garlic
2 large, sweet red peppers cut into slices
8 plum tomatoes (quartered)
4 cups of long grain rice (organic if possible)
4 cups of fresh fish stock
1 cup of dry wine (white)
¼ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp saffron powder
¾ cup of freshly shredded coconut
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
½ cup green peas (optional)
Using a paella pan will give you the crisp crust for the seafood rice but if this is not possible you can substitute by using an ovenproof casserole pan as long as it can pull double duty on the stove top. Even a large cast iron skillet will work.
Set the kitchen oven to 400°F (204°C).
In a large pan add the saffron and
tied herbs to the fish stock. Heat until the liquid is starts
Remove the tied herbs and discard them.
Let the flavored fish stock rest while you
prepare the remaining ingredients.
Add the extra virgin olive oil to the pan. Sauté the garlic in the oil until it is lightly browned.
Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper if desired.
Now add the fish, onions, sweet peppers and coconut to the oil and cook on medium heat for 5-8 minutes.
Put the tomatoes into this mixture and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes.
Now you can add the rice.
Stir carefully, add the (optional) green peas to combine all of the liquid and flavors together with the rice.
Now pour in the dry white wine and stir again.
Pour the fish stock into the pan and stir once more.
Place a covering of aluminum foil over the pan and place it in the 400°F (204°C) oven and bake for 45 minutes.
Take the pan out of the oven.
Carefully replace the pan in the oven and allow the dish to continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes more.
One of the nice things about cooking this Dominican Republic paella is its simplicity.
Taste the rice and check the flavor as well as the amount of remaining liquid. You can add sliced lemons, fresh parsley and chopped chives.