Recipe courtesy of Norman Van Aken

Seafood Stew with Rice and Salsa Criolla (Arroz con Mariscos)

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 25 min
  • Prep: 35 min
  • Cook: 50 min
  • Yield: 6 servings


Salsa Criolla:


  1. Make a paste from the roasted peppers by mincing them, then mashing them with the back of a fork. Mix in half of the Scotch bonnet. Save the other half of the chile pepper for the Salsa Criolla. Reserve the paste.
  2. Heat the stock in a pot. Add the mussels and clams. Cover the pot, but check after a few minutes and remove the mollusks to a bowl as they open. Once all they are all out of the pot, add the saffron to infuse the stock and remove from the heat.
  3. In a bowl, season the flour with salt and pepper. Lightly flour the sea bass. Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat with 1/4 cup of the annatto or canola oil. When it is quite hot, add the bass and sear until golden crisp. Remove the fish and reserve on a plate. Now add the calamari to the pan and cook for 1 minute and reserve with the sea bass. Next add the shrimp to the pan, with 2 tablespoons of the pepper paste and 1/4 cup of the beer. Saute until just cooked. Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon and reserve with the rest of the seafood. Now reduce the cooking liquid to a light syrup and pour over the seafood. Reserve.
  4. To a deep soup pot over medium-high heat add the remaining 1/4 cup oil. When it is hot add the garlic and onion. Cook until they start to caramelize, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat. Pour in the chicken stock, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Stir with a fork, and add the seafood, the rest of the beer, and cilantro and stir once more. Cover again and turn down the heat to medium-low, cooking for about 25 minutes. While the rice cooks, make the Salsa Criolla.
  5. When the rice is done, stir in the peas and serve with the Salsa Criolla on the side.

Salsa Criolla:

  1. Put the onion in a small bowl. Squeeze the limes over them; discard the rinds. To this add the garlic, Scotch bonnet, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.