Spanish Paella and Cab Franc in San Diego County

By (Guest) Wine Dude Allan D. Kissam

While sipping estate bottled wine on the patio of La Serenissima Vineyard & Estate Winery in Warner Springs, CA, I took in the surrounding hills of this inland area of San Diego County.  It is on the path between the tourist destinations of Temecula and Julian.  Warner Springs has multiple wineries, a place to stay at Warner Springs Ranch, and is well known for its glider  ride air strip.   What I didn’t expect for the afternoon was to polish my limited cooking skills with something I could do beyond turn a steak on the grill.

Freelance chef Susanna Llop ( setup her portable paella pan and I parked my chair in front of her to watch.  She uses fresh shrimp, clams, chicken, mussels, fish broth and more — this is an original Spanish recipe.  Susanna is from Barcelona, Spain, and she cooks for groups while including her collection of original family recipes.  I really enjoyed taking a second helping of the fresh paella as prepared below, and pairing the estate bottled Cabernet Franc was excellent advice by La Serenissima founder, Dr. John Tiso.


Paella Recipe

Ingredients for four people:
1 cup white wine (inexpensive Sauvignon Blanc recommended by the chef)
Half pound of calamari
12 clams
12 mussels
2 breast of chicken
2 sausages
2 cups of Arborio rice
2 cups of artichokes
2 cloves of garlic diced
1 bell pepper chopped
½ onion chopped
Half cup of parsley diced
1 small can of natural tomato
1 lemon (optional)
Saffron (optional if available- a few strands)
4 cups of fish broth
Olive oil enough to cover the pan

Pour the olive oil in the pan and add the cut calamari. Then add the onions, garlic and parsley, a few minutes later add the chicken, the sausage, and the white wine. Simmer for a few minutes, letting the different juices mix together.Add the vegetables, and after a few minutes, the can of tomato. It should cook for about five minutes, after that add the rice, coating the rice in the juices. Mix it all together. Now, add the fish broth, the salt and the saffron or the seasoning. Give it a stir.

Lastly, add the muscles and the clams. Let it cool slowly from this point. When ready cover it completely with a piece of cloth, and let it sit for about 10 minutes.  Now, ready to serve.

Fish Broth

A whole fish or fish heads (any type of white fish)
½ a small onion
1 romaine tomato
1 bay leaf
Mix all the ingredients and let it boil for 30 to 45 minutes.


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