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Dec 17, 2004 03:11 PM

Non-shellfish, non meat paella

  • n

Ok - any ideas here? A previous post made me think I'd like to serve a paella for a buffet dinner next week. Only one teensy problem: no shellfish allowed and no meat either. Anyone ever do such a thing? I know, it's a travesty but it's such a great dish for entertaining.

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  1. What about risotto?

    1. f

      By "no meat" do you mean no chicken and no fish?

      Because if there is no fish, shellfish, chorizo, or chicken, to me, it's not really paella.

      7 Replies
      1. re: farmersdaughter

        I completely agree - for my self personally anyway. But there's a tiny part of me that is craving the flavour of paella (the saffronny rice, the brininess) but the guests are either vegetarian (no chicken) or non-shellfish eaters. What do you think about something with chunks of some kind of fish? (Fish is ok for these folks.)

        1. re: Nyleve

          A firm whitefish like cod would technically work, but would somehow not meld w/ the rice and other ingredients for my taste.

          How about calamari/squid? I believe that it would be w/in the diet parameters of your guests, and it would certainly add the briny flavor and meaty texture that paella calls for.

          1. re: Carb Lover

            While squid do not have shells, most people count them as shellfish when it comes to dietary restrictions. But, Nyleve, if fish is allowable and "briny flavor" is a desired outcome, there is an answer: Paella de Bacalao (salt cod). In the recipies I've seen, the bacalao is most commonly paired with cauliflower but that seems a little to white on white to me. Paella with salt cod and purple eggplant might work out well. Throw in some green beans and slices or red bell pepper and you are going to have something quite festive.

            1. re: brookmonton

              Thanks for helping me learn something new today; a part of me did wonder if squid was in the shellfish category in this context. BTW, I like your salt cod idea. Along w/ green beans and bell pepper, I also like to add peas into my paella. And serving w/ fresh lemon wedges is key!

              1. re: Carb Lover

                Actually the salt cod etc. sounds like a great idea. I might do that. Some red peppers, peas, maybe artichoke hearts...this could work.


          2. re: Nyleve

            Halibut might work too. It's pretty firm fleshed and wouldn't flake as much as cod. Good luck!

            1. re: Nyleve

              Penelope Casas has monkfish in several of her paellas.

          3. If it is NO meat at all(including chicken) Try tempeh or tofu which you can flavor (or buy flavored) to taste like anoduille. You can also add some liquid smoke. If chicken is allowed then there are some very good chicken sausages available. If you have a crowd with only some people who will not eat meat or shellfish you can do two pans adding the taboo ingredients to one after basic prep of both.

            1. Travesty? Nonsense. Penelope Casas devotes an entire chapter to authentic Spanish vegetarian paella's in her book. Here's one recipe:


              1 Reply
              1. re: brookmonton

                Agreed, Penelope Casas has some great vegetarian paella recipes in her book, "Paella." There is one in that book called "Vegetable Paella with Spicy Garlic Sauce" that has a variety of vegetables and is delicious. You can do a search in the book on Amazon and find the recipe.

              2. h
                Hoosier Daddy

                No meat, no shell fish, it's not paella, thats rice a roni!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Hoosier Daddy

                  Hey hey take it easy. No need to get all closed-minded about the matter. My suspicion is that, in the countries where paella is widely eaten, they'd make it with whatever was available - and if the fishin' had been bad, they'd make it with whatever else they had. There's no recipe that's cast in stone. Just looking for ideas.