Halloween SEA WITCH Paella

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Get ready to be dragged down to the depths of the ocean for this next recipe. Thalassophobics might want to skip this dish before they too become one with the ocean floor.

It's Halloween weekend which means things are a bit witchier than usual. I'm busting out my deep sea cauldron a la Ursula to make a PAELLA fit for a possessed Poseidon.

halloween dinner recipe


Let's Make Waves

This dish utilizes different parts from sea creatures and ingredients from around the world - most of which can be found at any grocery store. Here are some of the most important ingredients you will need.

  • cuttlefish ink - for the blackest black coloring we will use organic cuttlefish ink to dye our dish and make it a little fishy looking. Cuttlefish ink is similar to oyster or fish sauce in flavor.
  • lobster broth - I used Better Than Bouillon for my lobster broth base
  • octopus - typically tentacles can be found frozen but if you get lucky and live near a fish market, they are fabulous fresh
  • whole & peeled prawns - I left a few of my shrimp with their eyes on so that something would be looking at you while you eat it.
  • squid rings & calamari - different from the octopus in both size and texture, squid is a great way to add some texture to the rice
  • lobster claws - mine were pre-cooked so I just added them last to heat them up!
  • purple cauliflower - for pops of purple color throughout
  • forbidden rice - already naturally black, it will soak up the flavors of paella beautifully
  • saffron threads - true paella gets flavor, and it's traditional yellow hue, from the most expensive spice in the world. For this dish, we are using it for flavoring - but it is optional.
squid ink paella


True paella is cooked in a paella pan (affiliate link) and often on a grill where the flame is evenly distributed on the bottom of the steel pan. If you don't have a paella pan, that's totally fine - this recipe will cover how to do it on your kitchen stove. However, either method will work to create something delicious.

Paella is made by slowly pouring the broth over the top of the rice and letting the rice absorb all of the liquid before adding the next ladle of broth. Traditionally liquid is added to the most dry looking spots to keep the rice nice and moist - this method works best when an actual paella pan is being used.

You aren't supposed to stir the paella once the liquid is added. As it cooks, the bottom layer of rice will form a crunchy layer which is one of the many things needed to officially qualify the dish as paella.

halloween seafood recipe


I sauteed all of the seafood ingredients in a skillet with a pat of butter first - this way I won't have to dirty multiple pans to make the entire dish. We will reheat the seafood in the rice once it is fully cooked in about an hour!

After that, it's just a matter of adding broth to the rice until it is fully cooked. When the rice is about halfway done, I tossed in the cauliflower and tented the entire pan with foil to help steam the cauliflower. When the rice is finished cooking, just add the seafood back in until it is reheated!

And don't forget to watch a few spooky movies while you eat.

halloween dinner paella

Happy Halloween!

This recipe was inspired by this recipe from Tastemade.

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Sea Witch Paella

  • Number of Servings: 8
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Halloween SEA WITCH Paella

Ingredients

  • 4 cups lobster broth OR 1 tablespoon Better Than Boulillon + 4 cups water
  • pinch saffron threads (optional)
  • 16 oz octopus tentacles, cooked
  • 4 whole prawns, not peeled
  • 8 oz shrimp, peeled
  • 4 lobster claws, cooked
  • 16 oz calamari rings & tentacles
  • 1 tsp cuttlefish ink
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp white wine
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup sweet onion, chopped
  • ½ cup yellow and green bell peppers, chopped
  • 10 oz diced tomato
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenna pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 cup forbidden rice
  • 16 oz purple cauliflower
  • 2 tbsp parsley, for garnsih

Mouth Feel

Salty
Savory
Sour
Bitter
Sweet
Spicy

Tried it? Loved it? Share it!

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet or paella pan over medium high heat, add the butter and heat until melted and frothy. Add the octopus tentacles and calamari. Saute until tender, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  2. Without cleaning the skillet, add the whole prawns and lobster claws. Saute for 3-4 minutes until the prawns are cooked through. Then add the peeled shrimp and saute for another 2-3 minutes until the shrimp and lobster claws are cooked through. Set aside with the other cooked seafood items.
  3. Meanwhile, bring the lobster broth to a rolling boil in a separate pot. Add the saffron threads then reduce to a simmer.
  4. Deglaze the skillet with white wine. When the liquid has evaporated, add the olive oil and heat until it flows quickly across the pan with the pan is tilted.
  5. Add the peppers, onion and tomatoes to the skillet. Saute fot 5-10 minutes until the onions are just starting to get tender. Season with paprika, cayenne, and salt and pepper. Then add the cuttlefish ink and stir well.
  6. Stir in the forbidden rice and saute until it is mixed in with the veggies and has absorbed the excess liquid in the skillet. Then add the cuttlefish ink and stir well.
  7. Working one cup or ladleful at a time, pour the hot lobster broth over the rice. After this point, do not stir the rice. When most of the liquid has been absorbed into the rice, add the next cup or ladleful. Repeat until all of the broth has been used. Lightly tent the skillet with foil or a lid tilted off halfway between each addition of liquid. This process will take 30-40 minutes.
  8. When about half of the broth has been added, add the cauliflower florets. Press the cauliflower florets into the rice. Pour the broth over the rice and cauliflower and steam the cauliflower under the foil while the rice cooks. The cauliflower should cook for at least 20 minutes.
  9. Once the rice has absorbed all of the broth and the cauliflower is fork tender, add the seafood back to the skillet. Lightly tent with foil until the seafood is reheated through.
  10. Use a spatula to scrape the bottom of the skillet to get to the crispy bottom. Serve hot with a slice of crusty bread. Happy Halloween!
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