The Grub Up Podcast: Perfect Paella!

On this episode of the podcast we're joined by All-Star Celebrity Chef Jen Biesty. She's the Executive Chef and Co-Owner of Shakewell, a Mediterranean Restaurant and Bar in Oakland that serves up some AMAZING tapas. You might have also seen her on The Food Network as a Chopped champion, she was on Beat Bobby Flay, and on Top Chef on Bravo. It's safe to say, this is a superstar Boss Lady who knows what she's doing!

There are so many things about paella that are so delicious and can be tricky. From how to get your rice crunchy, creamy rice to the treasure trove of meat and seafood layered amidst the complex flavors of sofrito, this was a dish typically left to the experts, until now. Check out the podcast and then scroll down for the recipe. Enjoy!

Chef Jen Biesty From Shakewell

Chef Jen Biesty From Shakewell

Shakewell Seafood Bomba (Paella)

(Courtesy Of Chef Jen Biesty)

One of Shakewell’s signature menu items is its Bomba, a wood-fired rice dish similar to paella. Bomba is also the name of the Spanish short-grain rice used to make the dish.

Serves 4

Special equipment: 10-12 inch paella pan

  • Bomba 2 cups bomba rice
  • 1⁄4 cup canola oil
  • 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 1 1⁄2 cups carrot jalapeño sofrito (see recipe)
  • 1 cup roasted red peppers
  • 2 quarts fish stock
  • 1 lb squid, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 lbs. clams ½ lb. shrimp
  • 1 cup parsley, chopped Julienne preserved lemons, jarred
  • Pickled Fresno chilies (see recipe)
  • Aioli (see recipe)
  • Parsley for garnish


Heat the fish stock to a boil then turn off the heat. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Heat paella pan on medium heat. Add canola oil, then salt, then rice to the oil and stir the rice with a wooden spoon to toast the rice slightly.

Add the sofrito to the rice and stir continuously until the rice is coated with the sofrito. Add wine to deglaze the pan. Immediately add the squid ink and stir the rice. Once the wine has cooked out / evaporated, add your fish stock and stir again to mix evenly.

Bring the stock to a boil, but do not stir again! Place the pan in the hot oven and bake for 15 minutes. Season the squid, clams and shrimp with salt, pepper and olive oil and put on top of the rice. Place back in the oven 10-20 minutes until all the stock is evaporated and the seafood is cooked.

Remove paella pan from the oven and garnish with preserved lemons, pickled chilies, chopped parsley and aioli. Serve immediately.

  • Aioli:
    2 egg yolks
  • 1⁄2 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic, grated on a microplane
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup canola oil

Put eggs, mustard, garlic, lemon, salt and pepper into the KitchenAid mixer and slowly add oils to emulsify. Add cold water as necessary to adjust thickness.

Pickled Fresno Chilies 4 Fresno chilies, sliced into thin rings seasoned rice vinegar

Soak chilies in hot water for five minutes. Drain and soak again for three minutes. Drain. Cover with seasoned rice vinegar. Use right away or refrigerate for up to three weeks.

Jalapeno Sofrito (makes 1 quart) 1 cup diced yellow onion 2 cups diced carrots 1⁄2 cup diced fennel 1⁄4 cup diced celery 1⁄2 cup diced red onion 3 jalapenos, deseeded and diced 1⁄2 cup garlic, sliced olive oil

Add vegetables to a stainless steel pot, cover with olive oil and cook on low heat for 20-30 minutes or until flavors come together, stirring vigorously. Refrigerate and use for up to two weeks.

Huge Paella

Huge Paella