Make it at Home: Paella

Guests at Dreams Resorts & Spas will experience all kinds of global cuisine at our restaurants. Today, we would like to share a delicious Paella recipe for you to make once you return home. It’s a one-dish meal consisting of rice, beans, vegetables, meat or seafood and plenty of spices.  The Paella recipe we are sharing today is a favorite combining seafood and meat, making a true taste sensation. This recipe is great for family dinner – it’s a balanced meal all in one pot! It’s so delicious and is sure to become a dinnertime favorite.

Executive at Dreams Cancun Resort & Spa, Chef Mario Hernandez cooking a deliciuos Paella.

Executive Chef at Dreams Cancun Resort & Spa, Mario Hernandez cooking a delicious Paella.

Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings


  • Spice Mix for chicken, recipe follows
  • 1 (3-pound) frying chicken, cut into 10 pieces
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Spanish chorizo sausages, thickly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Spanish onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Bunch flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped, reserve some for garnish
  • 1 (15-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained and hand-crushed
  • 4 cups short grain Spanish rice
  • 6 cups water, warm
  • Generous pinch saffron threads
  • 1 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • 2 lobster tails
  • 1/2 cup sweet peas, frozen and thawed
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  • Special equipment:
  • Large paella pan or wide shallow skillet


  1.  Make spice mix for chicken by combining 1 tablespoon sweet paprika, 2 teaspoons dried oregano, Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
  2. Rub the spice mix all over the chicken and marinate chicken for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
  3. Heat oil in a paella pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the chorizo until browned, remove and reserve. Add chicken skin-side down and brown on all sides, turning with tongs. Add salt and freshly ground pepper. Remove from pan and reserve.
  4. In the same pan, make a sofrito by sautéing the onions, garlic, and parsley. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes on medium heat. Then, add tomatoes and cook until the mixture caramelizes a bit and the flavors meld. Fold in the rice and stir-fry to coat the grains. Pour in water and simmer for 10 minutes, gently moving the pan around so the rice cooks evenly and absorbs the liquid. Add chicken, chorizo, and saffron. Add the clams and shrimp, tucking them into the rice. The shrimp will take about 8 minutes to cook. Give the paella a good shake and let it simmer, without stirring, until the rice is al dente, for about 15 minutes. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, when the rice is filling the pan, add the lobster tails. When the paella is cooked and the rice looks fluffy and moist, turn the heat up for 40 seconds until you can smell the rice toast at the bottom, then it’s perfect. (Cook’s note: The ideal paella has a toasted rice bottom called socarrat.)
  5. Remove from heat and rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with peas, parsley and lemon wedges.

Recipe from

It’s the playoffs!

Guests at any Dreams Resorts & Spas during the baseball playoffs will be in for a major league good time as they root for their favorite team from the beach. Can’t join us this year? Throw your own baseball playoff party with these great baseball inspired recipes from!

Homemade Caramel Popcorn!



1 cup butter

2 cups brown sugar

1/2 cup corn syrup

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 quarts popped popcorn


Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (95 degrees C). Place popcorn in a very large bowl.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in soda and vanilla. Pour in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat.

Place in two large shallow baking dishes and bake in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking into pieces.

Go Team!
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Traditional Mardi Gras King Cake

Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday” which is the last day Roman Catholics and many other Christians can let their hair down and eat, drink and be merry before the 40 days of fasting and prayer of Lent commence with Ash Wednesday. At Dreams Resorts & Spas, we go to great lengths to celebrate this holiday, and do our best to incorporate many activities for the entire family to enjoy.

Along with the elaborate costumes, colorful masks and exciting parades, another part of the celebration of Mardi Gras is the traditional oval cake in honor of the three kings – the King Cake. The shape symbolizes the unity of faiths. Each cake is frosted and decorated with colored sugars (purple, representing justice; green, representing faith; and gold, representing power. A small baby, symbolizing baby Jesus, is baked into each cake and the person who find it is made ‘king or ‘queen’ for the day.

The traditional King Cake is made from twisted strands of cinnamon dough, topped with icing, and sprinkled with purple, green, and gold colored sugar. See below for a quick and easy recipe if you’d like to create a King Cake of your own to enjoy at home. It’s the perfect family-friendly way to celebrate Mardi Gras with the whole family!


  • 1 can of cinnamon rolls, with icing
  • 3/4 cup of sugar, separated into 3 parts of 1/4 each
  • Purple, green and yellow sugar

Separate the cinnamon rolls and roll them out by hand so that they look like a hot dog. Shape the roll into an oval, pinch the ends together, and place on a cookie sheet. Cook as directed. When they are finished cooking, ice the tops with the white icing. Sprinkle the different colors of sugars alternating as you go around the oval.