I love Paella! To me, it stands for everything good. Seafood and specifically mussels, Saffron, and of course Rice - which is ultimate comfort. The combination of flavours in Paella are heavenly, but best of all is the almost melt in your mouth experience! Love, love love...
When talking about Paella, I find, it is a must to tap a little bit into Saffron. The world's most expensive spice is not so for no reason!
Lets get right into the making of
my favourite Seafood Paella
12 black mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
12 prawns, peeled and deveined
12 clams, scrubbed
200g white fish fillets, skinned and cut into chunks
Row Squid (calamari) rings
4 large Crab legs (optional)
100g Cherizo, sliced (if you do not find Cherizo or do not eat them, you can use good quality cheese filled hot dogs instead)
1 slice bacon, chopped
75g frozen peas
1 red capsicum, finely chopped
1 ripe tomato, skinned and roughly chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1/2 red onion extra, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup medium grain rice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine, or extra chicken stock if not using wine
1/4 tsp or a pinch of good quality Saffron threads
a pinch of cayenne pepper
Finely chopped parsley for garnish
In a sauceapn, heat onions and wine or chicken stock if not using wine, once steaming add the mussels, cover and cook over high heat for 5 minutes. Shake the pot twice throughout, instead of opening the lid and stirring. Remove the pan from heat, drain, reserving liquid, and discard closed mussels.
While this is cooking, blend the saffron with warm chicken stock, set aside.
In a paella pan or a braising pan, heat the olive oil, bacon, garlic and extra 1/2 red onion, add red capsicum and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, chorizos and cayenne pepper. stir to coat. Season with salt & black pepper. Stir in the reserved liquid from cooking the mussels. Add the rice and spread around the pan.
Add the soaked saffron and stock and stir into the paella pan. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low heat, uncovered for 15 minutes. Do not stir at this point.
After 15 minutes are done, add peas, prawns, calamari rings, and push them in a little bit. Cover the pan and cook on low heat for 10 minutes. When 5 minutes are done, uncover and turn the rice mixture over once. Cook till the rice is tender and the seafood is cooked through, do not over cook or seafood will turn out rubbery. if the rice still has a bite, add a little extra stock and cook for 5 minutes extra.
Add the mussels and Scallops in the last 5 minutes of the cooking.
Remove from heat, and let it rest for a few minutes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve warm...
Dig In ;)
Ah! Paella is one of those dishes that get me drooling by the mention of it!! Hope you will try this recipe, it is truly a symphony of flavours :) Let me know what you think, leave me a comment...
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