This iconic Spanish dish represents all that’s wonderful about seafood. A stunning flavorsome dish of saffron rice and fresh catches of the day, served up on warm Mediterranean evenings under a cool sea breeze. If you want to experience a taste of the ocean then take a look at this great recipe. For more fish dishes, go to http://food-tales.com/food-inspirations/food-recipes-from-around-the-world/5-fabulous-fish-recipes-from-around-the-world
What you’ll need
Special requirement – a paella pan
8-ounce bottle clam juice
1 small onion
¼ teaspoon saffron, crumbled
¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large tomato, ripe
8 garlic gloves, 4 chopped and 4 peeled but not chopped
1 pound mussels, rinsed thoroughly
12 large shrimps, peeled with tail still on and deveined
1 medium lemon, sliced
12 dry-packed scallops
2 cups Spanish bomba rice
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
For the clam broth – take a small pan and toast the saffron over a medium-low heat for about 1 minute.
Remove from the heat and crush the saffron with the back of a spoon. Pour in the clam juice and bring to the boil on a high heat. Once boiled, remove from heat and set to one side to infuse.
For the sofrito – peel and halve the onion. Grate the onion halves for 1/3 cup of onion puree.
Cut the tomato in half and grate to get 1 ¼ cups of tomato pulp. Take your 16-inch paella pan and set it over a medium-low heat.
Add ¼ cup of oil and once hot, add in the onion. Cook the onion in the center of pan, stir regularly until it softens.
Add in the tomato pulp, the chopped and whole garlic, smoked paprika and ¼ teaspoon salt.
Stir often while cooking until mixture is deep red in color for about 30 minutes. Keep an eye on the temperature and adjust if necessary. Do not let it burn. If any sticking occurs, add a little water.
For the shrimp-mussel broth – as the sofrito is cooking, put the shrimp shells in a saucepan. Cook over a medium-high heat until they dry for about 3 minutes.
Pour in 5 cups of water and boil.
Pick out the smallest 12 mussels and place them in the refrigerator.
The rest of mussels need to be added to the boiling water. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Strain the broth and remove the shells and mussels. Add in the saffron-clam broth and 2 teaspoons salt to the shrimp-mussel broth.
Measure 5 ¼ cups of broth and put the remainder to one side.
For the paella – When the sofrito is finished, add the rice into the paella pan and cook again over a medium heat while stirring the whole time to combine the two. 2 minutes should suffice.
Pour in the 5 ½ cup of broth, keeping the rice in an even layer. Don’t stir the rice anymore at this point.
Bring to the boil and then keep at a steady, energetic simmer. Do this until the rice starts to appear the level of the broth – about 7-8 minutes.
Spread the mussels out evenly and lower the heat for 5 minutes before adding the shrimp. Simmer again until liquid is absorbed by the rice.
If the rice cooks quicker than the shrimp or mussels, cover with loose foil to trap heat and encourage cooking.
Season the scallops with salt. Take the last 2 teaspoons of oil and heat in non-stick skillet. Cook the scallops until browned on both sides – about 3 minutes each side.
Place scallops on top of paella, increase to a medium-high heat and move pan around while cooking until it crackles but not burns. Remove from heat when done.
Allow paella to settle for 10 minutes before placing lemon slices around the edges and serving.