Spanish polycromatic symphony that your eyes enjoy before your stomach.
Paella is a Spanish rice dish. It originated in the fields of a region called Valencia in eastern Spain but variations exist in the different Spanish provinces.A colorful mixture of saffron-flavored rice, various meats , vegetables or seafood. Paella’s name comes from the paellera, the flat, round pan in which it is cooked.
There is a wide variety of paella, such: 1.Paella Valenciana – The original paella was born in Valencia. Besides rice, this includes chicken and pork. 2. Paella de Marisco (Seafood paella) – This paella does not contain meat. It usually contains prawns, mussels, calamares, clams, and other seafood. 3. Paella Mixta – This paella is a mixture of the paella Valenciana and the paella de marisco. It contains both meat and seafood. Sometimes this paella is called Paella Andaluz. 4. Paella Vegetariana – This paella contains a variety of vegetables like artichokes, lima beans, red and green peppers, and rice and does not include any meat or seafood. 5. Paella Negra – This paella is cooked with squid ink and looks black. It may have very small squid.
- Ingredients for 4 serves:
- 10-14 raw shell-on king prawns
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 300g cuttlefish, cut into chunks
- 8 shrimp tails
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 1 red pepper (optional)
- 250g paella rice
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- pinch of saffron
- 1/4 x 200g can chopped tomatoes (save the rest for the stock, below)
- 300g mussels cleaned
- 100g frozen peas
- handful parsley leaves, roughly chopped
For the stock
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion roughly chopped
- ½ x 200g can chopped tomatoes
- 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- Shrimp heads
- Prawn shells
- Peel and de-vein the prawns (remove the dark dorsal vein), reserving the heads and shells. Return the prawns to the fridge.
- To make the stock, heat the oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat and add the onion, tomatoes, garlic, and reserved prawn shells and shrimp heads. Cook for 3-4 mins, then pour 2 litres of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 mins. Leave to cool slightly, then whizz in batches in a blender or food processor. Strain through a fine sieve.
- Heat the oil in a large paella pan or an extra-large frying pan. Add chopped cuttlefish . shrimp tails and sautè for a few mins each side, then remove and set aside. Add the onion and fry for 4-5 mins until softened.
- Stir in the rice and cook for 30 secs to toast. Add the garlic, paprika, cayenne (if using) and saffron, cook for another 30 secs, then stir in the tomatoes and 1.5 litres of the fish stock. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook, stirring, for about 10 mins (the rice should still be al dente). Return the cuttelfish & shrimp tails to the pan with the prawns, mussels, peas (and if you desire the red pepper cut in stripes)
- Cover the pan with a large baking tray, or foil, and cook on a low heat for another 10-15 mins until the mussels are open and the prawns are cooked through. Scatter over the parsley before serving.
Enjoy with white wine made from the Alvarinho ( a variety of white wine grape grown in Galicia ), Verdejo ( a variety of wine grape that has long been grown in the Rueda region of Spain) or sauvignon blanc grapes. These wines should also be served well chilled, between 5 and 8ºC