Well, it had to happen sooner or later, that I would get around to posting about what is probably Spain’s most emblematic dish. Truth is, I only started making paella a couple of years ago, once again using Janet Mendel’s fabulous Cooking in Spain as a guide. Here I’ve made a few small changes from her original and the result was very satisfying.
Recipe and instructions below the links.
- 1 dozen clams and/or mussels
- 1/2 kg langoustines or large prawns
- 300 grams chicken breasts, cut in cubes
- 300 grams pork loin, cut in cubes
- olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 small onion, minced
- 2 small italian green peppers, cut in thin strips
- 300 grams squid rings
- 2 large tomatoes
- 500 grams short grain “bomba” rice
- 1 1/4 litre liquid, very hot or boiling
- 1/2 tsp saffron
- 10 black peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp salt
- tinned red pimiento
- 100 grams cooked peas
Clean the clams or mussels and steam them open. Remove a half-shell and discard, set aside the clams on one shell. Strain and reserve the liquid.
Peel the prawns, saving about half a dozen for garnish. Cook them in a little water, add the shells, then strain and reserve the liquid.
Sautée 4 cloves garlic in about 2 tbsp of olive oil until lightly toasted, then remove and set aside, and add the cubed chicken and pork to the same oil, turning often until nicely browned. Remove to a dish.
Add the minced onion and green peppers to the same oil, let sautée a few minutes, add the squid rings and sauté a bit more, then add the tomatoes and raise the heat to high so they “fry” a bit, adding more oil so it doesn’t stick.
Add the rice and cook briefly, stirring, until the grains become slightly opaque. Then combine the reserved cooking liquids with stock and heat. Add to the rice with the chicken and pork and continue cooking on a high heat.
Turn down the heat and let the paella continue cooking. Decorate the top with the reserved clams, cooked prawns in the shell, strips of pimiento and cooked peas.
Shake the pan to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom. Once done, remove from heat and let the paella stand for ten minutes before serving. Serve with quartered lemons which are squeezed over top.