Paella is a classic dish of Spain but comes originally from the region of Valencia. It is useful to purchase a paella pan if you are thinking of making this dish at home. The ingredients can be varied according to taste but should always be bright and colourful as well as tasty.
5 cloves garlic
1 red pepper
extra virgin Spanish olive oil
1 tsp smoked paprika
salt & pepper
2 cups paella rice
4½ cups fish stock
20 raw jumbo prawns (peeled and deveined)
20 fresh mussels (debearded and cleaned)
pieces of cleaned squid
These ingredients can be altered according to how many they are to serve this amount is about right for four people. When measuring rice take ½cup of rice per person and 1 cup of liquid + a little extra hence the ½cup. All the other ingredients can be altered according to your own preferences. A paella pan is a useful addition to your kitchen but is not an absolute necessity as a large wide pan will also do the job.
Prepare all your ingredients beforehand. Dice the pepper and onion, crush the garlic and ensure the seafoods are clean.
Heat the paella pan (or frying pan) and add a generous amount of olive oil, about 6fl oz, keeping the pan over a medium heat add the squid and cook for 2 minutes, remove and set aside. Add the onions, peppers and garlic to the pan and cook for 4 minutes add ½ a tube of tomato puree, the teaspoon of smoked paprika, salt and pepper to taste, give all the ingredients a good stir before adding the stock and saffron. Bring to the boil before adding the rice. Leave to simmer gently for 5-7 minutes and then add the prawns, clams and mussels, continue cooking for a further 5 minutes and then lower the heat to a slow simmer. Do not be tempted to stir, a shake of the pan every now and then is enough. After 12-14 minutes the liquids should be almost absorbed. Turn off the heat and cover the pan and leave to rest for a few minutes while you chop some parsley and cut some lemon wedges for decoration. Serve piping hot.
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