Ingredients for stock:
- water (enough to fill a large pot half way)
- shrimp shells (reserved from peeling shrimp)
- mussel or clam broth (reserved from opening the clams or mussels)
- salt to taste
- 1 lbs. short grain rice (3 cups)
- 1 large squid (cleaned, gutted, skin removed, cut into rings, or squares)
- 1 lbs. shrimp, cleaned, de-veined, shells removed and reserved to make stock
- 1 lbs. mussels or clams (or a mix of both I used just mussels this time)
- 1/2 lbs. firm white fish filets cut into chunks or scallops (optional your choice I like em in there I used scallops this time)
- 1 onion minced
- 1 green or red bell pepper minced
- 4-6 cloves garlic finely minced
- 1/2-1 cup dry white wine or 1 can of a light colored beer
- 1 tablespoon “Pimenton” (sweet smoked Spanish paprika)
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin -1- 2 bay leaves
- powdered saffron or “colorante alimentario” or “bijol” to give the rice it’s yellow color
- 6 cups of a good seafood stock
Ingredients for garnishes
- 1 fire roasted red bell pepper (cut into strips)
- 1 handful of peas
Steps for stock:
- Grab the reserved shrimp shells, throw in pot with water, bring to a boil and leave alone for about 10- 15 minutes then turn off heat, and strain. Set aside.
- Meanwhile get mussels or clams, scrub them well, and put in a small pot with oil heat stirring occasionally until they open. They will release juice, strain the juices through a very fine strainer, reserve them and add it to your shrimp stock.
- Very simple right that’s the stock you will use to cook your rice. NOW PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING I understand some will buy pre-cooked frozen mussels or clams, and their shrimp will already be peeled thus not being able to make the stock from scratch, that is OK don’t freak out, instead of making the stock use water but be sure to boil the water and add 2 cubes of shrimp bouillon and set it aside, it’s not EXACTLY the same but it will work, or buy a good quality seafood stock.
Steps for making the Paella:
- Heat a very generous amount of olive oil over high heat in a large wide pan (preferably a Paellera) if you don’t have one use a gigantic non-stick pan, or large wide round metal pan either will work. Add your calamari/ squid to the oil and stir, it will release juices allow it to reduce until it’s just oil.
- Now add your garlic, onions, bell pepper and bay leaves stir occasionally and lower heat to medium high. Allow this mixture to cook 5-8 minutes until fragrant and translucent.
- Add your rice, sweet smoked spanish paprika & cumin and give it a good stir so everything get’s mixed, well.
- Add your boiling/ hot seafood stock (that you either made yourself, or used bouillon cube, or bought pre-made). Add your saffron (I grinded about 1 tsp. in a mortar) or you can use about 1/2 – 1 tsp bijol or other substance that will color the rice yellow. Allow everything to come to a boil over high heat, give a good stir and allow to boil over high heat uncovered approximately 10 minutes, then lower heat to medium high and allow to boil uncovered another 8 minutes,
- Add your raw shrimp, scallops or fish filets and press into the Paella lightly, insert the mussels and clams and allow to cook uncovered an additional 4 minutes or so. Remove from heat, cover with a cloth, and allow to rest 5- 10 minutes
Steps for garnish (optional)
- Arrange fire roasted red bell peppers cut into strips and scatter peas over the paella just for some eye appeal I guess. To make your own fire roasted red bell pepper, simply put the red bell pepper fresh over a flame on your stove and move around with tongs until charred all over, wrap in plastic bag and allow to sweat for about 5-10 minutes, then peel off skin and slice into long strips.