Paella with Seafood
and Chorizo: Paella

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(Serves 6)

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 large sweet red peppers (or 1 red and 1 green), cut into long strips
1/2 large sweet onion, sliced
1/3 gram saffron threads
sea salt
4 cloves roasted garlic
3 cups Spanish rice (or substitute Italian rice)
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
7 cups fish or shellfish stock or water, held at a simmer
6 oz cured, ready to eat, Spanish chorizo, sliced
6 large, plump (heavy in the shell) mussels, scrubbed and bearded
18 Manila clams and or Savoury Island clams
6 large wild prawns, peeled, deveined, tails left on
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped


Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Heat the oil in a large pan or paella pan, and when hot, add the peppers and onions. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until very soft, adjusting heat as necessary to avoid browning. Using a mortar and pestle, grind most of the saffron to a powder with a pinch of salt, then add the roasted garlic and grind to a paste. Stir the paste into the peppers and onions, then stir in the rice. Cook, stirring until the rice is coated and sealed with oil – it will first turn translucent and then a little chalky.

Turn the heat to high, add the tomatoes and 6 cups of the stock and bring to a boil. Boil for about five minutes, occasionally stirring gently just to prevent sticking, then turn off the heat. Taste and adjust seasoning. If you have used a regular pan for the stove-top cooking, transfer the mixture into a lightly oiled paella pan. Arrange the chorizo and shellfish on top of the rice, making sure that the hinged side of the clams and mussels face downward.

Put the paella in the oven and cook until the rice is tender, the liquid has been absorbed and a light crust has formed on the bottom. If the liquid absorbs before the rice is tender, or if there is any danger of the crust burning, add reserved stock and continue to cook. You will have to watch it carefully – total cooking time in the oven should be about 15 to 20 minutes.

Take the paella out of the oven, remove any unopened clams or mussels, sprinkle on the parsley and cover with a tea towel. Let the rice rest for 5 or 6 minutes before serving.


Recipe Copyright © 2012, Don Dickson / South China Seas Trading Co. Limited