And I’m back!!! Just in case you didn’t notice(!) I’ve been away for a while. What have I been doing? Revamping the look of my blog so that I can continue to show you my recipes on a much nicer background. So this will be my first post since the change of logo and layout of my “recipe book”. I’m a bit behind now but will try to show you all that happened in my kitchen meanwhile. I have cooked a few interesting dishes and I decided to start with the recipe for this seafood paella. Although history puts us down as “enemies” I love my Spanish neighbors and even more some of their traditional dishes
The dish Paella is said to be a perfect union between 2 cultures from Spain: the Romans (for the pan) and the Arabs, that brought rice. There is an old story about the Moorish kings’ servants and how they created rice dishes by mixing the left-overs from royal banquets in large pots to take home. It is said by some that word paella originates from the Arab word “baqiyah” meaning left-overs. The term Paella actually refers to the pan that it is cooked in. Most experts agree, that the dish was developed in the Spanish city of Valencia. This is where the Romans introduced irrigation and then the Arab conquerors that brought rice, perfected it. Many say the best Paella and most authentic still comes from Valencia.
There’s lot’s of variations of paella, some include chicken, pork and other vegetables. But whichever version you choose, it’s a really delicious dish. In my house, I struggle to cook rice. Although I love it, the boyfriend is not a fan and I end up avoiding it. But this Seafood Paella is a rice dish that I can cook when I want cause we both love it.
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- Olive oil as needed
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 2 to matoes peeled and chopped
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- A good pinch of saffron threads
- 4 cleaned small squid bodies cut into rings, tentacles left whole
- 2 cups of medium-grain rice
- 3 cups of fish stock
- 1 cup of white wine
- 12 jumbo shrimp shells on
- 16 mussels clean
- 1 cup of frozen peas
- Fry the onion in olive oil in 16-inch (approx.40cm) paella pan or frying pan until soft, stirring often.
- Stir in the garlic and before it begins to colour, add the tomatoes. Add the sugar, salt to taste, paprika and saffron. Stir well and cook until the tomatoes have been reduced to a jammy sauce.
- Add the squid and cook, stirring, for approx. 1 min.
- Add the rice and the peas and stir well to make sure all the rice is coated in the sauce.
- Bring the stock and the wine to a boil in a separate saucepan. Pour over the rice, bring to a boil and add salt to taste. Even if you think it's already salty it won't be after the sauce is abosorved by the rice.
- Stir well and spread the rice out evenly in the pan (do not stir again).
- Cook the rice over low heat for 18 to 20 mins, moving the pan around and rotating it so that the rice cooks evenly.
- Lay the shrimp and mussels on top after 10 mins and turn them when they have become pink on the first side. Cover the pan to help steam the mussels. Discard any that have not opened.
- Add a little more hot stock towards the end if the rice seems too dry.
- Serve immediately.