There's nothing like a beautiful, bountiful plate of paella rice covered in delectable seafood treasures. Learn how to make a paella de mariscos, and charm the pants off anyone who eats it!
500g (1 lb.) fresh squid, cleaned and roughly chopped
500g (1 lb.) fresh prawns, a few reserved whole, otherwise heads and shells removed
10 mussels and/or clams, cleaned and any open or damaged shells discarded
50ml (3½ tbsp) extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp rock or sea salt, plus extra for seasoning
1 red romano or bell pepper, cut into thick strips
200g (7oz) green beans (string, flat green or runner beans), chopped (optional)
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp sweet pimentón (sweet smoked paprika)
2 tomatoes weighing about 300g (10½ oz.) in total, grated
400g (heaped 2 cups) paella rice
0.5g (1 tsp) saffron threads
2L lobster or shellfish broth
Place your paella or wide frying pan over the highest heat with the olive oil, chopped squid and salt. Let the water from the squid evaporate before adding the red pepper and green beans, stirring frequently so that all the ingredients brown nicely.
Lower to medium heat. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute before adding the sweet pimentón. Stir again and cook for 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes. If the garlic or pimentón start to burn, add the tomatoes a little earlier.
Raise the heat to medium high. Add the rice and stir for 2 minutes to sear the rice and give a slightly crispier bite to the end dish. It will also mean the rice loses less starch, making the grain feel looser.
Pour over the hot stock and give everything a good stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to ensure all the caramelization is incorporated into the stock.
Taste the seasoning at this point – it should taste very salty. Adjust if necessary.
The rice should be ready in about 18 minutes. Put your timer on and remember this will be the last time you stir the rice. Now it is time to let it cook on its own, we will only need to manage the heat.
Let it simmer over the highest heat for 10 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced down to almost level with the rice. Reduce the heat to low and scatter the prawns, mussels and/or clams over the top of the rice. Top with the reserved whole prawns. Season them lightly. Cover the pan with foil, they will steam gently above the paella.
Leave to cook for the remaining 8 minutes, until the water is gone and you can hear that the rice in the bottom of the pan is starting to fry.
Remove from the heat and let rest, covered, for 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
Try to find a heat source that can accommodate the whole paella pan to ensure the rice cooks evenly. If you have a large pan, try straddling the pan over two burners or cooking over an outdoor grill.
The broth that is used to make the paella should match the flavors in the paella. So seafood broth for seafood, chicken for chicken and meat with meat.
Before adding the paprika prepare the grated tomato to act as the “bombero," or firefighter. After the smoked paprika is added and begins to change color the tomatoes should be immediately poured on top to prevent the paprika from burning, which would give the dish a bitter taste.
Don’t stir the rice after you’ve mixed the ingredients together. The rice needs time to settle and form the socarrat. You may think it needs a stir, it doesn’t. The paella knows what to do.