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Paella Recipe

An excellent version from the Valencia region of Spain.

Ingredients

Equipment:
A paellara dish, or a wide and deep frying pan

For between 4-6 people, depending on hunger.

- 200g fresh Mussels, in their shells

- 1 small packet Saffron Threads

- 3 tablespoons (45ml) Olive Oil

- 1 big Onion, a mild Spanish one if possible, peeled and chopped

- 2 medium cloves of Garlic, peeled and chopped

- ½ teaspoon (2ml) Smoked Picante Pimentá²n (Spanish Paprika)

- 450g Rice, labelled as suitable for paella or risotto, rinsed in cold water

- 600ml fish stock, fresh or made from a cube (if using the latter, make it a little weaker than directed

- 200ml Dry White Wine

- 90g of tinned Pimentos drained and sliced, or one fresh red pepper, grilled and the skin removed.

- 400g pack of frozen Fruits de Mer, thawed (these are available from all good supermarkets

- 250g of firm white fish, such as Monkfish or Cod, cut into 2.5/1in cubes

- 125g Frozen Peas

- 100g shell-on North Atlantic Prawns

- 4 big Tomatoes, peeled, seeded and roughly-chopped

- Salt and freshly-ground Pepper

Method

- Scrub the mussels, discarding any that are damaged or remain open when tapped sharply, pull away the seaweed-like 'beards'.

- Place these in a small pan, which has a close-fitting lid, add 150ml cold water. Place over a medium heat, a cook for 2 minutes - shaking the pan. Remove from the heat.

- Strain the mussels through a sieve to remove any grit from the liquid, and set both liquid and mussels aside.

- Place the Saffron in a small bowl and pour 150ml hot water over the top. Leave to stand for about 10 minutes.

- Heat the oil over a gentle heat, in a wide frying pan or paellara if you have one. Add the onion and garlic and cook gently for 8-10 minutes, or until the onions are soft but not brown.

- Stir in the pimentá²n and rice, then add the stock, wine, saffron and its soaking liquid, and the reserved mussel cooking liquid - not the mussels at this stage.

- Lightly season with salt, but plenty of ground pepper.

- Bring to the boil, and simmer for 10 minutes

- Add the pimento strips, fruits de mer, white fish cubes and peas, and simmer for a further 5 minutes, or until the rice is just cooked, and almost all the liquid has been absorbed.

- Arrange the mussels and prawns on top of the paella, cover with a lid, or a piece of foil and cook gently for 2 more minutes, or until they are hot.

- Remove the pan from the heat and leave to stand, covered, for 5 minutes before serving.

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