Paella is probably the most well-known Spanish dish around the world. This is the dramatic seafood paella that looks stunning, with crustaceans and shellfish. You can vary the quantities of seafood and also use crab, crayfish, or lobster (boil them separately). This seafood paella is basically rice with lots of seafood and a nice broth. Good paella starts always with saffron – Saffron is super important.
- 18 fresh prawns (shrimp), shell-on and deveined
- 1 large leek, chopped
- 1 tsp saffron threads
- 2 cups fish stock
- 2 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 225g squid (calamari) tubes and tentacles, cut into rings
- 24 fresh clams, cleaned
- 1 cup bomba, arborio or carnarole rice (see Note)
- 24 fresh mussels, cleaned
- 450 g (1 lb) snapper fillets, cut into chunks (see Note)
- 1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges
1. Remove shells from prawns. Transfer shells to a small saucepan. Reserve prawns for later use. Add leeks, saffron and fish stock to the saucepan and heat over medium heat.
2. Simmer for 45 minutes to create a stock, then remove from heat. Strain stock, discarding solids, and set stock aside for later use.
3. In a large deep frying pan (skillet) or paella pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic, cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until onions start to soften. Stir in tomatoes, squid and clams, and cook for 4-5 minutes.
4. Add the rice to the pan and stir well. Place reserved prawns, mussels and snapper over the rice. Stir reserved stock into the pan and reduce heat to medium.
5. Cover pan and cook for 16-18 minutes, or until rice is tender and absorbs all liquid.
6. Remove from heat. Serve paella immediately garnished with lemon wedges.
• Tigreton uses Spanish bomba rice, but suggests Italian arborio or carnarole as good substitutes.
• Tigreton says to use white or red flesh-fish for this this dish – never blue. “By blue I mean tuna or sardine – these are terrible with paella!”.