This became a family favourite and I made it for years.
But as I keep trying new things, moving forward, this recipe got left behind, I didn't make it for a long time. But recently my mum asked me to make it again, she never forgot it. So I started making this again for my family now, well it won't be forgotten here, my family loves it.
This is a really easy recipe and the flavours are so good. The rice is delicious, and the seafood needs to be just cooked and it is perfect. Just have everything ready before you start cooking, and you will have dinner on the table in under 30 minutes. Once you've done the prep work, the cooking part is easy.
If you don't have a paella pan, they are readily available these days in good kitchen shops, you can use a very wide frying pan.
With the seafood I like to use scallops, prawns, calamari or baby squid and mussels. Buy whatever seafood you like, and how I truly measure how much I buy is by the handful, a handful of this, a handful of that. I did give a measurement below, but you can add more if needed, you just want the seafood in one layer over the rice, not piled high.
A crust is supposed to form at the base of the paella. It is delicious, just watch it doesn't burn, so a low heat simmer is best. You want it to simmer not boil hard.
This is a quick and easy dinner idea, great to serve at parties, this is just great and needs to be made.
1/2 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 red capsicum, halved, seeded and cut into strips
5 cups chicken stock
2 1/2 cups short grain rice, washed
3 roma tomatoes, halved, seeded (quartered if large)
1 small can anchovy fillets (optional)
12 green prawns, peeled, tails left on
2 medium sized squid, cleaned and sliced
12 mussels, scrub the shells if needed
Prepare all your ingredients before you start, so that once you start cooking you are ready to go. Here is how I prep the seafood.
Scallops: remove brown bits from the main scallop mussel. The corals, (orange-pink flesh) may be used.
Green Prawns: you can use the whole prawn-with heads, shells and tails still on, however I like to shell, behead and remove the intestinal tract from the prawns, I do leave the tail on, just because it is easier to eat when cleaned. I do freeze the shells for when I make prawn bisque. It is up to you whether you shell or don't shell. I even for my dad, leave the heads and tails on, but remove shell and intestinal tract, and serve it that way also.
Calamari or baby squid: Gently pull the tentacles from the hood of the squid, rinse off ink under cold water. Pull out the hard clear material that forms the skeleton. I don't peel the skin, as I like it, it adds colour, I don't know why chefs remove it, but you can peel it if you want to, slice the squid hood into rings. Cut away and discard the 'beak' mouth from the tentacles. Chop the tentacles, which are delicious, and add with the squid rings.
Mussels: Scrub the mussels well using a good, stiff brush. Pull off the beard that clings around the edges, discard any that are not shut tightly.
Chop the garlic and onion. Slice up the capsicum.
Wash the rice in a colander until the water runs clear.
Bring the stock to a boil in a small saucepan.
Now we are ready to cook.
Heat the oil in a large paella pan, add garlic and onion and cook until is soft. Add the capsicum strips and continue frying for a further minute.
Add the well washed rice to the paella pan and fry for 3-4 minutes. Now add the boiling stock and stir gently. When the rice is bubbling, reduce the heat and then cook gently for 12 minutes, the rice will absorb the stock.
Start the decoration of the paella. Put on the tomatoes, anchovies (if using) and seafood in a pattern. Push the seafood into the rice gently, I do it by adding mussels first, then prawns, squid and scallops . Cover with a lid or with a sheet of foil and cook a further 10 minutes or until the rice is cooked and the seafood is tender.
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