Food. Lifestyle. Love

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Recipe: Seafood 'Paella'

I have been wanting to eat paella (pronounced 'paeyya') after looking at my friends photos (urgh Khalis and Adilla!). I tried once at a Spanish restaurant in Malaysia, but was disappointed with the the taste. It was flavorful, but was too salty. Maybe it was not my day, but you might be lucky and not get salty paella when you eat there.

After looking for few recipes, I decided to make my own version of paella (thus explaining the name 'paella'). I used basmati rice instead of calasparra or bomba rice, used cast iron pan instead of paella pan and omitted frozen green peas that I hate so much (not sure if the original version even has this). It is not authentic, but the taste is about the same. My husband did say that it is not as flavorful as the original Spanish version, so I think it might be because I didn't use the Spanish paprika and I didn't put mussels in it.

Anyway, if you want to try paella, but lack the ingredients and paella pan, you can try using my version. You can put any seafood that you like. I was tempted to put oysters put my hubby hate them (how can someone hate oysters?!).






Seafood 'Paella' (recipe adapted from Adora's Box and Fine Cooking)
[click for printable version]

Ingredients:

2 pinches of saffron
8 cups of shrimp broth (leftover shrimp shells, water, 2 pieces tomatoes)
1 small yellow onion
1 large ripe tomatoes 
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup plus 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
8 medium cloves garlic, 4 finely chopped, 4 peeled but whole
1/2 tsp. sweet paprika powder
Salt
pepper
1 1/2 cup of basmati rice (soak for 30 minutes and drain)
1 red capsicum, cut into squares
12 prawns with shell
5 squids, cut into pieces
200 gm salmon, cut into cubes
1/2 lemon, cut into wedges 

Method:

Make the sofrito
1. Halve and peel the onion. Grate the onion to get about 1/3 cup of onion purée. Cut the tomato in half and grate the tomato halves all the way down to the skin to get about 1-1/4 cups juicy tomato pulp.
2. On a cast iron pan, over medium heat add 1/4 cup olive oil and cook the shrimps briefly, and put the shrimps aside, to the same thing to the squids. Add more olive oil to make the sofrito (up to 1/4 cup). Over medium-low heat add the grated onion, stirring occasionally, until it softens and darkens slightly, about 4 minutes. Stir in the tomato pulp, chopped and whole garlic, tomato puree, paprika powder and salt. Gently cook the mixture in the center of the pan, stirring frequently, until it’s deep, dark red and very thick, about 30 to 40 minutes. 

Make the shrimp broth
3. While waiting for sofrito to cook, put the shrimp shells in a large pot and add water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the broth discarding the shells and add the saffron.

Make the paella
4. When the sofrito is done, add the rice and red capsicum to the cast iron pan and cook briefly over medium heat, stirring constantly to combine them with the sofrito, 1 to 2 minutes. Spread the rice evenly in the pan. Increase the heat to high and slowly pour in the 5-1/4 cups broth—try not to disturb the rice so it stays in an even layer. From this point on, do not stir the rice. Bring to a boil and then adjust the heat to maintain a vigorous simmer, repositioning the pan as needed so it bubbles all the way to the edges (the bubbles at the edge will be much smaller than the bubbles at the center). Simmer vigorously until the rice appears at the level of the broth, about 8 minutes.
5. Arrange the shrimp and squids in the pan, pushing them into the rice. Continue simmering until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender but still firm (taste a few grains below the top layer). Cover with aluminium foil and reduce the heat to low. Simmer the rice for about 30 minutes, keep checking if the rice is cooked and add more shrimp broth if the rice is not done.
6. While waiting for the paella to cook, prepare the salmon. Add salt and pepper to the salmon and grill for 20 minutes. 
7. When the paella is done check for any caramelized rice sticking to the pan by using a spoon to feel for resistance on the bottom of the pan. Check in several areas, especially in the center of the pan. If there is none, increase the heat to medium high and carefully cook, moving the pan around, until you hear a good deal of crackling and feel resistance, 1 to 2 minutes; if you smell burning, immediately remove the pan from the heat. Arrange salmon on the rice, let rest for 5 to 10 minutes and arrange lemon wedges on the paella. 




2 comments:

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Hi thanks for the invite, it sounds like fun, I will check it out :)

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