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Recipe: Seafood paella

09 August 2016
Recipe: Seafood paella

Paella, the iconic Spanish holiday dish, is most memorably enjoyed on a beach with a cold jug of sangria.

Serves 6

Chilli base

  • 2 dried nora chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1-1½ litres fish stock

Sofregit

  • 80ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • ½ red pepper and ½ green pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 large roasted tomatoes, chopped
  • 1½tsp sweet paprika
  • 1tsp hot paprika
  • Huge pinch saffron threads
  • 6 small squid, or 1 large, cleaned, membrane removed, body sliced into 3cm rings (tentacles left whole)
  • 500g paella rice
  • 300ml white wine
  • 18 shell-on prawns
  • 18 mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 18 fresh clams, scrubbed
  • 1 whole cooked lobster, split in half lengthways (optional)
  • 2 lemons, quartered
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Aïoli to serve

To make the roasted tomatoes

Makes 1kg

  • 2kg tomatoes
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 120°C, lightly grease two baking trays with oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Halve the tomatoes lengthways, scoop out the seeds, and place them on the trays, cut side down. Roast in the oven for four hours, rotating the trays every hour to ensure the tomatoes are evenly cooked. The tomatoes are done when they are deep red, wrinkled, reduced in size by about half. Pinch the skins away from the flesh and leave to cool.

To make the aïoli

Makes 750g

  • 20g garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 100ml whole milk
  • 1tbs salt
  • 200ml sunflower oil
  • 50ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 leaves flat leaf parsley, washed and roughly chopped (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Put the garlic, milk and salt in a deep bowl and combine the oils in a measuring jug. Use a hand-held blender on low speed to blend the milk. The milk will begin to foam and thicken slightly. Begin to pour the oil into the milk, very slowly, while you keep blending. The milk and oil will begin to emulsify. Continue to pour in the oil in a slow steady stream, not moving the hand blender, blending continuously for 2-3 minutes.

Add the parsley if using and continue blending, moving the blender up and down, slowly and gently, to incorporate the emulsion at the bottom of the jug, for another minute. The aïoli should be the consistency of soured cream. Taste and season.

Main recipe

To make the chilli base, soak the chillies in a heatproof bowl with 80ml-100ml of the hot fish stock for 30 minutes, then drain, retaining the liquid. Grind the chillies to a paste with a mortar and pestle. Strain the soaking liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a heat-proof measuring jug. Add the chilli paste to the jug, whizz with a hand-held blender till smooth, set aside.

To make the sofregit, heat the olive oil in the paella pan or frying pan over a medium-low heat. Add the onion, peppers, garlic and tomatoes and fry for about 20 minutes until soft but not brown. Add the sweet and hot paprika and a large pinch of sea salt and cook for 8-10 minutes, uncovered, until the mixture has reduced to a thick sauce.

Bring the remaining stock to the boil in a separate saucepan, reduce the heat and add the saffron. Add the squid, turn to coat in the sauce, and cook for 2-3 minutes, then remove and set aside

Add the rice to the pan and stir it to coat the grains in the sauce. Fry for 3-4 minutes to lightly toast the rice, then pour in the white wine. Cook for 3-4 minutes, to allow the wine to reduce slightly, then pour enough stock into the pan to just cover the rice.

Return the squid to the pan, evenly distributing it and nestling it into the rice, then cook over a low heat for 10-15 minutes, uncovered, gently stirring in more hot stock as needed.

Place the prawns, mussels and clams evenly on top and cook for a further 10 minutes, uncovered, then mix the lobster pieces (if using) into the rice. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to rest for 10 minutes. If you're not using lobster, remove the pan from the heat after the prawns, mussels and clams have had 10 minutes of cooking. Scatter with lemon wedges and aïoli.

Recipe taken from Eivissa: The Ibiza Cookbook by Anne Sijmonsbergen (reviewed here). Photography by David Munns

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