Seafood Paella

Ingredients

For the sofrito

  • 5 Tablespoons  olive oil
  •   large onion, chopped finely
  • 2 s  cloves garlic, crushed to a paste or chopped finely
  •   red bell pepper
  •   green bell pepper
  • 2 s  tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  •    Salt, to taste
  • 1 Teaspoon  pimentón dulce or sweet paprika
  •    Good pinch of saffron threads

For the paella

  • 8 Cups  fish or lobster stock
  • 3 Tablespoons  olive oil
  • 4 s  cleaned small squid, bodies sliced into 1/4-inch-wide rings, tentacles left whole
  •   small cuttlefish, sliced into small pieces
  • 4 Cups  medium-grain bomba rice
  • 12 s  mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded
  • 12 s  jumbo shrimp in their shells
  • 12 s  clams, scrubbed and de-bearded
  • 1/4 Pound  swordfish
  • 1 Ounce  English peas
  • 1 Ounce  fava beans
  •   lemon, for garnish

In order to prepare an authentic paella, there are seven essential ingredients: the paella pan, bomba rice (always), saffron, sofrito, extra-virgin olive oil, passion, and love.

Sofrito is an important part of the paella.  It is a concentrate of vegetables that will bring flavor to the rice.

You can add 4 quartered small artichoke hearts, or roasted red peppers, cut into strips, with the rice.   Some people use the pulp of 1 or 2 dried and soaked ñora peppers, instead of pimentón.

Directions

For the sofrito

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Fry the onion until soft, stirring often. Stir in the garlic and the peppers, and before they begin to color, add the tomatoes. Season with salt, to taste, the pimentón, and saffron, stir well, and cook until the mix is reduced to a jammy sauce and the oil is sizzling.

For the paella

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Bring the fish or lobster stock to a simmer in a pot. Maintain the simmer.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add the squid and cuttlefish. When they start to color, add the rice and cook for 1 minute to toast the rice, then add the sofrito and cook for 1 more minute.

Add the hot stock and then the rest of the ingredients except for the lemon. Immediately stir the rice so that it does not become loose but after that, do not touch the rice again. (You do not want to release the starch from the rice; after all we are not making risotto.) Cook the paella on the stove top for 25 minutes.

Transfer to the oven and cook for 10 minutes. The end result is a caramelized and almost crunchy consistency on the bottom that is the most sought after part of the paella called soccorat.

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