Paella by the Sea

Upon completion of our month in culinary school, Sarah and I have made our way from Providence to Boston to Dublin to Spain. This post comes to you from the city of Begur where we are staying at the charming Hotel Aiguaclara, a renovated colonial style mansion, which is a convenient 30-40 minute hike away from the three major beach areas.

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Sa Tuna

Today, we set out east for the nearby coastal town of Sa Tuna where we enjoyed the salty seaside breeze, the rhythmic clashes of the waves, and one of my favorite dishes, paella (marinera), less than 50 yards from the water.

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Paella Marinera featuring prawns, mussels, octopus, cuttlefish, and local fish

Paella Marinera

I highly encourage you deviate from this recipe and utilize whatever fresh, local, seasonal, seafood and vegetables are available to you. The flavor will be second to none.

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil                                        4 tbsp
  • Large yellow onion                    1, diced
  • Garlic                                             4 cloves, minced
  • Bomba rice                                   2 cups
  • Shrimp                                           1/2 lb, keep whole
  • Squid                                               1/4 lb, cleaned and cut into circles
  • Mussels                                           1/2 lb, washed
  • Paprika                                            2 tsp
  • Cayenne Pepper                           1.5 tsp
  • Saffron                                             2 pinch
  • Peas                                                   1/2 cup
  • Tomato Puree                            1/4 cup
  • Seafood stock                                 2 cups
  • Salt                                                     To taste
  • Lemon                                               1/2, cut into wedges

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in paella pan* to medium-high. Add onion and garlic sauté until slightly brown.
  2. Add rice and lightly toast, stirring frequently.
  3. Add tomato puree, peas, saffron, paprika, cayenne, and a pinch of salt. Stir well.
  4. Add 1 cup stock and let mixture comes to rolling boil and reduce to simmer for 10-15 minutes. You may need to add an additional 0.5-1 cup of stock.
  5. Add shrimp, squid, and mussels on top of rice and cover with foil. The seafood should all cook very fast. Shrimp will be done when it changes color. Mussels will be done when they open.
  6. Squeeze lemon juice over the top and serve hot.

*If lacking a paella pan, a cast iron may be the best approximation to use and allow you to end up with some flavor-packed bits of crispy rice on the sides.

Muy bien!

D

 

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