After years of cooking for all kinds of friends (Americans, Germans, Italians, Flemish , Dutch, British and the rest of the Spaniards), I have concluded that most of the dishes, we are so proud of, are considered such a little disappointing, «poor» and simple.
For a reason I am not able to see, everyone (but Valencians) have the amazing idea that the perfect paella has to be absolutely covered with «edible things». The more things it has on it, the more perfect the paella is. So if you are going to invite non-Valencian friends, you have 2 options 1) To explain to them that a good paella is not a garbage bin where everything may be accepted or 2) to cover the paella as much as possible, until any sign of rice has vanished. Believe me, the 2nd option is the best.
So I’m going to present to you a recipe of rice (paella) in which success is absolutely guaranteed, and actually this paella doesn’t differ so much from a traditional Valencian rice.
First you have to prepare the traditional «caldo» (Broth).
Scorpionfish makes the best «caldo», but not always is available. Make broth with monk fish (both bone and meat), seafood (1 kg in total), 1 tomato , 1 onion , a clove of garlic , paprika , olive oil and a sprig of parsley. Add also shrimp heads and whole mediterranean crabs. Boil for 10 minutes , and then remove the scorpion fish and leave the rest for another 15 minutes. The fish can be eaten with alioli (mayonnaise with garlic).
– 1.5 l of fish broth
-750 gr rice
– 1 kg of fresh seafood (red shrimp, large or medium crabs, prawn, mantis shrimp). The seafood can be selected depending on market prices.
– 400 g of tomato
– 6-8 cloves of garlic
– 1-2 red peppers
– Bunch of parsley
– Olive Oil , saffron and salt
1. Combine tomatoes , garlic , parsley, peppers and salt to make sofritto in a separate bowl.
– 2 . Put the paella pan on the fire with 200 dl (as small glass) of olive oil and salt around the edges.
– 3. – Add the seafood without removing shells or heads for a while, and after a minute, remove and keep it.
– 4 . Add the sofritto and fry it, to evaporate the liquid. Be careful, try not to burn youself (or others!) .
– 5. Add the rice and fry it for 2-3 minutes, until it changes color into brown.
– 6. Add the boiling broth and when it start boiling again check salt (has to be salty). Remember 10 minutes of high heat and the rest of the process leave it at a low heat.
– 7 . After 15 minutes boiling, add everything on top.
– 8. After 20 minutes, the paella is ready. Add lemon slices to garnish and enjoy. Then you will see that your guest will be delighted with your amazing «all-covered with stuff» paella.