Monday, August 13, 2007

Paella de Marisco de Tiet Joan

Uncle Joan's Seafood Paella
Makes 6-7 Servings

Every family in Spain has a slightly different way to make paella. It is a wonderfully versatile dish that allows you to substitute your favorite ingredients and to be creative with the final presentation. Use this recipe as a jumping off point to creating your own special paella!
Just remember that the ritual of cooking paella is almost as important as sitting down and eating paella. Both should be shared with close family and friends and a good bottle of wine (or two)!
Sofrito - use the following ingredients to produce the sofrito, OR substitute for Matiz Valenciano Paella Sofrito.
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 2 peppers, chopped
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, diced
  • 28oz can diced tomatoes
  • 16oz can artichoke hearts, quartered
  • 4 cups paella rice
  • 8 cups hot broth (fish or chicken)
  • 1 teaspoon saffron
  • 3/4 lb monk fish (or other white fish), rinsed and cut into small portions
  • approx. 16 fresh uncooked and unshelled shrimp, rinsed
  • approx. 10-12 fresh mussels or 12-15 fresh clams (or a mixture), rinsed
  • piquillo peppers or green asparagus, as a garnish
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges
*Many other vegetables or seafood can be substituted. Chicken and chorizo or sausages can also be used in place of seafood. Or leave out the animal products all together and use vegetable stock for a wonderful vegetarian meal.

Preparation Instructions:
Paella is best cooked in a large shallow paella pan over a circular grill or gas paella cooker. It can also be cooked on top of a stove and transferred to the oven once the water has been added.

Heat the oil in the paella pan over med-high heat. Add the monk fish and lightly brown on all sides. Remove the fish and put aside. Add the onions to the oil and stir fry until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the peppers and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the artichokes, tomatoes and garlic and let simmer for another 5 minutes. Pour in the rice and stir until the rice is thoroughly covered with the tomato mixture.

Add the saffron to the hot broth and stir. Slowly add the broth to the paella. Move the rice mixture around gently until it is evenly distributed throughout the pan. It is important to NOT stir the rice after this point. This is what makes paella so distinct from other rice dishes, such as risotto.

After about 10 minutes place the seafood into the mixture one by one, evenly distributing the seafood throughout. After another 10 minutes add the garnish. Once the water has been completely absorbed, approximately another 15 minutes, remove from heat, gently cover with tinfoil and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Place the paella in the middle of the table and serve directly from the paella pan. Serve with wedges of lemon.