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Feel the aroma of the Costa Blanca with this Valencian Paella

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One of the most famous dishes in Spain is the Valencian paella or seafood paella, a delicious preparation that combines a great variety of foods, and worth learning to prepare at home.

An incredibly tasty dish

When it comes to Spanish cuisine, the Spanish Seafood Paella Recipe | Mahatma® Rice is one of the preparations you must definitely know about, since this aromatic rice with seafood dish is one of the favorites to enjoy on many special occasions.

Spanish cuisine is characterized by the simplicity of its recipes, along with short cooking times in which delicious preparations are always obtained. The traditional Spanish gastronomy is composed of many diverse regional cuisines, so meals can be very different from one province to another.

The seafood paella was created in Valencia (on the eastern coast of Spain, known as Costa Blanca), and it’s one of the most popular around the world. Even if you’re not a top-skilled cook, you can prepare it easily at home.

Ingredients

  • Three cloves of garlic.
  • Half onion.
  • Half a red pepper.
  • A clean squid tube.
  • Twelve raw, peeled shrimps.
  • Eight fresh and clean mussels.
  • 3 fl oz (80 ml) of extra virgin olive oil.
  • 3.9 ounces of tomato sauce.
  • Half a tablespoon of smoked sweet paprika.
  • Two cups of fish stock.
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron in strands or powder.
  • A cup of curd rice (about 7 oz).
  • Two slices of lemon.
  • Chopped parsley.
  • Sea salt and black pepper.

Preparation

  1. The first thing to do is to chop the three cloves of garlic, the onion and the red pepper, in addition to cutting the clean tube of squid into very small squares.
  2. Then heat the paella pan (a.k.a. paellera)over medium high heat, adding the olive oil and after one minute, season with sea salt and add the cut squid, mixing well with the olive oil for about two minutes.
  3. Then remove the shrimp from the skillet and set aside, add the onion and chopped garlic to the paellera, mix well with the oil and after a minute place the chopped pepper, and continue mixing until you sauté everything evenly.
  4. After three minutes add the tomato sauce and season with the tablespoon of sweet smoked paprika, black pepper and sea salt. Mix about two minutes until the tomato sauce thickens, and place the squid again, mixing together with the fish stock.
  5. When the fish stock starts to boil, place the rice and mix again to get a uniform distribution. After about six minutes add the shrimp and clean mussels.
  6. After five minutes, leave the preparation simmering on medium heat, until the broth is completely absorbed by the rice, and immediately raise the heat to achieve the scorched rice at the bottom (in Valencian: socarrat).
  7. Two minutes later remove the paella pan from the heat and cover.
  8. When five minutes have passed, uncover the paella pan and decorate the paella with the lemon slices and chopped parsley, now it’s ready to serve.

As you can see, the preparation of an authentic Valencian paella is not a difficult task to do at home, and a delicious result is almost guaranteed.

Serving suggestions

To enjoy a paella that you’ve prepared to the fullest, you can also make some typical tapas that are usually served as accompaniment.

The tapas that go perfectly with paella are cold soups, such as salmorejo or gazpacho, although you can also use fried soups, such as croquettes or patatas bravas. Moreover, salads are delicious and healthy side dishes to paella as well.

What about saffron?

A fairly frequent doubt is whether saffron is really needed for the preparation of paella. The truth is that, although it is not essential, saffron is one of the typical Valencian ingredients of the dish. Therefore, if you’d expect to enjoy it to the fullest, your paella should not lack it.

Saffron gives that characteristic yellow touch to the rice in the paella, and although you can use dyes or turmeric to obtain the same result, using the traditional spice is always much better.

The Valencian paella is a delicious preparation that is worth trying at home, since you can make it easily and quickly, and you’ll have a typical Spanish dish with great flavor and aroma to treat your family.

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