Many believe that paella happened almost by accident. After royal banquets, the Spanish kings’ servants would mix the leftovers in large pots to take home. The name paella comes from the Arab word “baqiyah” for leftovers. There are as many versions of paella as there are cooks. Here’s ours.
Cape Whiting Steaks 500 g
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) Olive oil
- 1 large Red bell pepper
- 1 large Onion
- 3 Garlic cloves
- 1 litre (1000 ml) Fish or chicken stock
- 800 g Prawns, shell-on and deveined
- 250 g Mussels, half shelled
- 500 g Cape Whiting Steaks
- 250 g Calamari rings
- 2 cups (500 ml) Medium grain rice
- 2 Tomatoes, peeled, deseeded & diced
- Pinch Saffron threads
- ¼ tsp (1.25 ml) Smoked paprika
- 1 cup (250 ml) Frozen peas
- Heat a typical paella pan and sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent.
- Add red peppers and sauté further for 5 minutes.
- Soak saffron threads in 1 cup of the stock and set aside.
- Add tomatoes, smoked paprika and rice to the pan and sauté until the rice is coated in the olive oil.
- Add the cup of saffron infused stock to the rice mixture and allow to simmer. Reduce heat to medium low, cooking uncovered without stirring for 10 minutes, or until the stock has been absorbed.
- Add prawns, calamari rings, mussels and peas to the rice and cover with a fitted lid.
- Cook for a further 10-20 minutes or until the mussels and calamari are cooked and prawns have turned an orange-pink colour.
- Lightly season with salt and black pepper.
Note: Remember to drain the seafood well after it is thawed to prevent too much water from sitting in the pan. Rather add tablespoonfuls of the fish stock as required.