In Spain a mixed seafood paella is the one you will find most Spaniards enjoying in summer by the seaside. It requires a firm fish that will not fall apart such as monk fish or grouper or a combination of both. This is our favorite paella and is well flavored with the Spanish chorizo and enriched broth from the mussels, garlic and saffron.
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 mins | Serves: 6-8 | Difficulty: Medium
- 3 dozen small to medium mussels, thoroughly cleaned
- 1½ lbs monkfish, grouper, or other firm-fleshed fish, skin removed and cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1 lb small cleaned squid (including tentacles), cut into ½-inch rings and tentacles halved lengthwise
- 18 large shrimp in their shells
- 1 package Aurelia's Chorizo sliced into ¼" slices
- Kosher or sea salt
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons minced parsley
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaves or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- About 5½ cups clam juice or fish broth
- ¼ teaspoon saffron
- 8 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 medium red bell peppers, finely chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
- 6 small scallions, green portions trimmed, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons sweet Spanish smoked paprika
- 3 cups imported Spanish or Arborio short-grain rice
Place 1½ dozen mussels in a skillet with ¾ cup water. Cover and bring to a boil. Remove the mussels as they open. Reserve the meat and discard the shells. When all the mussels have opened, pour the liquid from the skillet into a large pot and add enough clam juice to make 6 cups. Stir in the saffron. Keep the broth hot over the lowest heat. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
Dry the monkfish or grouper, squid and shrimp well between paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and let sit 10 minutes at room temperature. In your food processor, combine the parsley, garlic, thyme and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Stir in the paprika and add a little water to form a paste.
Heat 6 tablespoons of oil in a paella pan measuring 17-18 inches at its widest point, over 2 burners if necessary. Add Aurelia's chorizo and cook over high heat until warm and aromatic.Quickly, sauté the shrimp (in their shells), monkfish and squid for 1-2 minutes (they should not be fully cooked). Remove to a warm platter. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, the onion, scallions and red peppers and saute over medium-high heat until the vegetables are slightly softened and the onions turn translucent. Raise the heat, add the tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes.
Stir in the rice and coat well with the pan mixture. Pour in all the hot broth and bring to a boil. Continue to boil, stirring and rotating the pan occasionally for about 3 minutes. Add all the chorizo, fish (except the shrimp), reserved mussel meat and the mortar mixture. Taste for salt and continue to boil about 2 minutes more, until the rice is no longer soupy but sufficient liquid remains to continue cooking the rice—about 5 minutes.
Arrange the shrimp and the uncooked mussels over the rice, placing the edge of the mussel shells that will open facing up. Transfer to the oven and cook uncovered until the rice is almost al dente, about 15-20 more minutes. Remove to a warm spot (if most of the liquid has not been absorbed, place the pan over high heat for 1-2 minutes without stirring), then cover with foil and let rest for 5-10 minutes or until the rice is cooked to taste.
Source: Adapted from Penelope Casas