Alicante, Spain: Seafood & Fish Paella Caldoso
Paella is named after the Pallera, a shallow round iron pan used for cooking this classic rice dish, which has become internationally known and is one of the national dishes of Spain. The word pallera comes from the Catalan language, where it denotes Skillet or Sauté Pan. This pan is made of metal or earthenware, the later preferred by many cooks as it holds the heat better when brought to the table and it is ladled on the plates.
Here is my family recipe for Seafood and Shellfish Paella Caldoso:
*** caldoso denotes: bullabesa or boullibaise or in its seafood stock liquid
Serves 4 to 6:
24 mussels in shell
10 large prawns or shrimps
1 Medium Crayfish, Scampi type large Shrimp or Lobster
1 bay leaf
40 fluid ounces of fish stock or shellfish stock
1 small onion
3 fluid ounces of extra virgin olive oil
150 grams or 5 ounces of pork sweet sausages
3 cloves of minced garlic
2 large ripe seeded and de-peeled tomatoes chopped finely
2 1/2 cups or 1 pound or 500 grams of short grain arborio Valencian rice
1 tsp salt
1/3 tsp black pepper
6 medium size squid ( calamar )
8 ounces of cod fish or sea bass ( or any firm white flesh fish of choosing)
3 tblsps fresh minced flat leaf parsley
12 strands of saffron threads
8 green stalks of asparagus fresh
*** optional: dry white wine from Valencia or Spanish Designation of Origin
1) scrub and debeard mussels and rinse
2) place shellfish in pot with water or *** white wine, bay leaf, small onion and bring to boil
3) cook 4 to 5 minutes and then drain, reserving liquid
4) cut the lobster or crayfish or scampi in half
5) heat olive oil in a skillet
6) sauté the sausages for 2 minutes
7) add the garlic, rice, salt and pepper and stir over medium heat for 3 mins.
8) reheat the liquid in which the seafood and shellfish was boiled
9) add this liquid to the rice and cook over high flame 2 mins
10) add the squid, the fish and the stalks of asparagus, half the parsley and the shrimp, mussels and crayfish or lobster or scampi.
11) cook for 15 mins or until the rice has partially absorbed the liquid and the fish is tender as well as the shellfish. For caldoso style, pay attention that the rice does not absorb all your cooking liquid.
12) stir the seafood into the rice and and sprinkle remaining parsley for another 10 mins - 12 mins.
13) serve with lemon wedges
*** Serve with Sangría made with dry white wine and / or Prosecco or Cava or another sparkling white wine and / or a pale blonde chilled beer.