Paella may be the world famous Spanish rice dish but it is not generally cooked in the family kitchen. It is cooked out in the open or ordered in a restaurant. Spanish homes are not large as a rule and domestic kitchens don’t have the burner size to attempt a proper paella. Instead they cook slightly soupier dishes — simply called arroz. I found myself explaining this particular version to the staff one day and was scratching my head trying to find an Australian comparison. ‘It’s fast to make and it’s comfort food’, I explained. ‘It’s a family favourite, the Aussie version would be …’ I was struggling for words. ‘Bangers and mash!’, shouted Andy from the bar. He gets it right everytime.
In this recipe, the flavour of saffron and the addition of prawn shells makes a lovely rich dish that is both fulfilling to eat and rewarding to share. Dig in.
Soak the clams in cold water for 2 hours to remove the grit from inside the shells, changing the water several times. Drain well. Make a shallow cut with a very sharp small knife along the length of each prawn back. Remove and discard the dark vein, leaving the head, shell and tail intact.
Add the marlin to the perol and cook each side for about 45 seconds, or until sealed. Lightly season each side as you cook. Once all the sides are sealed, remove and set aside with the other seafood. Add the cuttlefish to the perol and cook for 45–60 seconds, or until sealed. Lightly season and cook the other side. Remove and set aside.
Drain the oil and wipe the perol clean with paper towel. Heat the remaining oil in the perol over medium heat. Add the sofrito and cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously.
Increase the heat to high and add about
Continue simmering for 10 minutes until the rice is just cooked but still with
Bring the perol to the table and allow people to serve themselves.
© 2007 All rights reserved. Published by Murdoch Books.