Paella is an uncomplicated and quick dish to prepare at home, once you get to know the basic ingredients and keep a few of these on hand. When a bag of mussels and a handful of fresh green prawns saunters my way, I now turn to Paella. It’s easier than risotto, with no stirring involved, and can be made on a regular gas stove.
In the pantry you will need these standbys:
- a small container of commercial pre-made fish stock, or home-made frozen stock or one vegetable stock cube
- some good quality Spanish smoked pimenton ( paprika )
- Calasparra rice- no other rice will do for this dish
- saffron strands
Some other desirable ingredients for a seafood paella for two people are:
- some left over calamari wings, stashed in the freezer*
- some green prawns, three large or 6 small per person
- mussels, around 6 per person
- one green or red capsicum, sliced
- one finely sliced onion
- one finely chopped garlic
- good olive oil
You don’t need a special paella pan for a no fuss paella for two people. I use a heavy based frying 20-25 cm frying pan with a glass lid. My other paella pans come out and are used for bigger gatherings. Just double or triple the quantities for your larger pans and seek out an even and very large heat source.
Pictorial recipe instructions follow.
After preparing fresh calamari for another meal, stash the wings in the freezer for occasions like this. They defrost very quickly and add depth of flavour to the rice as it cooks. I have also used a small fillet of Dory in the same way. I learnt this trick from Sandra at Please Pass the Recipe and the habit has stuck.