Paella with Vegetables, Meat and Fish
This delicious Spanish rice recipe is named Paella Mixta, which - I'm sure you already guessed - means "Mixed Paella". The basis of this truly authentic Spanish paella consists of ingredients that should be for sale in your local supermarket or exotic store: onion, garlic, tomato, parsley, olive oil, saffron, bouillon, and rice.
You then add the ingredients that give this paella mixta her name: meat, fish and vegetables. In this particular case the filling consists of chicken wings, pieces of sausage, large shrimp or prawns, mussels, fish, bell pepper and green beans.
Paella Mixta - a beautiful Spanish paella!
Paella Mixta Ingredients
For this mixed paella recipe we used the following ingredients:
(as a meal for 4 persons, as a tapa for 12 to 16 persons)
|Paella Rice; ( buy )|
|Sofrito (made in advance);|
|Aceite de Ajo y Perejil (made in advance);|
|Olive Oil, for frying, so not Virgen Extra;|
|Chicken Stock *);|
|Fish Stock *);|
|Saffron Stems **);|
Additional ingrediens, about 2 1/4 pounds of fish, meat and vegetables: ***)
|Chicken wings ****) (we used only the upper parts);|
|Cod, cut to 1" pieces;|
|Large Shrimp or Prawns ****), raw, cleaned (we like to leave the tail on);|
|Mussels, steamed, upper shell removed;|
|Bell Pepper (Paprika), cut to strips;|
|Romano Beans, in 1" pieces;|
|Lemon or Lime, quartered or sliced;|
For a succesfull paella, the balance between the quantities of rice and liquid is very important.
As a rule of thumb, for the average paella rice we apply 1 part rice versus 2.5 parts of liquid (absorption factor 2.5), but we recommend that you follow the instructions on the package. (For example, for Arroz Bomba a factor 3 to 5 is recommended, depending on origin)
While saffron is the classic ingredient for Paella Valenciana, other yellow colorants are used as well. You could, for example, use curcuma, a spice which even has certain health benefits!
The above list includes the ingredients that we used in this particular Paella Mixta on this particular day. Feel free to make changes depending on availability in your local store.
Other ingredients that you could use - and that are also used in Spain in various paella recipes - are, for example, parts of chorizo, parts of rabbit, escargots, clams, squid rings, fish, green beans, broad beans, large white beans, etc. etc. etc.
In case you wish to present this paella as a tapa, you should adjust the number of chicken parts and prawns in order to ensure that you have at least one for each portion. (when it comes to the number of shrimp on their plates, people can be most scrutinous...)
Preparation of this Spanish paella is quite easy. Actually, most of the work is in the preparation of the ingredients.
Steam the mussels, remove the upper shell, keep ready for use;
Prepare all ingredients in the right quantities and line them up so you can just grab them while you are cooking your paella. That way you should minimize the chances that - in your unlimited enthousiasm - you should overlook anything;
Preheat the oven to 430F (220C); (if not using an oven, see "Alternative" below)
Prepare the chicken stock and fish stock, add the saffron, stir well, keep warm, ready for use;
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and sautee the pork sausage and chicken wings on high flame until light brown; Cut the sausage to 3/4" pieces, keep warm;
Heat the paella or paellera (or whatever pan you are using to make the paella) and sautee the Sofrito on high flame, stirring constantly to prevent it from sticking to the bottom too much; To enhance the taste of your paella you may add a dash of the Aceite de Ajo y Perejil;
Add the rice, stir thoroughly to make sure that the dry rice corns get sauteed well in the Sofrito;
Add the vegetables, stir around on high flame;
Add the meat to the rice, stir around on high flame;
Meanwhile, bring the stock back to the boil, add to the rice, and stir carefully to spread the rice and distribute other ingredients equally through the pan;
Add the pieces of fish by sticking them into the mix one by one (use the back of a fork or spoon);
Arrange the prawns on top of the mix;
Stick the mussels halfway into the mix;
Our Paella Mixta at the start of cooking...
Check if the stock is salty enough. If not, add salt to taste;
Allow the paella to cook at rather high flame for like eight minutes or so; Do not stir (the thing is, the rice is allowed to stick a bit to the bottom of the pan, it's part of the tradition!);
If you feel that the fluids are evaporating too quickly, cover the pan with a lid or aluminium foil;
Our Paella Mixta in the oven. As you can see, the rice has already absorbed quite a bit of the liquid.
After 8 minutes cooking at high heat, remove the lid or cover and put the paella in the oven that has been preheated to 430F (220C), and leave it to cook further for another eight or ten minutes or so;
Our Paella Mixta after ten minutes cooking in the oven
Take the paella out of the oven (be careful, don't get burned!) and leave it to settle for a few minutes covered by a newspaper (another tradition!); During this resting period the rice is allowed to suck in the last drops of free moisture and cook to perfection;
If you want to serve this Paella de la Casa as a meal, garnish her with a twig of rosemary, and sprinkle some finely chopped fresh parsley on top;
Serve with plenty of lemon or lime;
Serve the paella in the pan on the table as a meal, or as a tapa on small dishes or bowls.
Add lemon or lime quarters or slices. Muy rico!
Paella at Home or Outdoors!
Paella originates from the Spanish province of Valencia. In the Valenciana countryside - where rice has been grown since the eighth century - the farmers and their workers used to prepare it in the field, over a wood fire, in a paella pan or earthenware bowl resting on a couple of stones.
You can use your frying pan if you don't have a real paella pan. And if you find it awkward to make a wood fire in the corner of your kitchen... don't hesitate to use your gas range!
The aim of Tapas Bonitas is to have you make a true Spanish paella - at home or outdoors - with the authentic Spanish taste, and using ingredients that should be readily available in your local supermarket or tropical store.
In that way we bring sunny Spain a little bit closer!
The Authentic Spanish Paella Recipe
For years we have been making paella on the basis of these small bags of ready made paella herbs that you can buy in the Spanish supermarkets. You simply add the contents of these small packages to the stock before you add it to the rice. Nothing wrong with it. They include everything, including the yellow color agent, and we have been enjoying delicious paellas for years.
However, over the last few years, while travelling through Spain, we have come to realize that the best paellas that we had, in really good restaurants, actually were not the vibrant yellow that we were used to, while they hardly ever had the "nice and dry" rice grains that we had at home...
So we went on a quest for the true paella recipe. Without the ready made bag of herbs, that is. And we found a couple, like the one on this page.
Paella Basic Recipe
The basic recipe for an authentic Spanish paella goes like this:
• Onion, garlic and tomato are sauteed in olive oil ("sofrito");
• The rice is also shortly sauteed in the sofrito;
• Extra ingredients are added (meat, fish, veggies);
• Right quantity of stock is added to the rice;
• Yellow colorant is added (mostly saffron, but curcuma is used as well);
• Herbs are added (mostly parsley, often rosemary and thyme as well);
• Check the salt content ("rectificar el sal");
• Cook for six to eight minutes on high flame;
• Cook for seven to ten minutes on low flame, or in the oven;
• Let rest for two to three minutes underneath a newspaper...
• ¡Buen Provecho!
The Pan: Paella or Paellera
The paella pan in the picture above is a real Spanish "paella" or "paellera". These paellas come in various sizes. This one is 28cm diameter, suitable for a paella for two to three people.
The round ears allow the paella to be placed in the confined space of an oven. After first cooking the paella on high flame for eight minutes or so, we transfer the paella to the oven where we allow the rice to cook to perfection for some eight minutes more.
Alternatively you can also cook the paella on low to medium heat until the rice is done, like indicated below in the chapter "Paella Preparation".
Paella in an Ordinary Frying Pan - No Problema!
Before we got ourselves a real paella pan ("paella" of "paellera"), we have been making paella in a normal frying pan. We have done so for years, and our paellas were always very good.
Except that a normal frying pan is not the real McCoy, the only thing is that you can not place a frying pan in the oven that easily, so you will have to cook your paella on the gas stove until done.
While doing the last part of the cooking process in the oven has distinct advantages, doing so on a gas stove is in fact no problem either. As long as you cover the pan during cooking (use a lid or aluminium foil) and as long as you keep the fire low, you will still have a good paella.
Paella in a Frying Pan - Yes We Can!