*Note: Each day of the group stage of the World Cup 2018 I will be making a meal from one of the countries playing that day. Spain and Portugal played an epic 3-3 tie in the tournaments second day of action.
I can think of no more classic a Spanish dish then Paella. Its origins trace to the eastern part of Spain in Valencia. Traditionally, it is made on a wide narrow pan with short grain rice and can be made with vegetables (paella de verduras), seafood (paella de mariscos), and mixed paella (paella mixta), among many others varieties. I prefer seafood with vegetables.
Vegetables (I have bell peppers, scallions, and fresh cherry tomatoes here)
Seafood (Shrimp, Calamari, and Scallops here)
Fresh lemon juice
Paella is all about prep. Cut vegetables, clean and devein shrimp and seafood. Set everything up next to fire source because you will need to add and build favors as you go. The Sofrito is made by cutting the beefsteak tomato in half and using a grate on both tomato and onion to make the thick liquid paste.
Grill vegetables first, then seafood. Your looking to cook them 75% of the way to being done. They will simmer in the stock for a while so you don’t want to cook them all the way. After each item is cooked to where you want it take it off the paella pan and set aside.
Now sauté the garlic for 30 secs or so adding the saffron and paprika. Now deglaze the pan with 1 cup or so of red wine. Next add Sofrito. Let the red paste mixture cook down now for 10 minutes or so until it is a rich burgendy color. Then add 3 cups of bomba rice. Let this sit on the heat without liquid for 1-2 minutes. What you are hoping to do here is form the Soccarat, which is a caramelized crust on the rice. Next add seafood stock. In general you will need 2-3 cups of stock for every cup of rice.
Add the vegetables and seafood back into the pot. Next I cover my grill. If you were doing this stovetop you would put the pan into the stove at this point. Usually 350-400 degrees. This will now cook down and the rice will absorb the stock. 30-45 minutes. I will taste the rice until it is done to my liking. Finish by squeezing the juice of 1-2 lemons over the finished product and salt to taste.
Cover with aluminum foil for 15-30 minutes. Or if you can’t wait just serve immediately.