Enjoy paella de marisco (seafood paella) with king prawns and mussels.
Paella originated in Valencia Spain, with variations depending on where in Valencia the paella is made. Paella de marisco (seafood paella) is a version created along the coast of the Mediterranean where Valencian fishermen substituted the meats used in traditional paella with the more readily available seafood. My version of seafood paella is prepared with crabmeat, king prawns and mussels, with the rice prepared using fish stock.
If you've never bought mussels before you should look for ones that are tightly closed, as they are sold alive. Occasionally, you will find some that are slightly open; however, if you pinch these shut and they reman shut, it means the mussel is still alive and it will be safe to eat. Any that do not remain shut should be discarded.
If buying the king prawns fresh, try to get them as fresh as possible because they deteriorate rapidly. For this reason, unless you are close to the warm waters where king prawns are caught, it's best to buy frozen and allow them to thaw under cold running tap water. Cooked whole and in-shell, the prawns come out juicy and flavourful in this paella and it also makes preparation much easier. With everything cooked in one large, round, cast iron pan, called a paella (from which the name of this dish is also derived), clean-up is quicker as well.
(Makes 3 servings)
1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon butter, salted
1 medium sweet onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, deseeded and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup white wine (optional)
3 cups fish stock, divided
1, 1/2 cups rice, parboiled
2 Roma tomatoes, deseeded and diced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 cup crabmeat, flaked
6 king prawns, fresh if possible, or frozen then thawed
lemon wedges (optional)
Scrub the mussels under cold water and debeard them, which means using a knife to remove the fibres that attach the mussels to their shells. Discard any mussels that are open and will not close when you handle them. Place in a bowl of ice water and put them in the refrigerator along with the rest of the seafood until needed.
In a sauté pan (or paella) over medium-high heat, add the extra-virgin olive oil and butter. Once the butter is melted and hot, add the onion and red bell pepper then sauté until the onion and pepper begin to soften (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic, paprika, turmeric, and ground black pepper and stir well to combine. Add one cup of fish stock and deglaze the pan before sprinkling the rice into the pan in and even layer. Allow to cook until the rice has absorbed the stock.
Add the remaining fish stock to the pan and mix in the tomatoes and fresh parsley. Continue cooking until the rice becomes al dente. Stir in the flaked crabmeat, then press the king prawns (in shell) and mussels into the rice. Cook for 5 or 6 minutes then turn the king prawns over and continue cooking until the mussels are fully open.
Serve with lemon wedges (optional).
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
total calories = 394 | total fat = 8.29g | saturated fat = 1.86g | cholesterol = 64mg | sodium = 1,056.42mg | net carbohydrates = 36.79g | dietary fibre = 2.63g | sugars = 8.71g | protein = 40.21g