The key to any great dish is to use the freshest ingredients you can find and I can’t think of anything better than knowing you have used local produce in making a dish like paella. This dish contains many tasty local ingredients including the renowned Soller red prawns, something of a delicacy here in Mallorca, vegetables from the soil and vines of Pollença and rice from down the road in Sa Pobla… hope you enjoy making this one.
Allow 2 hours to make your paella in the wood fired oven.
Serves 6 in a 30cm paella pan.
1½ litres fish stock
100ml olive oil
1 onion finley chopped
½ red pepper, ½ green pepper
6 garlic cloves (even better if you have confit them)
3 large roasted tomatoes
1tsp dulce (sweet) paprika
½tsp picante (hot) paprika
Pinch of saffron threads
1 large cleaned squid in rings (keep around 12 rings and chop the rest)
500g paella rice
300ml white wine
18 shell on prawns
18 fresh clams
18 fresh mussels
200g monkfish cubed
The first job is to get that oven up to temperature if you are braving the wood fired approach. Actually that’s the second job. The first job is to pour a lovely glass of local Rosado, cooking is always better with a glass in hand… thanks Mr Floyd! We cooked most of our paella using retained heat but we did use the direct heat of the flame at the beginning to cook off some roasted tomatoes for our Sofrito.
When making a paella, like its risotto cousin, the stock is a really important part of the flavouring of the dish. We had already prepared a home made stock for another dish but if you visit Marta of Peixaterina Catalina who are at the Santa Catalina Market in Palma, she will put together a bag of fish to create your own stock… failing that you can buy some good fish stock from a deli.
When the oven is around 180-200°C you can warm up the paella pan before you start making the Sofrito.
Making the Sofrito
This is the base of the paella and in our version we fried off the finely diced onions, garlic and peppers in our paella pan before adding the roasted tomatoes. Then continue to cook for 20 minutes until soft before adding the paprika and a large pinch of sea salt. Continue to cook until a thick sauce has formed.
In a separate saucepan bring the stock to a boil and add the saffron.
Add the squid to the paella pan and continue to cook for 3 minutes before removing it and keeping to one side. We add this back in later.
Cooking the rice
Add the rice to the pan and toast a little before adding the wine to the paella pan and cook for 4 minutes to reduce.
Add enough stock to cover the rice and cook for 10-15 minutes adding more stock as required.
Add the monkfish and press down into the rice and cook for a further 10 minutes before adding the cooked squid. Cook for a further 5 minutes then place the prawns on top.
After 2 to 3 minutes add the mussels, clams and langoustines.
To watch out for…
In the wood fired oven you do need to keep an eye on it more so than the normal gas ring approach. Keep turning the pan and adding a bit more stock if it is drying out too quick. Just keep tasting the rice until you are at the consistency you like.
When it is ready, take out and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving… what you are hoping for is ‘the socarrat’ that lovely caramelised crispy bottom 😊