Paella 101

Louiie Victa
Louiie Victa
November 30, 2020
Nothing brings together family or a group of friends like an elegant Seafood Paella. Colorful, festive and full of flavor, this dish is a perfect centerpiece to any family or gathering or special occasion, and is best when shared. Originating from Spain, a proper Paella utilizes a special kind of rice - Bomba or Calasparra, which absorbs liquids up to three times as much as standard rice. The broth is infused with Saffron threads, one of the most expensive spices in the world, which gives the Paella its distinct flavor, aroma, and yellow hue. Most cooks will be daunted at the preparation of ingredients and the steps necessary to achieve a perfectly cooked Paella. The Anova Precision Oven does a wonderful job at making sure all the delicate seafood gets cooked to perfection. This gives you more time to concentrate on tending to the rice and making sure it gets cooked perfectly on top of your stove. It also makes it easier to achieve that toasted crust in the bottom of the pan called socarrat which is a characteristic of an authentically cooked Paella. A quick rest in the Oven prior to serving with some steam ties every ingredient together and keeps everything delicious and moist. Note: A 12 inch Paella pan serves 4-6 people and comfortably fits in the Anova Precision Oven.
Serves
6
Prep Time
00:25
Cook Time
00:45
Paella 101
0
16
Ingredients
½ lb
Mussels
½ lb
Shrimp
½ lb
Baby squid
½ lb
Clams
2 cups
Paella Rice, Bomba or Calasparra
5 cups
Seafood broth, heated to a boil
1 Pinch
Saffron
¾ cup
Spanish Chorizo, halved and sliced
3
Cloves Garlic, chopped
1
Green Bell Pepper, diced
½
Red Bell Pepper, julienned
2 cups
Canned Diced Tomatoes, drained
1
Chopped Leek, white part only
1 Tbsp
Smoked Paprika
½ cup
Lima Beans
¼ cup
Green peas
¼ cup
White wine
1
Rosemary sprig
½
Cup olive oil, approximately
Salt and pepper to taste
Lemon wedges for serving
Steps

1. Prep Seafood.

Scrub and de-beard the mussels. With a pair of seafood scissors, snip the antennae off the shrimp and cut along the backside of the shrimp, exposing the vein. If there is a vein, wash it off. Partially opening the shell makes it easier to peel when eating it, and gives your seasoning and oils a chance to penetrate into the shrimp’s meat. Pull out the backbones on the baby squid and make sure there are no internal organs left in the body. Try to peel off as much of that thin membrane as you can. Let the clams sit in water for at least 15 minutes to purge it from sand and silt.
Prep Seafood.

2. Prep Vegetables and Sausage

We begin by prepping all the vegetables, seafood, sausage and spices. It is necessary to get everything ready because once we start cooking the Paella and get the pan hot, we have to work very quickly because most of the cooking is done over high heat. Dice green bell pepper and leeks. Peel and chop 3 cloves of garlic. Julienne red pepper into two inch strips. Measure out green peas and lima beans. Drain the canned diced tomatoes on the side. Slice about a 4 inch length of Spanish Sausage, halve and slice it into half moons.
Prep Vegetables and Sausage

3. Measure out Rice and Seafood Stock

Measure out rice and set aside. Measure out 5 cups of seafood stock in a pot and bring to a gentle boil.
Measure out Rice and Seafood Stock

4. Toast Saffron threads

In a small piece of aluminum foil, place a pinch of Saffron threads and seal it in by folding like an envelope. Turn on Paella pan burner to medium heat. Place foil packet with saffron in the center and press it against the gentle heat. Flip it over and repeat for the other side. This “toasts” the saffron and opens it up to release its wonderful oils and fragrance. Add the saffron threads to the hot seafood stock and let it “steep”.
Toast Saffron threads

5. Sear Chorizo, Shrimp, and Baby Squid

Turn your burner to high heat. Drizzle olive oil into the pan and cook chorizo lightly. You will see it give off an orange colored oil in the pan. Take chorizo off the hot pan and set aside. In the same hot pan, sear shrimp quickly on both sides just to give it color. Take off the pan and set aside. Place cleaned baby squid in the same pan and sear quickly. When it puffs up, take it off the pan and set it aside. Season both shrimp and squid.
Sear Chorizo, Shrimp, and Baby Squid

6. Cook Sofrito

Add a little more oil to the pan then sweat the garlic, leeks and green pepper. Turn heat down to medium to avoid burning. When vegetables are cooked down, add the diced tomatoes, then cook until all the liquid has evaporated to an almost paste like consistency. Add 1 Tbsp smoked paprika and stir well. This sauce is known as a sofrito.
Cook Sofrito

7. Cook Rice.

Turn the heat to medium high and add rice to the sofrito mixture. Mix well and toast the rice a little bit so it absorbs the oils and spices. Add 1/3 of the Saffron infused seafood stock and stir so that the liquid is distributed evenly. Keep the heat on medium high and let the rice absorb the stock. When rice dries up, add another 1/3 of the seafood stock to the rice mixture. Stir again to make sure broth is distributed evenly and let the rice absorb the liquid as it cooks further.
Cook Rice.

8. Steam Shellfish

Take Clams and Mussels and place in a small pan with a little bit of the leeks and a splash of white wine. Steam in Anova Oven at 212 F, 100% steam for about 8 minutes or just until the shells begin to open up. Do not wait for them to fully open. We just want the abductor muscles to loosen up. Take Shellfish out of Oven and set aside.
Steam Shellfish
Sous Vide Mode: On
Steam: 100%
Temp: 212°F
Heat: Rear

9. Shellfish timer

Sous Vide Mode: On
Steam: 100%
Temp: 212°F
Heat: Rear
00:08 Timer

10. Socarrat and rice final stage.

When the rice absorbs all the liquid for a third time, add the lima beans, sprig of rosemary and the last of the seafood stock. This is the last time you will be able to stir the rice, so make sure to taste the broth, season to taste, and mix well. Cook until the rice absorbs the liquid, making sure to turn your Paella pan every so often to avoid any “hot spots” or burns. In this stage, watch the surface of the Paella. The oils and other ingredients should form a skin on the surface. This seals in your rice and allows it to steam into itself. Near the end of the cook, try to poke through the skin and feel the bottom of the Paella pan to check for a crust. If you feel a crust, congratulations! That is your socarrat and it’s a prized part of the Paella.
Socarrat and rice final stage.

11. Assemble Paella.

Shut off burner and move Paella pan to a cooler side. Take the rosemary sprig out of the rice. Add red bell pepper strips, mussels, clams, shrimp and baby squid, arranging everything in a beautiful presentation.
Assemble Paella.

12. Finishing steps.

With the Oven still at 212F at 100 % steam, place Paella pan in Oven and finish cooking the seafood as well as the rice, about 5 minutes. The heat coupled with steam will keep everything moist.
Finishing steps.
Sous Vide Mode: On
Steam: 100%
Temp: 212°F
Heat: Rear

13. Finishing timer.

Sous Vide Mode: On
Steam: 100%
Temp: 212°F
Heat: Rear
00:05 Timer

14. Serve Paella

Take the Paella out of Oven. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and garnish with lemon wedges. Be careful as the pan will be very hot. Serve. This dish is best paired with endless servings of white wine and conversation. Enjoy!
Serve Paella
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