This is my take on a dish I had in Cádiz at a restaurant called La Merea (the Tide), which specialises in seafood and rice. It is one for garlic lovers, particularly as I – untypically for Spain – like to serve it with alioli as well.
- 60 ml olive oil
- 60 g shallots, finely chopped
- 12 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 litre fish stock
- 100 g flat-leaf parsley, leaves finely chopped
- 1½ tsp salt
- 400 g short-grain paella rice such as Calasparra
- 30 raw clams, preferably palourdes (vongole), scrubbed
- 200 g small raw peeled prawns
- alioli, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Heat the olive oil in a 28–30cm cazuela or shallow flameproof casserole over medium heat. Add the shallot and fry gently for 5 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and fry for about 30 seconds, then stir in the fish stock, parsley and salt and bring to the boil.
Sprinkle in the rice, stir once, then leave to simmer vigorously over medium-high heat for 6 minutes. Put the clams and prawns on top and shake the pan briefly so they sink into the rice a little. Lower the heat and leave to simmer gently for another 12 minutes. At the end of this time, almost all the liquid should be absorbed and the rice will be pitted with small holes. Serve with alioli.