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Salvador N.19 is our go-to blend for paella. Pimentón, saffron and seafood essence gives the dish a warm heartiness and you won't need any other seasonings (besides salt).
This recipes is a loose interpretation of Spanish paella that builds flavor by adding Salvador at each step of the cooking process. Bomba rice, a short-grain rice from Spain and the foundation of this dish, absorbs liquid- and therefore the seasonings- more readily than other varieties of rice. You can find it online or in well-stocked markets.
You don't need a paella pan, but it's the only way to get a signature socarrat crust on the bottom of the rice, a thin, crackly, browned layer that crisps on the pan's steel base. Even without the socarrat, the dish is tasty.
4 to 6
Lior Lev Sercarz, from "Mastering Spice" by Lior Lev Sercarz
4 oz chorizo, diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 small green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups Bomba rice
1 cup cooked chickpeas, homemade or canned, drained, and rinsed
12 extra-large shell-on shrimp
12 clams, scrubbed
12 mussels, scrubbed
Coat a large sauté pan with oil (2 to 3 tablespoons) and heat over medium-low heat. If you have a 16 to 18-inch paella pan, use it here; straddle the pan between two burners and rotate occasionally to ensure even cooking. Add the diced chorizo and cook, stirring often, until just browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.
Add the onion, 2 pinches of Salvador, and a pinch of salt to the chorizo oil in the pan. Stir well, spread in an even layer, and, if using a sauté pan, cover. Cook until the onion is just translucent, about 6 minutes.
Add the red and green bell peppers, 2 more pinches of Salvador, and a pinch of salt and stir well. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are bright, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover (if using a sauté pan), and cook until the peppers are almost tender, about 3 minutes. If the vegetables seem like they're burning, add a little more oil.
Raise heat to high. Add the tomatoes, rice, chickpeas, 3 cups cold water, the remaining spice blend, and a large pinch of salt. Stir continuously until the mixture is bubbling and the rice absorbs some of the liquid, about 2 minutes. Nestle shrimp, clams, and mussels into the mixture and scatter the cooked chorizo all around. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the rice is just cooked through, about 20 minutes. Raise the heat to high and cook until a crust forms on the bottom of the rice, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, tent loosely with foil, and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.