1 Nov 2021

Top 6 Next Level Seafood Paella Tips

The festive season is upon us – it may be the season of giving, but it’s also the time for diets – the see-food diet. Every time we see food, we want to indulge.

But what better way to indulge than in a mouth-watering seafood paella?

Many people may shy away from making this tasty dish because they think that it is complicated, especially to the novice cook. But with a few top tips, you can take your seafood paella to the next level!

Use the right pan

Cast iron potjiekos pots are usually a South African favourite to make over some hot coals. However, if you’re preparing this meal in your kitchen and don’t have a potjie pot, use a wide and shallow cast-iron pot or a non-stick frying pan that is 4cm deep. A shallow and wide pot will cause the moisture to evaporate quickly, and minimise the risk of the food overcooking.

Get the sofrito ready

Sofrito is a Spanish word that refers to a blend of fried onions, garlic and other vegetables. This is essential to form the base of your paella dish and the foundation of flavours that will be complemented with other tasty ingredients. Finely chop your onions, garlic and peppers and sauté with Flora Plant BUTTERTM until soft.

Select the right seafood

The best types of seafood to use in a paella are mussels, clams and prawns. Be sure to clean and devein the prawns and remove any broken shells from the clams where necessary.

Don’t stir too often

Paella rice does not have to be stirred frequently – once the heat is perfect, allow the flavours to infuse while boiling on the fire or stove. If you’ve ever made risotto, then paella is quite similar. A noticeable difference is that paella does not require as much stirring. Once all your ingredients have been added, leave it be. This will allow a light-golden crust to form at the base of the pan – commonly known as socarrat.

Don’t cover the pan

Always cook your paella uncovered so that the paella rice retains its dry texture. The paella should be dried and firm after you have cooked it. The rice consistency you’re aiming for is to be moist but not wet. You may cover the pan after cooking to keep the food warm, or within the last five to ten minutes of cooking to steam.

Stock is important

You may choose to add a combination of fish and chicken stock, however, chicken stock is usually readily available and is quite common to use in seafood paella. Adding the right amount of stock can help infuse the different flavours and add an extra bit of umami to your dish. Be sure to follow the recipe carefully, as too much liquid can make the rice mushy.

Now that the main meal is sorted, why not end the evening with some malva pudding – we may just have the perfect malva pudding recipe for you!

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