Paella, surely the most famous and beloved of all Spanish dishes, has traveled the world. Seafood paellas are as varied as the cooks who make them. The constants are good broth, short grain rice, Spanish smoked paprika, and a paella pan--although a 13-inch skillet will work, too. Although saffron in traditional in paella, it's not crucial.
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed (optional)
3 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice
1/4 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 pound grouper or other white fish fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 pound cleaned skinless squid, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 teaspoons Spanish smoked paprika or regular paprika
1 cup chopped tomato
1 1/2 cups uncooked short-grain rice (such as Calasparra or Arborio)
1 pound small mussels, scrubbed and debearded
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 400°.
Bring first 3 ingredients to a simmer in a small saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.
Peel the shrimp, leaving tails intact. Combine shrimp, grouper, and squid in a bowl; sprinkle with salt, let stand 5 minutes. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 13-inch paella pan or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish mixture, and saute for 1 minute (the mixture will not be completely done). Remove fish mixture and any liquid from pan, and place in a bowl.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers, onion, garlic, and paprika; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in tomato; cook 2 minutes. Stir in rice, and coat well. Add clam juice mixture; bring to a boil, and cook 3 minutes. Add reserved fish; cook 2 minutes. Add mussels to pan, nestling them into rice mixture.
Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until shells open; discard any unopened shells. Remove from oven; cover and let stand 10 minutes.