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Spanish Paella

This recipe has been reproduced courtesy of Orce Serrano Hams -

Orce Serrano Hams market a range of authentic Andalucian cured meats, in particular Serrano Hams, olive oils, vinegars and wines. The business is situated in the heart of the Andalucian countryside, which is the home of Serrano Hams, and ships direct from Spain. All of the products are locally produced with many being used in local restaurants and tapas bars where Serrano Ham is a great favourite. If you are looking for a taste of real Spain the Orce Serrano Hams can supply you with it!

If you would like to find out more about Orce Serrano Hams and the Serrano Hams then have a look at the article entitled Jamon Serrano / Jamon Iberico / Spanish Ham - Orce Serrano Hams or visit the web site

The paella has to be one of Spain's most famous dishes. It is a rice dish cooked in a large shallow pan with seafood, vegetables, herbs and spices - the most important being saffron which gives the rice that lovely golden colour. When people think of paella, they almost always imagine the seafood variety although traditionally it was made with rabbit, chicken and pork. The dish originated from the region of Valencia where it was cooked by the men who worked in the countryside. They set a large paella pan over a wood fire and used whatever ingredients were to hand - meat, rice and vegetables. The dish has hardly changed over the years although there are many different recipes and variations. The following recipe is for a simple seafood version.

This recipe was put togther by Gayle with help from one of her English students, Cloti, head of tourism at Orce Museum.


Spanish Paella1/2 kilo mussels
1/2 kilo cockles or clams
1/2 kilo squid
2 swordfish steaks
1/2 kilo fresh prawns
3 ripe tomatoes
1 onion
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
handful fresh parsley
4 cloves garlic
4 strands saffron
1 kilo paella rice (short grain)
3 - 4 pints fish or chicken stock
cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper


  • Prepare the vegetables - the peppers, onion garlic and tomatoes should be diced into very small pieces.
  • Prepare the seafood - clean the mussels and cockles. Remove the shell from the squid and slice into rings. Cut the swordfish into bite sized chunks.
  • In a large paella pan, heat the olive oil and then add the onion, garlic, peppers and tomatoes.
  • Cook on a moderate heat until the vegetables begin to soften but do not allow them to brown.
  • Add the squid and swordfish to the pan and cook for a few minutes, then reduce the heat.
  • Meanwhile, steam the cockles and mussels until they are just beginning to open, Remove them from the heat and set aside.
  • Add the rice to the paella pan, turn up the heat and stir the rice well allowing it to mix with the fish and become coated with the oil. Let the rice cook for 3 - 4 minutes.
  • Slowly add the fish stock to the rice, stiring gently. Cook on a high heat for five minutes then reduce the heat.
  • In a mortar, bash the saffron strands with a little salt and the parsley, add a spoonful of water and mix well.
  • Add the saffron and parsley to the paella pan and mix well so it is evenly distributed.
  • Allow to cook for 10 minutes stirring only occasionally.
  • Go back to the mussels and open the shells discarding the half without the mussel in.
  • Add the prawns and cockles to the dish and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  • When the rice has soaked up the stock, turn off the heat and add the mussels.
  • Cover the dish with foil and allow the paella to rest for a few minutes.
  • Remove the foil, decorate with slices of lime or lemon and serve.

Serves 8

How to make Spanish Paella
How to make Spanish Paella
Prepare vegetables
Cook vegetables
How to make Spanish Paella
How to make Spanish Paella
Add the squid and swordfish
Add the rice and stir
How to make Spanish Paella
How to make Spanish Paella
Allow to simmer
Add the prawns
How to make Spanish Paella
How to make Spanish Paella
Add the cockles
Add the mussels
How to make Spanish Paella
How to make Spanish Paella
Cover and allow to rest
. . . and serve

Orce Serrano Hams

Published with permission of Orce Serrano Hams