The less said the better. This doesn’t deserve to be as good as it is. Something to keep you busy watching the smoke from California wildfires, wondering if it’s drawing closer. This recipe is best cooked outside over wood coals, but be careful about sending embers out into the air and starting still another fire. —pierino
- Serves 4-6
Spanish bomba rice
2 1/2 cups
large ripe peaches
links blood sausage (morcilla in Spain)
dozen very small clams (manila or cockles)
pimenton dulce or piment d'esplette
light olive oil
generous pinch of saffron
fleur de sel, a couple of pinches to your taste
small handful of lemon verbena leaves (optional)
- Bring a large pot of water to a full boil. Using a sharp paring knife cut a small X in the bottom of each peach. Don’t cut too deep. Plunge the peaches into water and when the skin shows signs of loosening transfer them to a bowl of very cold water.
- Peel the peaches. Cut in halves to remove the pit and then slice into wedges.
- Cut the sausage into pieces about ½ inch thick.
- Wash the clams thoroughly. Discard any that have begun to open and don't close up when you handle them.
- Sprinkle the pimenton onto pie tin or something similar.
- Get your coals going or light a gas grill if you must.
- Bring the chicken stock to a simmer in a 2 quart or more sized pot.
- Add the saffron to the stock.
- Dredge the peach slices in the pimenton, just to dust, don’t overdo it.
- Add the olive oil to your paella pan and place on the grill. Add the rice and shallot and stir to coat thoroughly. The rice will begin to turn translucent.
- Add the stock all at once and using a wooden spoon spread the rice around evenly. Add the remaining ingredients all at once, making sure you have even distribution. Stop stirring. You are not making risotto.
- When the stock comes to a steady simmer cover the pan loosely with foil.
- After ten minutes check if the clams have opened. If so, leave the foil off and continue to cook until the rice has absorbed the stock and juices and is al dente. This might be another 10 or 15 minutes. Be patient. It's done when it's done.
- Taste for seasoning. It should be ready to serve at this point. Hopefully you have achieved the soccarat or slightly crusty bottom to the paella which is the mark of success. Serve at once.