Inspired by local cuisine, we came up with this recipe for paella for those of you that love blue crab, or jaiva, as they call it in Cuba. This was our first attempt using blue crab in paella, and it came out exceptionally well. Named for the majestic Chesapeake Bay, home to those beautiful swimmers know as Blue Crab, or jaiva , we think you’ll love this recipe that will feed at least 6 people.
Blue crabs work best, as seen in the photos, but you can substitute King Crab, Dungeness or Snow crab. You will need to separate the parts into manageable pieces to fit inside the paellera, or the pan in which the paella is prepared.
Using Cabal sausage ( http://www.cabalchorizo.com/shop/chorizo-el-perron ) really takes this paella to the next level, as only 1 link is needed and leaves plenty of room for the other main ingredients. This really is the only sausage we have used in paellas that doesn’t lose its flavor after being cooked in a dish.
- 2 red chili, 1 left whole, 1 finely chopped ( can be spicy or not )
- 1 fat pinch saffron threads
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 brown onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 large tomato, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 Cabal sausage, El Perron is our preferred
- 200 g squid, diced
- 300 g calasparra or bomba rice
- 750 ml (3 cups) hot fish stock taken from the steamed crabs
- 3 tsp Spanish smoked paprika
- 4 large green prawns
- 5 blue swimmer crab, whole or quartered
- 12 mussels
- 1 cup cooked peas
- ⅓ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1-2 lemons quartered
INSTRUCTIONS FOR PREPARATION
Preheat oven to 200˚C.
Place 1 red chili in the oven and roast for 25–30 minutes until blistered. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to steam for 5 minutes (this will make it easy to peel). Remove the skin and seeds, chop the flesh into long strips and set aside.
Grind the saffron and salt in a mortar.
Heat the oil in a large paellera pan (or frying pan) over medium heat. Add the chopped chili, onion, garlic and Cabal Sausage and cook for 2–3 minutes until the onion softens. This part was vital to extracting the yumminess from the sausage in order to impart that flavor to the paella. Add the tomato, , squid and rice and cook for 1 minute. Add the stock, paprika and crushed saffron and salt, and stir to combine. Bring to the boil then arrange the prawns and crab on top of the rice. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 12 minutes until the stock has reduced enough and you can see the rice underneath. Push the mussels into the rice and cook for 5 minutes until their shells open. Reduce the heat to low, scatter the peas, roasted capsicum and parsley over the top and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Serve immediately with a cerveza clara or pinot grigio.