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Paella A La Basquaise
Servings: 6

2 c raw long-grain rice
1 lb fresh mussels
18 hard-shell clams, thoroughly rinsed and scrubbed
2 lb fresh halibut cut into bite-size cubes
freshly ground white pepper
1/2 c olive oil
1 lb resh shrimp, peeled, with tails left on
1 lg onion, finely minced
1 ts finely minced garlic

1 red pepper, finely sliced
4 lg Ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/4 lb proscuitto
2 hot dry chili peppers
1/2 ts saffron
1 ts oregano
1 ts basil
3 c hot chicken stock, up to
4 c stock
1/2 lb finely sliced chorizo
1 c shelled peas (blanched in boiling water for 5 mins)

pimiento strips
2 lemons, quartered

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Wash the rice thoroughly under cold
running water and drain. Reserve. Wash both the mussels and clams
thoroughly until all sand has been removed. Do not soak them in
cold water. Dry the fish pieces thoroughly with paper towels and
season with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat 1/4 c olive
oil. When it is very hot add the fish cubes and brown them on all
sides. Remove them to a side dish and reserve. To the fat remaining
in the skillet add the shrimp and cook them over medium heat until
they turn bright pink. Season with salt and white pepper. Remove
the cooked shrimp to a side dish and reserve. Add 2 T olive oil to
the skillet. Add the onion, garlic and red pepper slices and cook
until the onions are very soft and lightly browned. Be sure not to
burn the mixture. Add the tomatoes and proscuitto, chilies and
saffron. Season the mixture with salt and pepper, oregano and basil.
Bring to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, scraping the bottom
of the pan well, until most of the tomato juice has evaporated.
Add the rice and 3 1/2 cups of chicken stock. Bring the mixture
to a boil again and cook over medium heat until 1/2 of the broth
is absorbed. Pour half the rice mixture into an earthenware casserole.
Make a layer of fish cubes and Chorizo and top with the remaining
rice. Cover the casserole and bake the rice for 25 minutes.
Uncover the casserole and fold the shrimp and peas lightly into
the rice. Cover again and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes or
until the rice is tender and all the broth has been absorbed. If
the rice seems dry, yet still too crisp, add the remaining chicken
stock. Uncover the casserole and bury the clams and mussels in the
rice. Cover the casserole again and cook for another 10 to 15
minutes or until the shells of both mussels and clams have opened.
Discard any mussels or clams that have not opened. Garnish the
paella with pimiento strips and lemon quarters. Serve directly from
the casserole.


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