This fishermen’s rice recalls the twin fishing traditions of Alicante: the fat white tuna caught with the net trapping system of the almadraba, and the red prawns brought into Santa Pola. This Spanish rice with fresh tuna and prawns recipe comes from Francisco Henarejos, head chef at the Delfin restaurant for 30 years, who explains that the first brief sautéing of the rice leaves the grains firmer than the Valencian paella. Rice with fresh tuna and prawns it’s a really classy dish and a great idea if you are looking for a fancy meal or a romoantic dinner with your partner. This Spanish dish is also quite easy to prepare so it’s not too complicated or messy. Served really warm with a nice glass of firm white wine it’s truly the end of the world!
1 – 1/2 cups Calasparra rice
2 – 1/4 lb rock fish
1 – 1/2 quart water for the stock
Salt, to taste
3 medium tomatoes
1 coffee cup of olive oil
1 ñora (dried sweet red pepper)
14 oz slab of fresh tuna, cut from the center
8 large red prawns in their shells
7 oz peeled red prawns
1 head of garlic
Make a fish stock with the rock fish and salted water. Put in the tomatoes for the first 15 minutes of cooking time, after which they can be taken out and skinned. Put the paella pan over the heat, heat the olive oil and fry the ñora (without its seeds), then the tuna, cut into four large chunks, and finally, briefly, the prawns in their shells. Remove the ñora, fish and shellfish from the pan.
Peel the head of garlic. Crush the ñora with a mortar and pestle (or food processor), add half the head of garlic and crush again. Once everything is pounded, add half the tomatoes. Chop the other half of the head of garlic with the prawns. The dish can be prepared ahead of time up to this point.
Put the paella pan back over the heat and fry the prawns and garlic together. Add and briefly fry the rice, add the fish stock and then the picada of ñora and garlic. Put the chunks of tuna and the whole prawns on top of the rice. Leave rice with fresh tuna and prawns to cook over slow heat for approximately 15 minutes, and to rest for 5 minutes before serving.