Arroz a Banda Recipe

by Adrienne Matt on August 4, 2010

in Fish,Rice & Other Grains

I had heard about this classic, two-course dish but wasn’t able to taste it until I made it myself. Scarlett Farrow, my Alpujarran cooking amiga, found two recipes. One used tomatoes which was too New World for me, so we modified the Old World recipe. I’ve made it twice now and it’s fantastic!
Since this is a two-course dish, you will need to be comfortable having two pots going at the same time. If you’re tentative about this, enlist a cooking buddy.

Banda
0.5 pkt of saffron threads
60ml olive oil
100gms calamari rings
2 onions, diced
500gms potatoes, peeled and cubed
Ground cinnamon, sweet (dulce) pimientón and crushed dried chillies
2 tbsp flat leafed parsley, chopped
300ml fish stock, preferably made from the heads and bones of the fish you are using
500gms of a variety of meaty fish – filleted and cut into large chunks
150gms raw, shell-on prawns
12 clams, in their shells, cleaned and soaked in cold water
12 mussels, in their shells, cleaned and soaked in cold water
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a small dish, soak the saffron threads in a little bit of hot water. Let sit.
In a 10 quart pot, warm olive oil on medium heat. When the oil is heated through, saute the calamari rings for about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
In the same pot, saute the onions until translucent but do not brown them.
Add the potatoes and brown them.
Add cinnamon, sweet pimienton and chillies. Mix well.
Add the fresh parsley. Mix well.
Add half (150ml) of the fish stock and the saffron (including the soaking water). Mix well.
Cover and simmer until the potatoes are almost fork-tender.
Place the meaty fish on top of the vegetables to steam. Cover and cook until the fish begins to flake. Do not stir.
Add the remainder of the fish stock and bring to a simmer.
Add the calamari rings and shellfish to steam. Do not stir.
When the shells have opened, this dish is done. Remove from heat but keep covered until you are ready to serve it.

Arroz
0.5 packet saffron
90ml olive oil
5 cloves of garlic, sliced
350gm Calasparra or Paella rice
900ml fish stock, preferably made from the heads and bones of the fish you are using

In a small dish, soak the saffron threads in a little bit of hot water. Let sit. (This is not a typo. It’s separate from the saffron you used in the fish.)
In a 3-quart pot, warm the olive oil on medium heat. Saute the garlic.
Add the rice. Stir. Cook until the rice changes color.
Add the fish stock and saffron (and soaking water). Stir well. Cover and let cook 25-40 minutes (use the rice package instructions as a guide). When tiny holes appear in the rice, uncover and let the fish stock evaporate.

Serve the rice as your first course.

Serve the fish and potatoes next.

Scarlett likes to serve it with alioli and salmoretto but I like it as-is. Yum.

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