Dice the french onion. Clean and cut the cuttlefish in rings. Strain and reserve. Clean the prawns and scampi, strain and reserve. Clean the mussel shells and reserve in a separate plate from the rest of the seafood. Grate the tomato in a plate or bowl. You should have: 1 diced onion, 1 chopped garlic clove, 1 bowl with grated tomato. 1 plate with clean seafood (prawns, scampi and cuttlefish), 1 plate with clean mussels.
Heat a wide flat pan/skillet (paellera) with the olive oil. Poach the onion gently. Add the seafood plate (prawns, scampi and cuttlefish) and then the chopped garlic. Poach for 3 minutes. Add the peas and then the grated tomato mix and fry gently for 3 minutes. Add fish stalk (1 cup) and heat gently while stirring with a wooden spoon. Add a pinch of saffron and continue stirring the mixture, allowing the saffron and seafood to infuse, then boil gently for 5 minutes.
Add the mussels and 1 cup of water. Boil for 15 minutes or until reduced. Once reduced, add the rice and mix well from the center of the pan towards the outside. Add a pinch of parsley and cover with water (the proportion should be 1 and ½ cups of water per 1 cup of rice). Correct with salt to taste and boil at high heat until the water has fully evaporated (around 20 minutes) without stirring -unilike with risotto, the aim is a tender rice not a creamy result- . Remove from heat source and cover the pan with a clean dry cloth for 5 minutes before serving -most paella lovers like the dish tepid rather than hot-. The brown rice layer formed at the bottom of a well cooked paella (called socarrat) is a prized Spanish delicacy.
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