A few of my friends have visited Spain over the last year. I haven’t been one of them. It seems that a lot of my friends are vacationing overseas and not taking me with them… and its really starting to get on my nerves! Spain has become the new hot spot for budding chefs and restaurateurs. It’s become the new France, in that sense. It is home to 2 of the top 3 restaurants in the world, according to Restaurant Magazine. It’s just a great place for food. Here’s my tribute to one of Spain’s best dishes, baconized of course.

Ingredients

6 Strips Maple Leaf Bacon

2 tbsp Olive Oil

4 Chorizo Sausages

4 cloves Garlic

1 Small Onion

1 Red Pepper

3 Tomatoes, heirloom of possible

1 Large Squid

15 Littleneck Clams

12 Black Tiger Shrimp

1 tsp Smoked Paprika

2 pinches Saffron

¼ cup Hot Water

1 cup White Wine

900 mL Chicken Stock (One package)

Directions:

1. Take your saffron and let it steep in your ¼ cup of hot water. This will let the flavours do their thing. Also, put your chicken stock into a pot and bring it to a simmer while you get your prep done.

2. Grab your tomatoes, onions, red pepper and garlic and mince, chop dice and slice as necessary. I cut everything pretty small. You could go for the rustic chunky feel if you want, but I wanted a finer texture here.

3. Wash your clams, squid and shrimp, then slice your squid into rings. If you saved the tenticles, cut off the head, remove the feeding tube and rinse accordingly. Set all these all aside for later.

4. In your large skillet (or paella pan if you’re lucky enough to have one) brown your chorizo sausages on each side.

5. Remove the sausages from the pan, and fry up your bacon. I sliced it into about ¼” slices. I suggest you do the same. While your bacon is cooking, slice your sausages into ½” rounds.

6. Once the bacon is almost crispy, add your shrimps to the pan and let them cook on that one side until they’ve gone pink, then flip them over.

7. See! Pink! Shrimp have that magical cooking indicator! It should only take a couple minutes per side. Once done, remove them and set them aside.

8. Add your sausages back in (they should be sliced now!) and sautee for a couple minutes. Then add your garlic, onion, pepper, tomato and smoked paprika. Continue to sautee until everything has gone fragrant.

9. Add in your steeped saffron water, wine and your hot chicken stock. Mix this around then add in your rice and squid rings.

10. Once the rice is almost cooked, and there is a bit of liquid remaining on top, nestle in your clams to allow them to cook. Once they’re open, add your shrimp back in to heat through. By the time the clams have cooked, the rice will be perfectly done and your shrimps will be hot. Everything is perfect!

11. See! Perfect, and delicious.