Serves: Makes 6 to 8 servings
- ½ pounds small mussels
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 (10-ounce box) frozen Fordhook lima beans, thawed
- ½ cup thinly sliced green onion, green and white parts
- ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
- 2 slices serrano ham or prosciutto, cut into 1-by-½-inch strips
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 (2-by-½-inch) strip orange zest, cut into 1½-inch wide strips
- 2 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika
- 1 (14½-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juices
- 1½ cups Spanish rice
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 2 tablespoons lightly packed torn fresh mint leaves
- 6 thin orange wedges, for garnish
- Rinse, debeard, and refrigerate the mussels.
- Heat the chicken broth and water in a 2½- to 3-quart saucepan. Cover and keep warm over low heat.
- Heat the olive oil in a 12- to 14-inch paella pan (set over two burners, if necessary) or an extra-large skillet over medium heat until hot enough to sizzle a lima bean. Add the lima beans, green onion, and bell pepper, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until the pepper begins to brown. Add the ham, garlic, orange zest, and paprika, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes, or until the juice boils off and the tomato is dry. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Sprinkle the rice with the salt. Bring the broth to a boil and pour 3 cups of it over the rice. Stir the broth into the other ingredients. Cook uncovered over medium-high heat, without stirring, for 10 minutes, or until most of the broth has been absorbed by the rice. Taste the rice and add more salt, if needed.
- Tuck the mussels, hinged side down, deep into the simmering rice, distributing them evenly. Ladle 1 cup of the simmering broth over the rice and cook for 5 more minutes. As the rice cooks, it will continue to absorb the broth. Add more broth as needed, tasting the rice each time. It should be tender but firm. If you run out of broth before the rice is ready, use boiling water.
- Lay a piece of extra-wide aluminum foil over the paella for the last 5 minutes of cooking. All the mussels should be open. Discard any that aren't. Remove from the heat and let stand covered for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
- Sprinkle with the mint and garnish with the orange wedges.