So Paella Recipe:
As we have entered Spring and with a heatwave just round the corner, we thought we would go Mediterranean with our first ever recipe for the readers. We really hope you like this one as its not for the faint hearted and its one of those for the sea food lovers. We are kicking off our monthly Chef Specials with our very own twist of the popular Meditteranean dish named ‘Paella’. This is one of the most famous of global dishes and to define exactly what paella contains is almost impossible. There are as many variations of making paella depending on who’s recipe you are following. Many claim that their recipe is the best tasting or the most authentic.
The origins of the dish, however, are quite humble to say the least. The history of the dish will help explain why so many varieties exist. The undisputed home of paella is Valencia in Eastern Spain. It is one of the largest natural ports in the Mediterranean and has been one of the most important areas to produce rice in Spain, since rice was introduced by the Moors over 1200 years ago. Even the Spanish word for rice is ‘arroz’, is derived from Arabic, not Latin like most of Castilian Spanish.
Here is our amazing recipe for you to try at home:
Heres what you need:
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 10 large raw tiger prawns or Shrimp in their shells, heads removed and kept
- small bunch of parsley, leaves and stalks separated, leaves roughly chopped
- 100ml dry sherry or white wine
- 500g mussels
- large pinch of saffron strands
- 150g cooking chorizo, cut into chunks
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 medium squid(about 300g), cleaned and cut into rings with tentacles intact
- 2 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 250g paella rice
- 100g frozen podded broad beans or peas (or a mixture of the two), defrosted
- 1 lemon, finely zested then cut into wedged
- smoked sea salt (optional)
- Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a wide, shallow pan. Add the tiger prawn/shrimp heads and parsley stalks and sizzle until the heads turn pink, then mash together with a potato masher. Pour over the sherry or wine and 300ml water, season with abit of salt and simmer for 10 mins to make a stock. mash the prawn heads as they are cooking.
- Add the mussels into the pan, cover the pan loosely with a lid, then put over a high heat for around 3-4 mins until the mussels just open. Then stir to release the mussel juices. Pour the contents of the pan into a colander and over a large bowl containing the saffron. Let the saffron infuse with the stock. You will need 700ml in total. Top up with water if needed and give everything a good stir. Pick the mussels out from the colander, then set aside.
- Wipe out the pan and add the rest of the olive oil. Sizzle the chorizo until it releases its oil, then add the onion and garlic. Cook until everything is softened. Then add the squid and turn over until it turns white. Add the tomatoes and cook down for around a minute, then pour over most of the stock, give everything a good stir and bring to the boil. evenly pour the rice over the stock, stir well once, then boil vigorously for 5 mins. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and slowly simmer for 10 mins without stirring until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid.
- Tuck the prawn tails into the rice and then simmer for approximately 5 mins, turning them over until cooked through. Stir through the mussels and broad beans or peas. Taste the rice and see if it is still a little raw. If the pan is dry, add a splash more stock and continue to cook; if it becomes a soup consistancy, then increase the heat to cook off the last of the excess stock.
- Once the rice is just cooked, turn off the heat and cover with a tea towel for a around a few minutes. Then Scatter over the parsley leaves and lemon zest, then season with smoked salt if you like. Stir everything once, then serve straight from the pan, with lemon wedges on the side.
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