Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Paella Recipe. Not 'the' recipe. Just 'a' recipe ...

This is not the sort of thing I usually post about, but there is something about cooking a paella that I really enjoy.

Have a couple of pints (at least) of hot vegetable and/or chicken stock ready. I use Knorr stock granules – easy!

Use a decent large sauté pan. Fry off a load of onions in olive oil, add chopped chorizo sausage, garlic puree and if you like it spicy a half teaspoon of lazy chilli.

Add a good teaspoon each of ground paprika and ground turmeric.

Add diced chicken (chunks of leftover cooked chicken works too) and fry off.

Add paella rice or Arborio risotto rice (Tesco sell their own brand of each) and stir for a couple of minutes to let it absorb some of the flavours.

Add about ½ to ¾ pint of stock and stir on a low heat. As the liquid is absorbed, gradually add more stock. Stir every now and then, but if you have a good pan you don’t need to stir all the time. But do keep an eye on it!

The rice will take 35-45 mins to cook depending on how much is in the pan, how roomy the pan is, etc. Towards the end of the cooking time you can throw in some veg. I’m lazy and use things like frozen peas, mushrooms or peppers.

Keep testing the rice to see how it is cooking. The trick is not to have loads of liquid left in the pan when it is done.

If you want to add raw fish you will need to do so about 10-15 mins before the end, depending on what it is and how big the pieces are. I tend to use something already cooked, like prawns or a Tesco bag of seafood mix which contains ready cooked prawns, mussels and squid. It only needs 3-4 minutes to warm through.

If it is still a bit sloppy, switch off the heat and cover the pan with a newspaper to absorb the steam. This tip was given to me by one of my best twitter mates, but to be honest I haven’t tried it. If you add the stock gradually it should be OK anyway. It’s always a good idea to let paella stand for a few minutes after cooking before you serve.

An essential accompaniment

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