Saturday, 30 July 2011

My New Favourite Seafood Paella

I've made various versions of paella in my time, this one is my favourite so far, although I'm not sure what exactly made it so. I was inspired to make it while reading Rick Stein's "Spain", but the dish I cooked had very little resemblance to the recipe that influenced my choice of dinner. As always, I'm bound by the ingredients I have to hand, so maybe it was just good fortune!

As with many of my dinners, it all starts with a couple of chopped onions and lots of crushed garlic, pan-fried with a nice load of olive oil and a diced red chilli. Once these are soft, in goes a heaped teaspoon of smoked paprika and a load of chorizo.

After a short time cooking, 300g of rice and 700ml of chicken stock went in, along with a chopped green pepper, a couple of handfuls of frozen edamame beans (I'd run out of peas and broad beans), a generous pinch of saffron and a pinch of salt.

I didn't have bomba rice so I used arborio and I have to say it worked very well. I probably ended up using well over a litre of stock/water over the course, I just added a little extra at a time, whenever the pan was getting dry, until the rice was cooked. It probably took about 20 minutes or so - I wasn't really paying attention to the time!

When the rice was pretty close to being ready, I made sure it was bubblingly hot and added in a load of sliced squid and the clams. Lid on and kept on a fairly high heat until the clams were open and the squid cooked through.

Served with a sprinkling of fresh coriander and a slice of lemon it was perfect. This amount was enough for two of us to have dinner and leftovers for lunch the following day.

Ingredients list:
Several cloves of garlic, smashed
1 big or 2 small onions, chopped
A chilli, chopped
A chorizo sausage, half-moon or quartered
Smoked paprika (I got mine at Waitrose, other supermarkets probably sell it too)
A bell pepper of any colour, chopped
Green peas/beans, alter cooking time depending whether fresh or frozen
300g Rice
About a litre of chicken stock
Squid (I buy mine frozen from The Fish Society)
Clams (I get mine delivered fresh from Abel & Cole)
Coriander and lemon to serve

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