Friday, 18 April 2008

This is the first time I'm making paella, though Ive ordered it many times at restaurants. I was at the fish counter in my local supermarkets this afternoon, I thought I would get some Squid, but unfortunately the lady before me brought the last lot, but this didn't put me off making my paella I got a few king scallop pieces, some live mussels and some interesting looking Tilapia fillets, unlike the scallops these were incredibly cheap I brought two sizable fillets for under a pound! (perfect for my trial paella)
The other ingredients that I purchased were a box of prawns (medium sized- but the bigger you get the better), an onion, yellow or red pepper, one lemon, bunch flat leaf parsley, paella rice, saffron,
You should also have seasoning, butter, olive oil, sweet paprika, 4x garlic cloves, fish stock, white wine vinegar, 2x tomatoes, frozen peas,

Chop the onion finely and the pepper in strips fry in some olive oil till soft but not darkened (about 10 minutes).
You can prepare your mussels whilst the onions are cooking by washing and cleaning them and discarding any that remain open after a light tap. Heat some butter or oil in a pan with a lid and fry one of the garlic cloves, add one table spoon of white wine vinegar and then the mussels and finlay about 75ml of hot stock. Bring to the boil and cook on high heat for about 4 minutes shaking the pan often to make sure every thing is cooked evenly. When the cooking time is over check the mussels and discard any that have failed to open. Drain and reserve the cooking juices and keep the cooked muscles in the pan covered.
Try not to eat them all before the Paella is ready!

When the onions and peppers have been cooking for 10 minutes or so, add the remaining garlic (chopped finely) and the tomato's. Fry for a further minute and then add the paella rice 80g per person (you will need double the volume of rice used for the stock), mix the rice in well and fry for a few minutes. Pour in the fish stock (about 800g also add the reserved cooking juices from the mussels) and a good pinch of saffron, the stock should completely cover the rice, bring to the boil and then reduce the heat so you have a gentle simmer.Now add one teaspoon of salt and a good pinch of pepper to the pan, next add one table level tablespoon of sweet paprika and gently mix into the rice. I used one of my fish fillets and chopped it into small (1 inch) pieces and pushed them into the rice I also halved a couple of my scallops and added them in to the pan as well. Simmer the paella for up to 30 minutes, don't be afraid to add a little more stock if you feel it is being absorbed too quickly, also don't be tempted to stir the rice too much, instead move your pan slightly about the fire to make sure you have an even cook.
20 minutes or so into the cooking time you can add some peas to your paella, I also covered my rice with the prawns and gently pushed them down a little. Unfortunately I only had small prawns (though they were quite plum and meaty) but use large shelled prawns if available.
When the cooking time is over cover the paella with some baking paper and then lay a lid on top, until you are ready to serve, and when you do be sure to squeeze plenty of lemon over the dish and a handful of chopped parsley. I also gave my rice a good drizzle of olive oil and served with the 'garlicky' muscles on top.


Anonymous said...

I'm hungry!

Looks good, Bill. I'm planning a dinner party in May. You must help with the menu.


Biloo said...

May, will have to be a spring menu! Lamb, for sure.

The knife said...

Hi there. Dropped into your blog for the first time. All the food looks so interesting and tasty. i want the Thai curry right now. I had a paella last weekend here at Mumbai. The rice seemed drier. Though what you made seems closer to what they showed on a programme on Spain on TV

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