Sunday, September 29, 2013

Adventure #190: Paella

Felt like having paella today. Found a fairly easy to follow recipe from BBC's website (see below, although we made some modifications of our own).  We then went out to GREAT to look for "paella" rice i.e. of the Bomba or Calaparra variety but was unsuccessful.  G, undeterred, stood in the supermarket and did his research on the spot. We found out that good quality Spanish rice of the varieties mentioned is not generally exported and the next best substitute is either risotto or sushi rice.  In the end, we bought arborio i.e. risotto rice as a substitute due to its closer geographical proximity and characteristics.

Armed with all the ingredients, we set out make our first paella!

Our paella.  Just added the prawns, clams and scallops, about 5-10 mins from being done. 

The final product. G thought it was the best he has had.

A final touch, a cold glass of Spritz!

This recipe serves 6-8 people. 


170g/6oz chorizo, cut into thin slices
110g/4oz pancetta, cut into small dice
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 large Spanish onion, finely diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 tsp soft thyme leaves
¼ tsp dried red chilli flakes
570ml/1pint calasparra (Spanish short-grain) rice
1 tsp paprika
125ml/4fl oz dry white wine
1.2 litres/2 pints chicken stock, heated with ¼ tsp saffron strands
8 chicken thighs, each chopped in half and browned
18 small clams, cleaned
110g/4oz fresh or frozen peas
4 large tomatoes, de-seeded and diced
125ml/4fl oz good olive oil
1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled
12 jumbo raw prawns, in shells
450g/1lb squid, cleaned and chopped into bite-sized pieces
5 tbsp chopped flatleaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation method

1. Heat half the olive oil in a paella dish or heavy-based saucepan. Add the chorizo and pancetta and fry until crisp. Add the garlic, onion and pepper and heat until softened. Add the thyme, chilli flakes and calasparra rice, and stir until all the grains of rice are nicely coated and glossy. Now add the paprika and dry white wine and when it is bubbling, pour in the hot chicken stock, add the chicken thighs and cook for 5-10 minutes.

2. Now place the clams into the dish with the join facing down so that the edges open outwards. Sprinkle in the peas and chopped tomatoes and continue to cook gently for another 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil with the garlic cloves in a separate pan and add the prawns. Fry quickly for a minute or two then add them to the paella. Now do the same with the squid and add them to the paella too.

4. Scatter the chopped parsley over the paella and serve immediately.

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