After dropping my phone down the toilet, and losing all my pictures I’ve been unable to blog for a little while and I feel like it’s been so long since I posted a recipe, but I promise this one is definitely worth the wait!
There’s lots of debate surrounding the authenticity of different Paella recipes, and I won’t claim my method is completely authentic or traditional but it is simple and super tasty.
You can swap the seafood for chicken if you’re not a fan, just bake some chicken thighs until crispy and flake the meat off into the rice before you add the liquid. The chorizo is optional too, and if you’re a vegetarian you could replace the meat and fish with your favourite veg!
2 medium onions, grated
3 medium tomatoes, grated
1 red pepper, grated
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
125g chorizo sausage, cut into cm thick coins
2 sprigs of fresh thyme, (leaves only)
1 handful of fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp saffron strands
1 handful of garden peas
350 ml fish stock
100 ml dry white wine, (I used sauvignon blanc)
8-10 king prawns
1 handful of squid cut into rings
I believe Paella’s traditionally cooked in a steel pan, but like to use a large non stick pan, partly because it saves on washing up but also because it makes things a little easier. You can choose which you’d prefer to use!
First we’ll make the sofrito, which is the flavour base of the Paella.
Heat a tbsp of olive oil in your pan on a medium heat and add the grated onion. Fry for 2-3 minutes stirring continuously to avoid burning. (Burnt onion tastes awful!)
Add your grated tomato, pepper and crushed garlic, and continue to stir for 3 or 4 minutes. If it gets too sticky and dry, just pour in half a cup of water.
Turn down the heat and allow the sofrito to cook for as long as possible, I’d reccomend at least 20 minutes. The longer the sofrito cooks, the deeper the flavour of your Paella will be!
In the meantime, we’ll toast our saffron which will help to release more flavour from this very expensive spice! This step is optional, so leave it out if you prefer.
Tip your saffron into a square of tin foil, no bigger than a drinks coaster, and fold it into a tightly shut parcel.
Place a small frying pan on a medium heat and add the tin foil to the pan. Cook for 10 seconds on each side and then place the tin foil containing the saffron to one side to cool down.
Keep stirring your sofrito every couple of minutes, and once it has been cooking for at least 20 minutes add the chorizo and turn up the heat.
Once the chorizo has softened, add the peas, paprika, thyme and parsley.
Add the rice to the pan and stir to incorporate all of the ingredients. Cook for a further 2 minutes.
Pour the fish stock and white wine into the pan and stir once. The turn up the heat to medium/high and leave to cook for 15 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed.
The most important thing to remember is NOT to stir your rice. Doing so will release starch and you’ll be left with a very gloopy Paella!
Place the mussels on top of the paella and press each one in, the bubbling liquid will cook them in a couple of minutes.
Once the mussels begin to open up, they’re cooked. At that point add the prawns and squid, again pressing them into the rice.
Cook for another 5 minutes until all of the liquid has been absorbed and the seafood is cooked.
Garnish with fresh parsley and wedges of lemon, serve the Paella in the dish you cooked it in and tell everybody to tuck in!
I really hope you enjoyed this recipe, its one of my favourite dishes to make and I’d love to see some pictures if you decide to give it a go. You can send them to me on Twitter or Instagram @_YumLily or contact@Yumlily if you have any questions.