Sunday, 8 September 2013

Paella, Pam style

I love paella and if you've ever been in the company of Spanish people who make it, you'll notice that it's the men who vie with one another to cook it over a fire in the open air, each one swearing their recipe is the best.  

El jefe loves rice but not all the seafood stuff that goes in paella.   Instead I make one for him  with bacon, peas, chopped fried egg, sweet corn, mushrooms and onion, all flavoured with Worcester sauce and any fiery sauce I can find.   I prepare all the ingredients first by frying the bacon, then the onions, then the mushrooms.   I fry the egg separately.

My rice is idiot-proof - it always comes out light and fluffy - because I coat it in a small amount of oil or butter, or a mixture of both, in a heavy frying pan.    I add twice as much liquid as rice - usually 1 mug of rice to 2 of plain boiled water.   Bring the water back up to the boil, then turn the flame down to the minimum and cover with a very tight lid (use kitchen foil if necessary).    After 12 minutes turn off and it'll be excellent.   I use a fragrant, long-grain rice and it never fails.

Well, I've found this in my local supermarket....

Sachets of spices for paella which make it ideal for me to cook for one.   They contain garlic, paprika, saffron, cloves, pepper and cornflour.     Add to this the availability of frozen dressed mussels and huge prawns in the same supermarket, and I'm in seventh heaven.    You could add calamares and clams as well, bits of chicken or rabbit, whatever you fancy.

Poach the seafood gently in some white wine, then reserve.   Use the liquid as part of the amount when cooking the rice.  

Gently fry one sachet of the paella spices, add the rice, then the liquid and proceed as above.    All the liquid will be absorbed, the rice will be a lovely yellow colour and you can start adding your bits.    Include some peas and strips of roasted red pepper.   Here's the finished result.