Mysaucepan is a fervent fan of paella to the extent she bought a huge paella pan to cook this Spanish classic. I, on the other hand, is lukewarm with paella as I have yet to experience a paella that has really knocked me off my socks.
You see, Mysaucepan bought the paella pan more than 2 years ago and it has been sitting in our kitchen ever since. My aversion to paella means she has not attempted to use the pan until we saw some really fresh seafood and I reluctantly agreed that we do a seafood paella.
So tonight, we invite our dear friends Eva and Fiona to be our unsuspecting scapegoats to ensure this huge paella is given at least some justice in the event something goes awry. I am a little apprehensive as the pan is huge and wonder if the heat will be distributed evenly from the cooktop which would be concentrated in the centre of the pan.
As I am not cooking tonight, I sip on a Lucindale cabernet sauvignon from Limestone Coast in South Australia as I leave Mysaucepan to prepare the paella.
Our friends arrive and we share a few drinks before dinner.
Ingredients 8 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil Method 1. Roughly cut red capsicum, roma tomato and 2 spanish onions, then put into blender and blend until ingredients become a smooth puree. Tip: Unlike risotto, do not stir once all the ingredients and stock have been added to the pan. This will ensure a crusty base (called socarrat) when the rice starts to dry and harden from the heat. Serves 4 people
4 cloves of garlic
4 cups of arborio rice
4 chorizo sausages sliced
1 large capsicum
4 chorizo sausages sliced
1 can of ripened tomato
2 fresh roma tomato
1 cup of green peas
1 litre of chicken / seafood stock
300gm banana or green prawns, shelled, deveined and trimmed
1 squid, cut into small rings
1 – 2 blue swimmer crab cut into quarters
300 gm black Tasmanian mussels (or green mussels)
2 lemons cut into wedges
1 bunch continental parsley
1 cup of dry white wine
10 sprigs of saffron
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of EVOO in paella pan and sear chorizo sausage slices until brown on both sides and set aside.
3. Add 3 tablespoon of EVOO into pan and lightly sautee 1 diced spanish onion until soft, then add arborio rice and mix well, coating the rice with the oil and onions.
4. Add the vegetable puree to the rice and mix well so the rice will start to absorb the puree.
5. Gradually ladle stock into the pan and let the rice absorb the stock and repeat until rice is cooked to al dente.
5. Add 1 cup of dry white wine, prawns, squid, crab and mussels into pan and let cook lightly, careful as seafood can overcook easily.
6. Add salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
7. Sprinkle green peas and chopped continental parsley onto the cooked seafood and rice.
8 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1. Roughly cut red capsicum, roma tomato and 2 spanish onions, then put into blender and blend until ingredients become a smooth puree.
Tip: Unlike risotto, do not stir once all the ingredients and stock have been added to the pan. This will ensure a crusty base (called socarrat) when the rice starts to dry and harden from the heat.
Serves 4 people
It is important to use the freshest seafood that you can find for this recipe.
I am not a fan of mussels but if I have to choose, I prefer the black Tasmanian mussels over the green mussels. Although a little more expensive, the black mussels are sweeter and more tender in texture. Green peas dotted on a dish is always beautiful and best of all they are sweet and good for you.
Only a little EVOO is required when searing the chorizo because it lets out a fair amount of flavoursome oil which can be used to sautee the onions.
Fiona is affable with a wonderful personality, her smile infectious and her wit a must to liven up any party!
The paella pan is pretty big and Mysaucepan is finding the food is cooking faster in the middle where there is more heat concentration from the cooktop burner. We would need to invest in a flat cast iron plate to rest the paella pan in order for the food to cook more evenly especially around the edges.
Our guests brings a 2005 Saltram shiraz which is a beautiful drop on its own but equally elegant with the paella too.
The seafood paella looks pretty delicious.
Mysaucepan has divided the seafood evenly so that each spoonful gets its fair share of crab, mussels, prawns, squid and of course the rice which has soaked up all the flavours of the stock and blended vegetables. The sides of the pan is laden with harden crusty bits of socarrat which added some texture to the dish.
Thank you Mysaucepan, your Spanish paella is quite delicious and it has somewhat changed my perception about this dish although I’m still not a fan of mussels, whether black or green.
So dear readers, what is your favourite Spanish food?
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Nurooitpa road, Angaston
South Australia 5353
Tel: +61 8 8561 0200
Riddoch Highway, Coonawarra
South Australia, 5263
Tel: +618 8736 3233