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The name ‘PAELLA’ comes from the two handled pan (photo #1) this dish is cooked in. These pans are a worthwhile investments as they are fairly inexpensive and look great on the table!

A paella pan, wide, fairly shallow and thin, will allow for your paella to develop the all important “socarrat”, or the rice crust which forms on the bottom of the pan. Never stirring a paella is probably what best distinguishes this dish from a risotto and will ensure that, no matter what ingredients you choose (seafood, rabbit, chicken, chorizo are all options), your dish can qualify as a paella, or close enough!

INGREDIENTS (serves 4)

  • 750ml. fish or kitchen stock (photo #2)
  • Handful of flat leaf parsley stalks
  • 1 lemon, zested then cut in half
  • Pinch of saffron threads (photo #4)
  • 2 cloves of garlic – crushed
  • 1 can tomatoes – crushed (photo #8)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (photo #10)
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil  (photo #11)
  • 250g peeled fresh prawns (keep heads for stock)
  • 1 chorizo sausage –  1cm slices
  • 250g Calaspara shortgrain rice (photo #12)
  • 150g squid – clean & cut into bite size pieces
  • 100g vongole, mussels or pippis (choose 1)
  • 75g pimentos of roast capsicum cut into strips
  • Handful of chopped flatleaf parsleys

METHOD

Pre-heat oven to 180°C (350°F / Gas 4)

Put stock into a saucepan with parsley stalks, prawn heads and shells (if you have kept them) and half the lemon. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer. Add saffron while simmering.

Heat a small amount of olive oil in a frying pan. Cook together garlic, tomatoes and paprika. Cook until well ‘together’ then blend into a puree – This is called the ‘PICADA’.

Heat oil in Paella pan. Fry chorizo, then add rice and Picada. Cook for a few minutes, stirring well.

Strain the hot stock into the paella pan with salt. Bring mixture to the boil for 5 minutes, then stir again.

Add seafood to pan, stir into rice. Cover with double foil or lid and transfer to oven for 15-20 minutes. When cooked – fluff it up gently and cover with strips of pimento, parsley and lemon zest. Serve immediately.

NOTE: Chicken – small strips of chicken can also be used (along with the seafood) in this recipe. Fry at the same time as chorizo.

What is your favourite recipe for Paella? more meat, less seafood? cooked on the barbecue? on the stove?

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