I recently made the discovery that my two year old loves seafood. This, and the recent pack of saffron that my mother -in-law brought me back from Turkey, lead me to one conclusion – make paella! Paella is a traditional Spanish rice recipe that can be made in many different ways but over here we know it best with rice, seafood and peas. My recipe is pretty simple and the saffron (a deep red threaded spice used in paellas, risottos and French fish soup) is optional – the dish will still taste rich enough without it. My family love chorizo so I added a bit to their portions but this is also optional – a seafood mix of prawns, mussels and squid is plenty of flavour and texture without the chorizo.
We all loved this dish apart from my oldest who pushed it away dramatically without trying it. I guess seafood divides people! A hearty meal to warm you up at this cold time of year.
Paella (serves 5)
1 leek, chopped
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp tomato puree
200g tinned chopped tomatoes
300g paella rice or long grain rice
1 litre vegetable stock (I like Oxo as it crumbles easily)
300g frozen seafood/paella mix (normally contains prawns, squid and mussels)
Optional – 1/2 tsp saffron
200g frozen peas
Large bunch parsley, chopped
Heat the oil and soften the leek for 5 minutes. Add the turmeric, paprika, tomato puree and chopped tomatoes and stir. Add the rice and stir some more then pour in the stock. Bring to the boil then simmer for 15 minutes, stirring regularly. Pour in the frozen seafood/paella mix and cook for 5 minutes. Add the saffron. Add the peas, stir and cook for a further 3 minutes or until the rice is cooked (if it seems dry add a little water). Season, sprinkle with parsley and serve!