( SERVES 4 )
Such a joyful dish should not be reserved for entertaining. There’s nothing scary about paella, it’s a simple one-pan meal that can be adapted to include seafood of your choosing. I like to use a mix of chicken and squid, or omit the chicken to make it vegetarian using fish or vegetable stock. Try not to stir the paella from step 3 onwards and you will hopefully end up with a crunchy rice crust on the bottom of the pan. This recipe forms part of the January 28 meal planner created in partnership with New World.
New Zealand’s Green Shell Mussels are farmed sustainably so they’re harvested all year round, which makes them great value seafood too. They’re kept fresh in a chilled, water-sprayed unit at your local New World Seafood counter.
- Blend capsicum, tomatoes, garlic, onion, oil, vinegar, thyme, parsley, paprika, saffron and salt until smooth. You will end up with 1½-2 cups depending on the size of your capsicum and tomatoes. You only need 1½ cups for this recipe.
- Heat a paella pan (or a large frying pan) over a high heat on barbecue or stovetop. Drizzle with oil and add rice, stirring for 2-3 minutes to coat all grains with oil. Add 1½ cups of the blended capsicum mix and stir through the rice.
- Add 3 cups of the hot stock and bring to the boil, stirring. Turn down heat slightly and let it bubble, without stirring, for 10 minutes.
- Press in the beans, chicken and mussels and cook another 15 to 20 minutes until chicken is cooked. Add more hot stock if the rice is starting to look too dry.
- Remove from heat and leave to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving with a sprinkle of chopped parsley and lemon wedges for squeezing.
SECOND TIME ROUND
Use leftover paella to make crumbed rice balls for dinner another night. Form the rice in to balls, pushing a small piece of cheese and prosciutto in to the middle of each one. Roll them in flour, then beaten egg, then breadcrumbs and fry in hot oil until golden all over. Serve with salad.