( SERVES 10 )
Photo by Annabel Langbein Media
The secret to cooking the perfect paella lies in building a flavoursome sauce base in which to cook the rice. It’s easy to scale this recipe up or down – just make sure the ratio is always one part rice to three parts water or broth. The following recipe is adapted from one given to me by professional paella maker, Spanish chef Jose Luis.
|¾ cup||Olive oil|
|2||Onions, finely diced|
|3||Garlic cloves, finely chopped|
|2||Red peppers, thinly sliced|
|150 g||Chorizo sausages, finely diced|
|½ cup||Hot water|
|6 large bunches||Tomatoes, diced, or two 400g cans diced tomatoes in juice|
|1 tsp||Smoked paprika|
|1 tsp||Ground black pepper|
|2 cups||Calasparra, or other Spanish rice|
|1 kg||Mussels, or cockles in shell|
|1 kg||White fish fillet, cut into chunks|
|15||King prawns, or 5 paddle crabs, halved and cleaned (optional)|
|2 Tbsp||Sherry, to serve|
|2 Tbsp||Chopped parsley, to serve|
- In a large paella pan or heavy frypan, heat the oil and gently cook onions, garlic, red pepper and chorizo until onions are starting to soften (about 8 minutes).
- While onions are cooking, put saffron and the ½ cup hot water in a cup and leave to steep to draw out the colour. Stir into cooked onion mixture with the 6 cups water, tomatoes, smoked paprika, bay leaves, salt and pepper (it should taste very well seasoned). Bring to a simmer.
- Sprinkle rice evenly over the pan. Stir to combine then bring to a rolling boil, stirring from time to time. Cover and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring now and then to prevent the base from catching.
- Add mussels or cockles, burying the hinged ends deeply into the rice around the edges of the dish. Loosen the rice in the middle of the dish and mix in the fish. Top with prawns or crabs, if using, cover and cook gently without stirring until the mussels are open, the prawns or crabs are cooked through and the liquid has been absorbed (about 5-10 minutes). Remove from heat and allow to sit, covered, for 10 minutes. To serve, drizzle with sherry and sprinkle with parsley.
See more of Annabel's Waitangi Day recipes