Having returned from San Sebastián, we are still suffering from really severe withdrawal symptoms – think foaming-at-the-mouth bad. The trip has refuelled our love of Spain and we couldn’t stop reminiscing about the wonderful food we had in Madrid, Barcelona and of course, San Sebastián (yes yes, I’m aware I haven’t put up the pintxos post from the SS trip…will do so soon! In the meantime, enjoy my post on Arzak over here first). The symptoms got so bad, that we launched into a myriad of preparations for a pintxos candlelit dinner for two, complete with a good Spanish wine on Halloween night (no pictures because it was too dark…). And the day before, we visited Broadway Market and good ol’ Tesco to pick up some ingredients for the Spanish paella. It was a Spanish weekend, our Spanish weekend.
Now, I really don’t want to offend any Spanish people out there and say that our recipe is authentic. I too, cringe when someone posts a recipe and declares it ‘Authentic Singapore Noodles’ because hell, there is NO such thing as Singapore noodles….(this myth however seems to be propagated everywhere in Chinese restaurants in UK and beyond, the kind of scene that is fit for a horror movie). I would go as far as to say that whilst we have used unauthentic ways to cook this paella (apparently, a paella dish is needed, and some ingredients we used are not usually found in authentic paellas), M’s version turned out fabulous. And because it is his version, I have decided to name this dish ‘M’s Spanish Paella’.
Regular readers will know that M doesn’t like to follow recipes, but I did politely asked him if he could narrate what he had done as he cooked, and he obliged. So folks…..WE HAVE A RECIPE!!!! This will have to be one of my blogging achievements, to wrestle a recipe out of mysterious M.
M cooked enough for four people, but we were so hungry, and the paella was so darn tasty, that we could finish it in one sitting. I stopped both of us before the damage was done, as I was planning to save a portion for photos in natural light the next day (the skies are completely dark by 5-6pm these days in London, huge huge taboo for photography, or even seeing your fingers in front of you), and erm, we don’t want another jelly belly, do we?
M never fails to disappoint with his cooking, and again, I was very happy with what he cooked. The rice was slightly chewy and moist, and packed full of robust flavours – seafood, chicken stock, chorizo. The squid and prawns were perfectly cooked too! It was pretty hard to stop once I started.
Here’s the recipe:
M’s Spanish Paella
serves 4 normal people, or 2 piranhas/pigs/dinosaurs
100g squid, gutted, cleaned and sliced into rings
100g prawns, shelled, cleaned and halved
125g smoked streaky bacon, sliced
100g chorizo, cut into chunks
1/2 bulb garlic (probably 4-6 cloves)
250g paella rice
Chicken stock (1 teaspoon chicken stock powder + pinch of saffron + 500ml hot water)
4 perino tomatoes, halved plus extra whole perino tomatoes to garnish
30g parsley, leaves and stems separated, and chopped
2 onions, chopped
1 red chilli, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1. Heat oil in non-stick pot on medium heat.
2. Fry garlic, onion, chilli and parsley stems till onions and garlic soften.
3. Add bacon and chorizo, and fry till oil seeps out of bacon.
4. Add paella rice and chicken stock, simmer with lid closed for 20-25 minutes until all liquid is almost absorbed. This will really depend on how hot your hob is, so keep a lookout.
5. Add squid and prawns and cook further till rice is cooked. The rice should be slightly chewy and a little moist, not completely dry or too wet.
6. Garnish with parsley leaves and fresh perino tomatoes, and serve with a squeeze of lemon.
P/S: We sneaked a little red wine and had some iberico ham for starters too!