There was nothing better than a get together with a fresh paella cooking in the sun whilst sipping Rioja. Just writing this I am longing for summer to arrive, investing in a paellera (paella pan) and cooking one al fresco.
Last week I finally got round to cooking this much loved dish. However as I am the only one who eats shell fish I had to leave out the clams, squid and mussels. But I did include king prawns and chorizo.
This is how to cook my easy paella...
350g arborio rice
1 red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 mini yellow peppers, chopped
1 courgette, quartered and sliced
200g cooked chorizo, chopped
100g fine beans
50g florets of tenderstem broccoli
1/2 tsp saffron, dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
160g cooked king prawns
6 spears of asparagus
1.3 lt vegetable stock
1 - Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a deep saute pan or paellera and gently cook the onions and garlic over a low/medium heat for about 10 minutes or until starting to soften.
2 - Add the peppers, courgette and chorizo and cook for a further 10 minutes stirring regularly. As the chorizo heats it will add colour and flavours of garlic and paprika to the vegetables.
3 - Add the arborio rice and heat for 2 minutes then pour over the saffron infused water and stir thoroughly before pouring over 750mls of vegetable stock.
4 - Sprinkle over the smoked paprika, stir and bring to the boil.
5 - Reduce the heat to a low/medium heat, add the green beans, tenderstem broccoli and king prawns. Cover and allow the flavours to combine together and the rice to soften
6 -Regularly check the paella and add extra water when needed. The rice should be cooked to al dente.
7 - Finally lay the spears of asparagus over the paella, re cover and cook for a further 3 minutes.
8 - Remove the pan from the heat and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
This paella is full of authentic flavour and really does take me back to hot sunny days with Joseph's late God mother Anita at her house in the mountains of Gran Canaria. These were some of the best times that I had there and they are deeply missed as is Anita.
Paella may seem a daunting dish to cook but this really is an easy recipe. The beauty of paella is that you can add or remove ingredients depending on taste but as long as you have the basic flavours you can create a delicious meal.