Thursday, June 21, 2007

Paella Party!

Another post exam (rare) cookout. Promised R on this since last term so it's the perfect opportunity for a Spanish themed party coupled with a few jugs of ice cool Sangria after exams. I made Seafood Paella this time, and probably one of the easiest Seafood Paella recipe ever, so here it is to share with you guys to impress your friends during parties!

It's really easy, I presume this recipe is with minimal, essential, and easily available ingredients with maximum taste, speed and authenticity. :) Spoken like a true blue economist yea!

Seafood Paella

Ingredients

2 lemons, quartered
1-2 onions, diced into cubes
Two packs (200g) of mixed seafood (mussels, crayfish, prawns etc)
500g of Paella rice (or using Italian arborio rice is a good substitute)
A pack of frozen mixed vegetables (peppers, corns, peas etc)
1 can of chopped tomatoes with tomato juice
1-2 cubes of chicken/seafood stock
Salt to taste

Steps

First, heat up the pan with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. Then add in the onions to stirfry till soft.

Then, add in the Paella rice, and swirl it around for a bit. Next up put in the whole can of chopped tomatoes. This gives the rice the red/orange-y color. Add 2-3 cups of hot boiling water to the whole mixture and let it boil.

As the frozen vege and mixed seafood are partially cooked already, you only add them last when the rice is almost ready.

It's important to check the consistency of the rice, you won't want it over mushy or too hard. You want it al dente and slightly hard in the middle for the 'bite'. So watch over your rice carefully, stir it around occasionally to prevent it sticking to the pan, add water bit by bit so that it does not overcook.

Meanwhile you can add the stock cubes for some taste. Add salt as well to adjust the taste of the rice. The rice probably takes about 30-40 minutes to cook to the right consistency.

Now when the rice is almost ready, add the frozen vege and mixed seafood into the mixture and mix thoroughly.

(*) Once that is done, you can turn the heat to maximum and leave the pan there for about 3 minutes to hopefully get the crispy, caramelized, toasted bottom found in traditional paella (called socarrat in Valencian). Once the aroma of toasted rice comes from the pan, remove it immediately, take the pan aside to let it cool.

Note that even though your paella may seem a little wet, it will absorb the excess broth when cooler, so not to worry, you'd want it slight wet when done. :)

Finally, just add the sliced lemon for decoration on top. Make sure your guests remember to squeeze the lemon on top of their rice before eating! It gives the paella an added dimension :)


There you go, the easiest, no frills paella you've ever eaten! Just like the theme of this site, we go for simple, do-able and speed, without sacrificing quality, taste and authenticity.

I'm in the process of reorganizing the site, so not only you all can refer for emergency recipes like these, there are also slightly more complicated and time consuming ones to come, for those who love a greater challenge in the kitchen :)

Comments and suggestions are definitely welcomed! :D

2 comments:

sugar&spice said...

Hi there, its my first time here.. The Paella u made looks nice, I heard before that some paella tastes a little fishy..Anyway, I'l find a day to try to make my own then I'll let you know how it is

Grace said...

Hi sugar&spice! First time here, not your last I hope ;) Yup, perhaps some may smell fishy due to lack of fresh seafood. Good luck with cooking the paella and definitely let me know how it went!