It’s been a busy period lately, and I have been working on a really long post which I am looking forward to sharing with you. I am trying to edit it down though so it doesn’t read like James Joyce’s Ulysses (except obviously worse!). In the meantime, I have been cooking some fasting dishes – I don’t usually fast, but this year some of my friends and family are, so I have been making more seafood dishes. So, I thought paella would be a fantastic option to make. Paella is a wonderful meal to enjoy with friends. My Spanish friend informs me that if you ask a Spanish person how to make paella they will each have their own correct way of doing so. Not being in Spain doesn’t mean that one cannot enjoy the taste of paella in Cyprus though. It is fairly easy to make, though there are a few tricks: the pan, the rice and the spices you use are important. One should use a non-sticky rice. Arborio is easy to find in Cyprus, and is what I used in this recipe. The rice is there to soak up the flavours. Rice in an ideal paella should be dry and separate when done (i.e. not creamy), so you need to ensure you do not add too much rice to your paella. Also important is that you use a large frying pan to make it, not a wok so that the rice and ingredients cook as evenly as possible. If you follow these tips, you should be able to create a wonderful paella in your own kitchen, one that is tasty every time. PS It’s really nice to be able to walk into Foodsaver and find all the seafood ingredients in one place! Enjoy!
Level of Difficulty: 2/5
Preparation Time: 25-30 minutes
Cooking Time: about 30 minutes
Serves: 4 persons
120g Cooked Peeled Tail On Black Tiger Shrimps (26/30 Size) (Available at Foodsaver)
55g Black Tiger Head On Shrimps (Tiger Brand, 21/30 Size) (Available At Foodsaver)
135g Foodsaver Mussels Whole Precooked (with shell)
125g Foodsaver Whole Cleaned Squid
175g La Cucina di Flora Arborio Rice (available at Foodsaver)
4 tbs extra-virgin Minerva Chorio olive oil (available at Foodsaver)
1 pack of Foodsaver finely chopped onion, use 1 onion’s worth (super convenient!)
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
200ml dry white wine
A large pinch of saffron powder
1 tbs sweet paprika
1/2 tbsp tumeric powder
1-2 bay leaves
1 chopped red pepper
1 cup Ardo Bio Garden Peas (available at Foodsaver)
1 fresh tomato, pureed in a blender
.75l to 1 liter chicken stock (or vegetarian stock if you are fasting)
Salt & pepper to taste
1. In a large frying pan, add the olive oil. Once hot, add the onion and garlic and fry for about 5 minutes until the onion turns translucent.
2. Add the rice and stir around to ensure that it is coated in the olive oil. Then add the white wine and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the saffron, sweet paprika, tumeric, bay leaves and a little chicken broth to cover the rice and cook for about 15 minutes. Continuously stir the mixture and keep adding more chicken broth as the rice absorbs it, for the next 15 minutes. Note that you will need to add most of the chicken broth at this stage, but not all of it.
3. Then add the peeled shrimps, mussels and squid and cook for five minutes. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Add the Black Tiger head on shrimps into the paella mixture and the remaining chicken broth and continue cooking on low heat for about 10 to 15 minutes, until the seafood is cooked. There will probably be a little liquid left in the pan once you are done cooking but this is OK as it will be absorbed by the rice later. Enjoy.