Spanish cooking part two: Paella

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In the second part of our Spanish adventure we’ll be tackling something a little more ambitious than last week’s Spanish Omelette. I thought I’d ease you in gently. A few weeks ago for my birthday I decided I would whip up an old family favourite. Paella. When I was younger we used to go to a tiny island off Ibiza called Formentera every year for our summer holiday. With my birthday falling where it does, in July, it was usual for us to be away so we’d always have paella to mark the occasion. With the help of my dad I thought this year I would give it a bash. Let’s see how it all went…

What I used
I cooked for eight. However, if it’s your first time cooking paella I’d say that would be a little ambitious so I’ve adjusted my portions to suit between 4 and 6 people!
The bits and bobs
1l of fish stock
2/3 teaspoons of sweet pimenton (Spanish paprika)
Oilve Oil (preferably Spanish if you’ve got it)
2 medium oinion
2 red peppers
3 gloves of garlic
400g of Bomba rice (if you can’t find proper paella rice, you can substitute for risotto rice)
1 large handful of fresh parsley
2/3 largish lemons

The seafood
Buying seafood can be really expensive so I’d recommend going to a wholesaler (I went to MacCallums in Glasgow’s west end) or a fish market to get everything a little cheaper.
The great thing about paella is that you can pretty much throw whatever in depending on what is good at the market, how hungry you are and your budget. However, here’s a little guide line of what you’ll need.
6 prawns
6 langoustines
a large handful of mussels
a large handful of clams
2 fillets of a flat white fish cut into small 5 cm pieces.

What to do

1. Chop your onions (diced), garlic (finely) and peppers (2.5 cm pieces)


2. Scrub your mussels and clams, removing any barnacles




3. Heat your fish stock, pimerton and a hearty pinch of salt in a pan, and keep warm over a low heat


4. Heat about four tablespoons of olive oil in a paella pan or large pan on a high heat, until the pan is smoking and then add your prawns and langoustines (cut in half), flipping occasionally. Prawns take about 6-7 mintues and langoustines take around 4-5 minutes. Once cooked and keep on a covered plate.


5. Turn the pan down to a low/medium heat and add the oinions, garlic and peppers and cook for around 10 minutes or until softened.


6. Add the rice, stir in with the vegetables and then pour in the stock mixture. Bring to the boil and then lower to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes or until the rice has softened.


7. Add the mussels, clams and white fish to the pan and cook for five minutes or until the clams and mussels and beginning to open.


8. Add the prawns and langoustines and cover with tin foil and cook for another 5-10 minutes. If you start to hear a crackling noise, don’t worry this is a good thing!


9. Remove from the heat and leave covered for about 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, roughly chop some parsley and half some lemons.


10. Remove the tin foil, sprinkle with parsley and serve with half a lemon. Done.



It’s ambitious, yes but it tastes amazing so just give it a bash. Let me know how you get on!