Sunday, August 1, 2010

Matty's Paella

One of the highlights of our trip to Spain last year was sitting in a local restaurant in Barcelona, eating delicious paella, washing it down with some Spanish wine and soaking in the atmosphere as the whole restaurant cheered for Barcelona as they played in a match of football on TV.  The paella was SO delicious and now everytime I eat it, it brings me back to that special evening.

My brother Matt used to be a chef, and so he is often the nominated cook when we all get together for a meal.  His paella is a family favourite, and he is often forced to cook 2 different types to accomodate for different tastes.  Here is his recipe for both a meat lovers and a seafood paella.  If you made both with the quantities below it would feed about 8 people (so 4 if you made one).

A few notes about the ingredients, firstly, for the meat paella, the chorizo is the key to the dish, and so as long as you have chorizo you can use whatever other meat that you like.  Matt used a kransky this particular day (because he is a kransky fan), but anything will do.  With both the seafood and the vegetables, again, anything goes, so just use whatever takes your fancy or whatever you have in the fridge.

Ingredients

For both paellas
-1 finely diced red onion
-1 diced carrot
-1 diced red chilli
-2 cloves of diced garlic
-1 diced capsicum
-1 corn cob (chop the corn off)
-1 handful of green beans, top and tailed and cut in half
-1 cup of white wine
-Paprika
-350g of arborio rice (for each paella)
-salt and pepper
-freshly grated parmesan cheese
-olive oil

For meat paella
-1 litre of chicken stock
-1 chicken breast, chopped into small pieces and seasoned with mexican chilli powder and paprika
-1 whole chorizo sausage chopped into small pieces
-1 whole kranksy chopped into small pieces
-3 large mushrooms chopped into small pieces

For seafood paella
-1 litre of vegetable stock
-a couple of handfuls of fantastic quality marinara mix
-1 heaped tablespoon of capers

Matt's comments are in quotation marks, I thought I'd better specify as they don't sound like anything I would say.  A couple of notes before we get started.  Firstly, the dish you use on the stove top to do the initial cooking needs to be one that you can bake in the oven.  Secondly, preheat the oven to 170 degrees celcius. And lastly, "remember to season the dish well throughout the preparation process".

Method
Put a good coating of oil in the pan and let it "get a good heat up" before you add anything.  Fry up the onions, chilli and garlic for a couple of minutes, then add all the chopped vegetables until they have a nice coating of oil and they get a little bit tender (about 5 minutes).
Add a bit more olive oil (bear in mind Matt is a qualified chef so he LOVES the oil and butter - "it's all about the flavours...").  Add a heaped tablespoon of paprika to both paellas and the meat to the meat paella (don't add the seafood to the seafood one yet).

Pour the rice over the top of the vegetable/meat mix, ensure the rice is coated with all of the oil and ingredients and "get a lot of heat into it" for 5 mins. Add a cup of white wine "to split it" (you need to hear sizzle when you do this or you don't have enough heat).  

Add the capers to the seafood paella.  Add a few heaped tablespoons of mexican chilli powder and then the stock to both paellas.  Now you can add the seafood to the seafood paella.

Cook in preheated oven for 30 mins.
And if you like parmesan cheese, add a bit of freshly grated parmesan before you serve.


The paella was so yummy that the next day, we heated up the leftovers in the oven and polished it off!  Thanks Matty!