Paella

As i may have mentioned before i was lucky enough to get a paella pan for my birthday. Bex has one and i always get jealous because its such a lovely way to cook. I bought her a paella recipe book for her birthday a couple years ago and it was only when i had a sneaky flick through it that i realised just how many different types of paella there are – all using different proteins and vegetables and with different flavours and cooking techniques. So far with my paella pan, we have tried two types; Rick Stein’s seafood paella from Mediterranean Escapes and Morro’s pork and chorizo paella. I know some people would disagree (one friend makes his paella in a wok – what a weirdo!) but i really think paella tastes better when made in a proper pan – you can achieve better caramelisation on the bottom so you can get a crunchy, crispy base. Even though when we have had paella i have made a whole pan full for just me and Elix i think as a sharing dish its a real treat, the vibrant colours look good on the table ready for everyone to dig in.

Below is Rick Stein’s Seafood Paella from the Spain book.

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I thought I would share the recipe for Morro’s lovely pork, spinach and chorizo paella as it was delicious!

Serves 4 as a main course
7tbsp olive oil
350g pork fillet, halved lengthways then sliced into 7mm strips
120g mild cooking chorizo chopped
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 green pepper, halved, seeded and finely chopped
4 garlic cloves finely chopped
259g paella rice
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
2 ñoras peppers (a sweet dried pepper)
900ml hot chicken stock
500g spinach
1 lemon cut into wedges
Salt and pepper to taste

Start by heating the oil and stir frying the pork keeping it pink as it will finish cooking later and season. Remove from the pan and keep to one side. Turn down the heat and add the chorizo for a minute.
Add the onion and green pepper to the pan and cook for 20 minutes. Next, add the garlic and cook with the onions, pepper and chorizo for 5-10 minutes. The mixture should be caramelised and sweet.
Stir the rice into the pan to coat it with all the flavours until translucent. Season and add the paprika, ñoras peppers and stock and leave to simmer for 15 minutes or until there is only a thin layer of liquid left around the rice.
In a separate pan wilt the spinach briefly (i steamed mine) and put aside with the pork.
Evenly scatter over the pork and spinach and mix with the remaining oily liquid at the bottom of the pan.
To finish, cover tightly with foil and let the paella sit for a few minutes.
Serve with the lemon.
Remember, its a good thing to achieve the crispy rice at the bottom of the pan – its my favourite part!

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