Lifestyle

The season for sensational seafood

Mixed seafood paella.
Mixed seafood paella.

SEAFOOD is now considered by many to be the most sensible - and enjoyable - ingredient for a stinking hot Australian Christmas.

The budget at this time of year often falls a little short of stretching to a platter groaning with crayfish or prawns.

A Spanish paella (pronounced pay-EY-yah) is a great way to put seafood on the table; while prawns, mussels or octopus are an essential ingredient, you can pad it out easily with rice, chicken and chorizo.

For those who hail from Valencia, true home of the paella, I apologise for this rather Australian version which I have developed over the years (because it's relatively simple and quick).

The authentic Bomba rice is hard to find in Australia; use a risotto rice such as Arborio as a substitute.

If you have a paellera, or paella pan, you will find you end up with a superior result, but at a pinch you can use a wok or large frypan.

And please, do use real saffron rather than the powdered colouring sold in supermarkets; the warm inviting aroma and colour is another essential ingredient.

 

Mixed paella

Serves 6

 

Ingredients

2 litres hot chicken stock, preferably home made (see note below)

7-8 dried saffron threads

3 tblspn olive oil

150g chorizo (spicy Spanish sausage, available from the deli) sliced

150g pancetta or bacon, diced

1 Spanish (purple) onion, peeled and finely chopped

5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

1 1/2 tspn smoky paprika

500g Bomba or Arborio rice

150g green beans, cut into 3cm lengths

salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup frozen or fresh peas

12 green king prawns

600g fresh mussels OR 600g baby octopus, cleaned OR two cooked chicken breast fillets, sliced

salt and pepper, to taste

fresh lemon wedges, to serve

 

Method

Note: If you are using boxed stock, omit salt when seasoning. Stock cubes are not suitable for this dish.

Pour one cup of hot chicken stock over saffron threads and set aside to infuse.

Heat olive oil in a paellera (paella pan), wok or frypan.

Brown chorizo and pancetta over medium heat.

Add onion and garlic, reduce heat and cook until soft, stirring constantly.

Add paprika, rice, beans and the cup of saffron-infused stock; season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes.

Add remaining stock, peas, prawns and mussels or octopus if using. Place a lid on the pan and cook over medium heat for a further ten minutes.

When seafood is cooked, add cooked chicken if using.

Serve immediately with lemon wedges.

 

>> To read more lifestyle stories

Topics:  cooking, easy eating, food, lifestyle, recipes, seafood




Bomb squad now in possession of suspicious device

Fragments of a suspicious device that were found underneath a park bench in an Ipswich park this morning.

Device is a "magnet attached to...small, cylindrical metal object"

PHOTOS: 'Free dress day' comes with long set of rules

West Moreton Anglican College (WestMAC) dress up for charity day. Year 11 student Georgia Ross dancing with her friends.

No makeup, no masks, no roller type shoes.

Teacher retires after 37 years at Ipswich Central

Gerard Wilkins outside the building that now bears his name at Ipswich Central State School.

Gerard Wilkins reflects on his teaching career

Latest deals and offers

Matt Damon is taking a break from acting

Matt Damon is taking a break to spend time with his family

Police foiled terrifying 1m plot to kidnap Katie Price

Police foiled a £1 million plot to kidnap Katie Price and her family

Kristen Bell's baby confession

Kristen Bell once pretended to be asleep when her baby woke up early

Babylon 5's Jerry Doyle has died

Jerry Doyle has died from unknown causes at the age of 60

Mum driver heroically ignores hilarious lip-syncing son

Hilarious moves while Mum concentrates on the road.

IF IT takes a village to raise a child, why aren't they driving?

Twitter adds dancing David Brent emoji

Ricky Gervais's character has its own emoji now

Australia Post to open at Orion

Australia Post.

Service to open to customers in late August

Town with 'unique country flair' will be ruined: resident

Jonathan Emms of Rosewood is concerned about a proposed townhouse development for this John Street block of land.

Residents concerned by high density development proposal

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb