Monday 16 February 2015

chorizo, chicken and seafood paella inspired by Jamie Oliver.

I hope everyone had a love-ly weekend...

chorizo, chicken and seafood paella inspired by Jamie Does.

I'm a romantic so I'm all for Valentines day. Now lets not get carried away though… My perfect Valentines day starts with avoiding all restaurants and cafes the entire day. Breakfast at home, a good coffee then ok maybe a single ruby red rose always makes me feel a little special :) Dinner is the same… avoid avoid avoid restaurants at all costs!!

Valentine's day breakfast

Staying in for the night was clearly the only sane option and if we didn't want to wait hours for take-away to be delivered cooking was also the only sane option. I wanted to make something a little bit special so decided on paella with smoked chorizo, chicken and fresh seafood. I would have loved some mussels or pippis to go in it but our fish shop didn't have any so we decided on king prawns, squid and a few scallops.

chorizo, chicken and seafood paella inspired by Jamie Does.

Dessert was a no brainer. I know it's one of Tristan's favourites and I'm going to say it's probably my favourite dessert too. Creme Caramel. Every time I make this I am reminded why I love it so much… silky custard nested in a pool of caramel sauce flecked with vanilla bean… UM YUM! Plus they are really easy to make, don't require any heavy mixers and often the ingredients are always on hand (milk, sugar, eggs and vanilla) which makes them even better. I unfortunately didn't take any photos of the creme caramels this time around but I used the same recipe as last time. I used 4 slightly bigger ramekins this time and they took about 50 minutes to cook. This meant that we got to have them again the next night :) double win!

chorizo, chicken and seafood paella inspired by Jamie Does.

The paella recipe I used was from Jamie Oliver's book Jamie Does. I tweaked it a little bit to make it feed two but this easily fed 4 (we had leftovers for lunch the next day) and because I didn't have all the ingredients -  my planning wasn't so great but I don't think it mattered. It was so fresh and full of flavours, I can't wait to make it again and add mussels or pippis to it. The great thing about this recipe is that if you don't like all the seafood or can't get your hands on it you can easily substitute it for something you do like or if you're a total seafood hater leave it out altogether and add a little extra pork or chicken.

chorizo, chicken and seafood paella inspired by Jamie Does.

If you're looking for a recipe to impress or something a little special then this is a keeper and I recommend making the creme caramels for dessert too. They are a really great make-ahead dessert because once they're baked all you need to do it chill them in the fridge for 4 hours (you can even make them the day before) and flip them out onto a plate to serve. 

I hope everyone had a lovely Valentines day and got a little spoilt… even if it was treating themselves to that extra scoop of ice-cream! Valentines day is a day to indulge… no said on what :)

chorizo, chicken and seafood paella.

Serves 4
(recipe adapted from 'Jamie Does' by Jamie Oliver

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 chorizo sausage, thinly sliced (I used a spicy smoked variety but any will do)
1 skinless chicken breast (approx. 200g), diced
1 red capsicum, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 brown onion, finely diced
1 small bunch of flat leaf parsley, leaves picked and roughly chopped, stems finely chopped
salt and pepper
a pinch of saffron threads
200g paella rice (I used aborio rice)
1/4 cup of jarred capsicum strips, drained
400g can chopped tomatoes
600ml vegetable or chicken stock
6 king prawns, peeled & deveined
150g calamari tube, rinsed and finely sliced
4-6 scallops (not in the shell)
8 mussels or equivalent amount in pippis, scrubbed and de-bearded (I didn't have these but will definitely add them next time)
1 cup frozen peas
1 lemon, cut into wedges

- Heat olive oil in a heavy based frying pan (or paella pan if you have one) and add the chorizo and chicken. Fry for about 5 minutes on medium heat until the fat starts to come out of the chorizo and the oil starts to take on the chorizo colour.

- Add the capsicum, onion, garlic, parsley stalks, saffron and some salt and pepper. Fry that for a further 5-10 minutes until the vegetables soften.

- Add the rice and jarred capsicum and stir for a couple of minutes until the rice is coated in all the juices. Add the can of tomatoes and stock and bring everything to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and keep at a simmer.

- Make sure you come back and stir every minute. You want to make sure you give each grain of rice equal amounts of love :)

- After about 15 minutes the rice should be cooked but still have a but of a bite to it. Add your prawns, scallops, mussels/pippis and calamari tubes and give it a stir. Cook until the mussels/pippis start to open and the prawns turn pink. Add the frozen peas and cook for a further 5 minutes or so.

- Any mussels or pippis that haven't opened, discard now.

- Stir through the parsley and juice from half a lemon.

- Serve with lemon wedges and extra parsley on top.

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