And now the Paella recipe for Anna!


A friend now dwelling in deepest Cornwall has just asked for the recipe for the paella below – how nice! Here you go young lady…though this is the full version – the poor man’s version enjoyed last night is basically without the chicken and chorizo – and using 100 gm of lardon instead – pan frying it first and then adding the peppers garlic etc and continuing from there. You can really add anything you want – rabbit instead of or as well as chicken, mussels, cockles…whatever is tickling your fancy that day or is lurking in the fridge.

INGREDIENTS – should serve between 4 and 6 folk

6 boneless chicken thighs, skinned and cut into mouth-sized chunks / 400 gm of paella rice rinsed well and drained in a sieve / 250 gm raw chorizo sausage, skinned and cut into decent slices – though you could use a cured one , just do not fry for as long / At least 20 decent prawns – not raw / 1 red pepper and 1 green pepper deseeded and chopped / 6 garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped – last night I just used two as all I had left! / 125 ml of white wine / 1litre chicken stock / pinch of saffron or colorante / 1/2 tsp smoked paprika / 100 gm of peas / 6 good toms deseeded and chopped- though again last night I just used 5 gorgeous cherry tomatoes and simply quartered them  / bunch of parsley chopped

I use a Valencian paella pan – around £26-£30 on Amazon – or use a large sauté pan. Heat a good glug of olive oil and brown the chicken pieces. Take out and put on a plate to one side. Then pop in the chorizo and pan fry lightly for 2 minutes or so. Then add the peppers and garlic. Fry for another 5 minutes or so. Keep stirring all the time. Stir in the rice and let it toast lightly for 2 minutes. Now add the wine – have one for yourself too! Cook’s perks! Add the stock, the colouring – colorante – or the saffron, and the paprika. Bring to the boil gently stirring all the time.  Let it bubble then return the chicken to the pan and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for around 15 minutes. Stir every now and then in between sips of wine.  Put some music on! Add the peas next and cook gently for another 5 minutes, then add the prawns. Stir gently and leave for a further 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and let it stand for about 5 minutes or so. The rice should still have a little bite to it.

I adore this dish – ok…I will not rave on any further than I did yesterday! You get the picture! Enjoy, Anna,  and anyone else who gives it a go – I am sure you all have a paella recipe like this – if not give it a go!

(See last post for the pic – and just imagine it with chorizo slices and bits of chicken in!)

Clear up Paella…


Clear up Paella...

Off to my Menorcan paradise this weekend for two weeks so having to cook dishes that use up what is in the cupboards or fridge. So tonight was a bit of a poor man’s paella – but though I had no chicken or chorizo – i had to use 100 gm of lardons instead of the latter – the resulting flavour was terrific – and there is none left! So I guess it worked! I used up the red and green peppers I had left and about 8oz of prawns that needed eating. Paella is such a sexy dish to cook anytime and the colours are so vibrant. I love, just love, cooking it.

Got to work out what to do with 4 cracking pork chops tomorrow! Cupboard is almost bare!

Spring Pea Side Dish


Spring Pea Side Dish

Peas always put me in a quandary – never quite sure when people serve me them just on their own as a side dish what to make of them, let alone how to eat them! I like mushy peas, being a Mancunian by birth, and I like the colour they add to paella. I love them in risotto. But on their own? Well, to go with our wonderful belly pork yesterday, I thought I would  give the humble pea a second coming. See if I could convince myself that they are a proper vegetable and can hang with the big boys of the green world. So, although this is one I am looking forward to making with the first crop of fresh peas this summer, I decided to experiment with frozen petit poids. I simmered them, then in a pan I fried a courgette sliced and cubed in olive oil, with 3 finely chopped spring onions and a clove of garlic chopped. Once the courgette was nicely golden I added the drained peas, a little s & p. The flavours were terrific – and the peas did their bit. It went very well with the sweet potato that sat alongside the pork – and I reckon it is a simple side dish that would go well with many meats – and even some fresh fish. I even think I could happily eat a bowl of this on its own too – or with pasta. Cue the pea jokes – it was apPEAling, a fine recipea etc etc – oh dear-time to sign off – but do give it a go!