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My paella

Serves 6-8

300g raw unpeeled prawns

500g mussels and 500g clams

175ml olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1kg tomatoes peal and chopped

2 small squid cleaned and cut into 5mm-thick rings

500g paella rice

1.5L water

3 sprigs fresh parsley

pinch of saffron threads

2 fish stock cubes

100g canned peas, drained

1 red pepper, seeded and cut into strips

salt

lemon wedges

Peel the prawns and set the tails aside. Put the heads and shells into a saucepan, pour in plenty of water and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and strain the stock into a bowl. If using the mussels, scrape the shells with the blade of a knife and remove the 'beards', then scrub under cold running water.

If using the clams, scrub under cold running water. Discard any shellfish with broken shells or any that do not shut immediately when sharply tapped. Put the shellfish in a saucepan or frying pan, add 50ml water, cover and cook over a high heat for 3-6 minutes or until the shells have opened.

Lift out the shellfish with a slotted spoon, discarding any that remain closed. Reserve the cooking liquid. Remove nearly all the shellfish from their shells but leave a few in the shell or half-shell for the garnish. Strain the reserved cooking liquid through a muslin-lined sieve into the prawn stock.

Measure and make up to 3 pints with water, if necessary. Pour into a saucepan and heat gently, but do not allow to boil. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Put just enough of the oil to cover the base into a paella pan or large, heavy-based frying pan with a metal handle, and heat it.

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Add the onion and garlic and cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the tomato sauce or fresh tomato and cook, stirring constantly, for a few minutes. Reserve a few prawns for the garnish and add the remainder to the pan with the squid rings and rice.

Cook, stirring constantly, until the squid becomes opaque. Add the shelled mussels or clams. Season with a pinch of salt and pour in the hot stock. Gently shake the pan to make sure the liquid is evenly distributed. Pound the parsley with the saffron in a mortar, then stir in 2 tablespoons water and add to the paella pan.

Crumble in the stock cubes. Gently shake the pan or stir with a wooden spoon. Add the peas to the paella and cook for a few minutes more. Garnish the paella with the strips of red pepper, the reserved prawns and the reserved shellfish in the shell. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for about 25 minutes.

Spread out a dampened tea towel on a work surface. Remove the paella pan from the oven, place it on the tea towel and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Serve the paella with lemon wedges hung over the side of the pan.

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