Paella for friends

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Day 2 of the 2016 VeganMoFo and the theme is ‘How to make friends – what’s your go to “impress me” meal?’

I reckon the most impressive meals are the ones that are fun, as well as tasty, and it helps if it looks good too. Paella is great party food for friends; colourful and full of flavour. What’s impressive about it? The flavour, the colours and the texture – you need to cook it right or it will go stodgy. This recipe works really well. Also peeling the broad beans is pretty impressive, it’s a labour of love and I wouldn’t normally do it but the bright green beans look like little jewels against the saffron-coloured rice. Make a big pan full and bring it to the table for everyone to help themselves to. There should be enough for eight in this recipe if you start the evening with some tapas; olives, roasted and salted almonds and Padrón peppers. A good dessert to follow would be churros with boozy fruit and salted chocolate sauce.

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Paella ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large Spanish onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 bay leaves
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 300g Calasparra (paella) rice
  • 200ml sherry (I like Tio Pepe)
  • 1 tsp saffron
  • 900ml veg stock
  • 300g broad beans, blanched and peeled
  • 12 mini plum tomatoes (red and yellow if you can get them), halved lengthwise
  • 1 jar grilled artichokes
  • 1 tbsp arame seaweed, soaked for 20 mins in water
  • 20 pitted Kalamata olives, halved
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 8 lemon wedges
  1. Heat oil, fry onions for 5 mins
  2. Add peppers & fennel, fry till golden
  3. Add garlic, 1 min
  4. Add bay, paprika, turmeric & chilli, stir in for 1 min
  5. Stir in rice
  6. Add sherry & saffron, boil down for 2 mins
  7. Add stock, simmer for 20 mins (don’t cover or stir)
  8. Blanche and skin beans
  9. Soak arame in hot water for 5 mins then drain
  10. Remove from heat, add beans, toms, artichokes and arame
  11. Cover tightly and leave for 10 mins
  12. Scatter olives and parsley on and serve with lemon wedges

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One Response to Paella for friends

  1. Jenny says:

    Oooh, this sounds good! It would definitely impress me. I love the entire Spanish menu suggestion.

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