Paella is a hearty, comforting dish for me. Although it originates in sunny Spain, I find paella is best served on a rainy day, when you want to get comfy on the sofa in front of your favourite TV show. There are so many variations of paella, whilst the classics include seafood, chicken and chorizo, you can also easily make this dish vegetarian with lots of colourful veggies too.
As we already had some chorizo and prawns in the fridge we stuck with these two ingredients and added red pepper, celery, peas and olives. You might think celery is an odd choice, and I was unsure of how it would work myself. However, we often add celery to spaghetti bolognese, and it works well, so we thought it may do the same in this dish. Luckily it did just that!
Paella is super easy to make and relatively quick too. It’s perfect for a weekday dinner, if you are short on time. The only time consuming part is perhaps the fact you need to keep checking on it to make sure the stock doesn’t disappear too quickly, and the rice is cooked properly. But I use this time to be savvy in the kitchen and clear away the mess made in prepping the vegetables and making the stock up.
Knowing that it doesn’t take too long and I love it so much, I’m not sure why we don’t make this dish more often!
Ingredients (serves 3):
- 150g paella rice
- 1 chorizo, sliced
- 1 packet of fresh prawns
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 stick of celery, sliced
- 1 red pepper, sliced
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 10-15 black pitted olives
- 400ml chicken stock
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp turmeric
- Chopped coriander or flat leaf parsley
- Lemon to serve
- Heat a tablespoon of olive oil or rapeseed oil in a frying pan on a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and gently fry for a few minutes until softened.
- Add the chorizo and fry until it releases it’s oils. Stir thoroughly so the oil coats the onions.
- Add the celery and red pepper and fry for a further few minutes.
- Stir in the rice, paprika and turmeric and add the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Timings may vary. You may need to add more water if the mixture starts to dry out and the rice is not cooked. It’s best to keep checking on it and adjust the timings if needed.
- Add the prawns, peas, olives and coriander and stir thoroughly until the prawns are cooked through.
- Serve with a squeeze of lemon.