My current fascination seems to be with food from the Moorish influenced regions of Europe and the Mediterranean. This wonderful Spanish fish and rice stew (paella) recipe is taken from the menu at Sam & Sam Clark’s Moro, a southern Mediterranean restaurant based in London’s vibrant East End.
- 300g North Atlantic prawns preferably in their shells
- 1l fish stock (use a gluten free stock for a gluten free version of the recipe)
- 1 small pinch of saffron (about 20 threads)
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 1 ½ large spanish onions, finely chopped
- 1 green pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 dried ñoras peppers , seeds and stalks removed, broken into small pieces and covered with boiling water, or 1 tsp sweet paprika.
- 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ½ tsp fennel seeds
- 250g Calasparra rice. (If you can’t get Calasparra, then Bomba will do in it’s place, which Waitrose stock under their own brand which is also Gluten free)
- 75ml white wine
- 300g monkfish fillets, trimmed and cut into 2cm pieces
- 2 squid the size of your hand, cleaned and scored
- 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
Serves 4 – 6 – Gluten Free*
- Peel the prawns and put in the fridge.
- Transfer the shells to a large saucepan over a high heat and add the fish stock. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 15 minutes so that the flavour infuses the stock.
- Remove from the heat, strain the stock and add the saffron. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium-to-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the onion and both the green and ñoras peppers and cook for 5 minutes.
- Lower the heat to medium and cook for another 10-15 minutes, stirring every so often.
- Now stir in the chopped garlic and fennel seeds and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the garlic and the onions have some colour and are sweet.
- Add the rice to the pan and stir for 1 minute to coat with the oil. (Up to this point everything can be cooked in advance.
- The next stage should be started about 20 minutes before you wish to eat.
- When you are ready to cook the rice, bring the stock to the boil.
- Remove and keep aside. Place the paella pan (or large heavy based pan) over a medium-high heat and add the wine, followed by the hot stock, and season.
- Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring every now and then to prevent sticking, then add the pieces of monkfish and squid and turn the heat down to medium- low.
- Cook for 2 minutes, then add the prawns, turn off the heat and cover. Let the rice sit for 3-5 minutes, then check the seasoning. (The rice should be tender and surrounded by a soupy sauce.)
Serve with parsley sprinkled over and lemon wedges.
*Gluten Free – Although I make every effort to ensure that the ingredients list are gluten free, you should double check at the time of using as products change their base ingredients frequently.