Saturday, 23 April 2016

Paella na cataplana

After the experiment with Paellotto, our lovely cataplana has done little more than hang on the rack looking, well, lovely. Today, however, it was called upon again.

Having made a tenuous, but to us entirely logical, connection between a little chorizo left in the fridge and an enormous pan of paella ("to use things up"), we set about looking for recipes adapted to cooking in a Portuguese copper pressure cooker. We found fewer than you might think, so we followed our usual course in these situations: nick some bits and make the rest up.

If you don't have a cataplana, get one before you start cooking.

Serves 3
paella rice, 250g
chorizo, 100g, in ½cm rounds
chicken thighs, (skinless, boneless), 2, cubed
raw king prawns, 12
a squid
a medium onion, thinly sliced

two tomatoes, deseeded and cubed
half a red pepper, diced finely

pickled red peppers, two tablespoons (optional)
peas, a good handful

garlic, 2 cloves, minced
fish stock, ½ litre
dry white wine, ½ glass
saffron, a big pinch
herbes de Provence, a big pinch
thyme, a sprig
olive oil, a tablespoon
parsley, a bunch, chopped

Note: we fried stuff in a sautée pan because we don't have one of those support thingummies for the cataplana, and when they're open they're dead wobbly without.

Heat the oil on a medium heat. Fry the chorizo for a minute or two, till it begins to release its oil. Add the chicken and brown. Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat to the cataplana.

Add the onions to the pan and soften. Now tip in the garlic, pepper, tomatoes and herbes de Provence. Cook for five minutes and transfer to the cataplana.

Tip the rice into the pan and stir to coat in the oil. Pour in the wine and stir till absorbed. Add the stock and saffron, and bring to the boil, then tip into the cataplana.

Throw in the peas and the pickled peppers (if using), mix well, then put the cataplana on the flame. Heat till bubbling then seal and place on a very low flame for twenty minutes.

Open the pan, drop the prawns on top and reseal.

Score the squid, oil and season. When the paella's ready (another five to ten minutes), heat a frying/griddle pan on a big flame. Cook the squid for a minute.

Stir the squid and parsley into the paella, check the seasoning and serve.