Mr HDD and I took advantage of a child-free Friday night and celebrated Valentine’s Day by dining in. I wanted to prep something that looked impressive, as if I had spent hours slaving over a labour of love, when in reality I had managed to throw it all together in between a mountain of ironing and a pile of paperwork. Mr HDD will eat pretty much anything placed in front of him, albeit with varying degrees of pleasure, but his two favourite dishes are Thai Green Curry and Seafood Paella, so I opted for the latter.
The great thing about a Paella is that following a very basic formula you pretty much add whatever you have lying about in the fridge and it can be made with an added spicy kick if you choose which Mr HDD most definitely does!
For the Paella
- 400g mixed seafood (I used peeled raw tiger prawns and some squid)
- 6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- 100g chorizo sausage
- 6 rashers streaky bacon (can be smoked or unsmoked)
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1.5 litre chicken stock
- Optional pinch of saffron
- Optional green chilli
- Optional 1 tsp paprika
- Small bunch of flat leaf parsley
- 400g paella rice
- 100g frozen peas
- 1 lemon
- Prep the ingredients by chopping the garlic, onion, chilli (if using) and parsley, cut the chicken into bite-sized chunks, slice the bacon, squid and chorizo.
- Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large pan, add the chicken, chorizo and bacon and cook for about 5 minutes until the chicken is turning a golden colour. Add the onion, garlic and chilli to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Add the saffron, paprika and rice to the pan with some salt and pepper, stir to mix well then pour in the hot stock. Stir again, ensuring you’ve scraped all the goodness from the base of the pan, put a lid on the pan, turn the heat down and simmer for roughly 15 minutes.
- When the rice is almost cooked, stir in the seafood, peas and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Cook for at least 5 minutes more, (I go for at least 10 minutes to be absolutely sure, but do not let the pan dry out, add a smidge more hot water if neccessary).
- Salt and pepper the paella again and serve with a further sprinkle of parsley, lemon wedges and some warmed crusty bread. Delicious!
The paella went down very well and although we had seconds, and in some cases thirds, there was still enough left over to feed the children the next day. (This recipe serves at least 6 people). The paella could have been de-constructed and the meat/seafood can be cooked separately, re-assembly can then happen at the table, ensuring all fussy/non-meat/non-fish eating characters are catered for!
Pud was a new recipe so no tweaking as yet, but a scrumptious success: Cookie Dough Pots, found on the fabulous Nigella website.
Here’s the link for this recipe:
A few days later, a quick ping in the microwave for a minute and the now hardened cookie pot softens and is just as moreish, especially with the ever important dollop of clotted cream.
We had a lovely evening together. Love second time around is a minefield, you are gifted or perhaps saddled with the awareness of what went wrong previously and it can be hard not to allow that to define your future relationships. We have managed so far to weather a few storms and surmount a few obstacles and ultimately there is no one I would choose to spend a quiet night in with more… well, apart from the Veggie, the Gourmand, the Fusspot and the Carnivore of course! 🙂