Eight Bells

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Sunday, February 03, 2008


As some of you are already aware, we will soon be hosting a dinner party with a Spanish theme to the food. We have been busy trying out various dishes and over the next couple of weeks I will post the more successful ones to give you a taste of what is to come. Today we start with a quintessentially Spanish dish, Paella. Julia trawled through many books and came up with this which is really a mixture of two or three different Paella recipes. The following will serve four.

1 traditional steel Paella pan (34cm)
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, chopped
250g Marinara mix (buy it frozen in bags from the supermarket)
300g of gurnard fillets
150ml of white wine
1 cup of Paella rice (Bomba rice)
1 litre of fish or chicken stock (or a mixture of both)
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 large tomatoes, deseeded and skinned
1 green capsicum, finely sliced
2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
A pinch of saffron
Chopped herbs, parsley, thyme etc
2 bay leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Crush the saffron in a little of the stock and then add to the rest of the stock and heat. Cook the onion and garlic in the olive oil in the paella pan then add the marinara mix and cook a further 2 minutes. Add the rice and stir before adding the wine, paprika, tomato paste, tomatoes, capsicum and the bay leaves. Stir and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Add the hot stock in small amounts (we used about 3/4 of a litre but this may vary) and continue to cook until the rice is al dente, this should take 8-12 minutes.
Add the fish ensuring that there is still plenty of liquid, cover and cook until the fish is done. Add herbs, season and serve.