Chorizo, Squid and Prawn Paella

Sticky paella rice, with chunks of spicy chorizo sausage, squid rings and juicy king prawns, finished with fresh oregano and lemon wedges.

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I finally got round to using my Paella pan from Barcelona, this weekend. I’ve made a chorizo and seafood paella, with prawns and squid. I would have really loved to put some fresh mussels or clams in this recipe, to make it much more like the paella I had in Barcelona, but I don’t live anywhere near a fishmonger, and you can only buy huge bags of them from the supermarket, so I decided to forgo the mussels. But I was still very pleased with the result!

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This paella was really easy to make, as it doesn’t really need that much attention, you just need to check that it hasn’t gone dry every so often. Whenever I make paella, I have to resist the temptation to constantly stir it, as you would with a risotto. If you do stir it too much, it will end up tasting and looking like a seafood risotto (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing), but a traditional paella, shouldn’t be so creamy, and should have some chewy bits that have been stuck to the bottom of the pan while cooking!

The squid only needs a very small amount of cooking time, and using cooked prawns means the recipe is very easy to put together, but it looks wonderful when served at the table, and it tasted pretty good too! Definitely one to try when you have friends over, or even if you just fancy treating yourself!

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Variations: Virtually anything could go in this paella! Some extra seafood would be great, like some mussels and clams, or crab. If you don’t want seafood, you could do a meaty paella with chorizo, chicken and sausage, or even rabbit.

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Ingredients: Serves 4

  • 1/2 a Red Onion
  • 1/2 a Chorizo Sausage (200g)
  • 3 Large Cloves of Garlic
  • 300g Paella Rice
  • 1 heaped tbsp of Smoked Paprika
  • 1tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 1litre Fish Stock
  • 4 Baby Squid (200g)
  • 300g King Prawns (cooked)
  • 1 Red Pepper
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 Lemon, sliced into small chunks
  • Fresh Oregano
  • Garlic Bread, to serve

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To Make:

Slice the Chorizo into thick chunks, and finely chop the onion. Fry in a large sauté pan, over a low heat, until cooked through and the chorizo has started to colour. Then add the garlic.

Pour the rice into the pan, and fry for a few minutes, then add the fish stock, tomato puree and paprika. Simmer for 15 minutes, if all the stock evaporates, add some more water.

After 15 minutes, finely slice the red pepper and stir into the rice. If all the water/stock has evaporated, cover the rice with water again, and simmer for a further 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice the squid into rings, and fry in a very hot pan for one minute, set aside.

Once the rice is cooked, taste and season with salt and pepper. Then stir through half the squid and prawns, and remove from the heat.

Scatter the rest of the squid over the top of the paella. Place the remaining prawns and lemon wedges in a circular pattern. Sprinkle over some paprika and fresh oregano.

Serve the paella, in the pan at the table. Spoon a generous heap of paella into each bowl and enjoy!

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Food and Drink in Barcelona!

I have been on a lovely four day break in Barcelona, so I thought I would share some pictures of the delicious food and drink I had!

We arrived in Barcelona at 8pm on our first night, and we were starving! Luckily our hotel recommended a tapas restaurant round the corner called Cachitos. We ordered some standard tapas; calamari, croquets and cod fritters, but we also ordered one slightly more adventurous choice; a spicy bomb.

The spicy bomb was basically a gigantic ball of mashed potato, filled with spied minced meat, deep fried, and covered with a spicy tomato sauce and sour cream. Definitely a good choice, so good in fact, that we ate the whole thing before I had chance to take any pictures! So I would recommend ordering it if you are ever in Barcelona.

At the same restaurant we ordered deserts. I had a crĂšme caramel, which was delicious, and my boyfriend had an almond tart served with a small glass of sweet fortified wine, which was also lovely.
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On our second night we went to a restaurant called Arume, which served traditional Catalonian food with a modern twist. I ordered mussels in a creamy white wine sauce for starter, which was delicious, and a traditional seafood paella for my main. This was probably the best paella I have ever had, stuffed with all different kinds of seafood; white fish, squid, mussels, and prawns. They also did a fantastic blackberry mojito.

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On our third day we explored one of the wonderful markets that sold all kinds of fresh produce from cured meats to fish and vegetables. All of the food looked fantastic, and made me very sad that we didn’t have a kitchen! We did however get to try some of the JamĂłn ibĂ©rico, which was sold by the cone.

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For lunch we went for Pintxos, which is a type of tapas from the Basque region of Spain. Pintxos, is basically small individual bites of food, served at the bar, skewered with toothpicks. You go along the bar, taking whichever pintxos take your fancy, and at the end of the meal, you count up all the toothpicks you have, and pay per toothpick.

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It was quite an exciting way to have lunch as we didn’t really have any idea what anything was, so we just had to take the ones we thought looked nice! Luckily we liked everything we picked.

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Some of the ones we had were:

  • A jam tart (possibly quince) topped with a big slab of goats cheese and a dollop of blackberry jam – This was my favourite!
  • A piece of toasted bread topped with herring and an onion pickle.
  • A piece of toasted bread topped with tortilla (filled with fish I think) drizzled with a mushroom sauce.
  • A piece of toasted bread covered with a slab of pate, and a sweet chutney
  • A miniature bread roll filled with a smoked salmon prawn and cream cheese mousse.

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On our last day we went for a chocolate and churros breakfast. We chose a café that was recommended in our guide book, which was located on a side street off La Rambla,  and we were not disappointed! It was a small café, very busy with locals, who were all ordering the xocolade espanol con churros.

The churros must have being made at the home of the people that ran the café, because they kept running out and returning with a steaming bag of fresh churros, at one point the café was so busy that there was a churros shortage!

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The churros were served with xocolade espanol, which was a really thick spiced dark chocolate sauce which tasted delicious with the sweet and crispy churros.

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We even managed to find space in our suitcase to bring back some goodies! While at the market on the third day, we stumbled across a shop selling fantastic Paella pans for only €6.50, so I couldn’t resist buying one! It is a great size, so I should be able to put up a paella recipe in the next few weeks, as I can’t wait to try it out!

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We also found room for a nice bottle of Spanish liquor. This is a liqueur that was served with our bill at Arume. It tasted a little like baileys, but a bit less sickly!

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I had a great time in Barcelona and had lots of lovely food, so I would definitely recommend a visit if you are thinking about a short break!