Paella, Patatas and Prawn Pil Pil…

I absolutely love Spanish food. I appreciate the social aspect of it and that everyone shares. It is always fresh and super simple to cook yet packed with amazing flavours. And to top it off I love to wash it down with a nice rioja.

So for those that don’t know me, I spent three-years living in Ibiza, Spain and while I would like to say that is where I learned to cook these Spanish dishes that would be a complete lie. I was lucky enough to eat at some beautiful Spanish restaurants and certainly got to know what I liked and disliked but didn’t cook a single Spanish dish until years after my return.

We’ve tried all of these dishes in many ways and we also cook a few more when we do tapas style nights, but due to the current situation (COVID-19) I was unable to get quite a few of the fresh ingredients, namely the seafood so I’ve had to slightly change what we normally do.

I must admit that I do prefer this paella recipe over the seafood version that we make which is slightly more traditional (I’ll share at a later date), but for me the smokiness of the chorizo and the paprika really elevate the flavours of this dish. Where possible I do use homemade chicken stock when cooking this dish as it adds so much flavour, but your normal choice of stock will be fine.

With all Spanish dishes’ sides are very important, especially bread. We always tend to go for a thicker sourdough bread warmed in the oven and cut into nice thick chunks. It works beautifully with the homemade alioli, is amazing with the bravas sauce and perfect for dipping in the spicy pil pil oil.

Chicken, Chorizo & Prawn Paella

Ingredients

  • 2tbsp Spanish Olive Oil (or similar)
  • 200g Chorizo
  • 400g Chicken Breast
  • 250g Cooked Tiger Prawns
  • 2 White Onions
  • 1 Red Pepper
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 250g Paella Rice
  • 800ml Chicken Stock
  • 100g Green Beans
  • 1 Lemon

Method

1. Dice the chicken in to ½ inch chunks and slice the chorizo into 3/4cm slices, then set aside. Dice the onions and peppers, crush/mince the garlic cloves and add them to a bowl with the smoked paprika. Trim the green bean ends then cut into 1inch pieces. 

2. Heat the oil in a paella pan (I use a wok personally) and add the chorizo first for 2/3 minutes, remove and set aside. Then add the chicken to the pan and fry over a high heat until browned all over. Remove and set aside with the chorizo.

3. Fry the onions, pepper garlic and paprika in the hot oil for 4-5 mins until softened, then stir in the rice. Cook for 1 min giving a good stir to coat the rice and then add 700g chicken stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 mins, stirring occasionally. Add additional stock when/if needed, don’t lose all the liquid too soon.

4. Return the chicken to the pan and the add green beans. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook for another 10 minutes stirring often. Once the rice is soft and nearly all the liquid has cooked out add the chorizo and tiger prawns and cook for a further 5 minutes. 

5. Serve in the pan you cooked after sprinkling with paprika and a couple of lemon wedges.

Patatas Bravas

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp Oil
  • 500g small potatoes (waxy works best)
  • 2 Red Onions
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Red Pepper
  • 1 Red Chilli or 1tsp of Chilli Flakes
  • 1tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Tin Chopped Tomatoes
  • Splash Red Wine
  • Fresh rosemary Leaves or ½ tsp dried rosemary

Method

  1. Set the oven to gas mark 6. Chop the potatoes into large chunks. Dice the onions and peppers, crush/mince the garlic and finely slice the red chilli.
  2. Add the potatoes to a pan of cold water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 7 minutes, then drain.
  3. Add the potatoes to a non-stick baking tray, coat in 1 tbsp oil and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Cook towards the top of the oven for 20 minutes.
  4. Start to heat 2tbsp oil in a frying pan, adding in the onions and pepper to cook for 5 minutes. Then add in the garlic, smoked paprika and chilli, stir well and cook for a further 1 minute.
  5. Add in the chopped tomatoes, splash of red wine and finely chopped rosemary leaves (or dried), stir well and simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove the potatoes from the oven and place on a warm plate. Add the tomato sauce on top and serve.

Prawns Pil Pil

Ingredients

  • 50ml Olive Oil
  • 250g Cooked King Prawns
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 1 Red Chilli
  • ½ tsp Smoked Paprika
  • Handful Fresh Flat Parsley
  • 1 Lemon

Method

  1. Dice the onion, then mice the garlic and finely chop the chilli. Finely chop the parsley.
  2. Add the oil into a frying pan over a medium-high heat, add the garlic and chilli and fry for 30 seconds to flavour the oil, before stirring in the onion and paprika.
  3. Add the prawns and fry until cooked through, adding most of the parsley after a couple of minutes.
  4. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the lemon juice into the pan, then remove from the heat.
  5. Season with a little more parsley, a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper and some lemon wedges.

Alioli

Ingredients

  • 2 Large Egg Yolks
  • 100ml Olive Oil
  • 2 Crushed Garlic Gloves
  • Splash of White Wine Vinegar
  • Freshly Ground Pepper

Method

1. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl with the crushed garlic and white wine vinegar, slowly adding the olive oil until the Alioli is thick and creamy. Season with pepper and serve with warm sliced sourdough bread or baguette. 

I hope you find this is a really simple and easy to follow guide to cooking some of your (or ours in this case) favourite spanish dishes in the comfort of your own home.

Adios and buena suerte!

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