perfect paella


When in Spain, do as the Spanish!

One of my all time favourite breakfasts in Spain was: fresh baguette rubbed with garlic, thick slices of tomato, salt, cracked pepper and lashings of olive oil. Wow! The simplicity and quality of these ingredients! After our week in Spain, I felt inspired to cook and eat in a new way.

Walking through the streets of Madrid and Barcelona we saw guys cooking paella on huge open pans – a bit of a theatrical show at times!

Cooking this dish might seem a bit touristy and overdone, but it encapsulates some values which I hold dear: using what you’ve got, using whats plenty and making lots for unexpected visitors who might pop by with an empty stomach.


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(feeds 4 people)

  • 1 cup long grain rice (add more if needed)
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 cup frozen peas or snap peas
  • 1 good quality chorizo sausage
  • About 300g de-shelled prawns
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 flat teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 red chilli
  • salt and pepper and garlic
  • handful parsley
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 teaspoons honey


1. This is my special little trick! Slice up your chorizo, no oil needed but cook in a large pan on a medium heat and add the wine and honey. You could eat some of this chorizo just by itself with crusty bread as a starter!

2. Put the chorizo aside but leave the oil in the pan. Fry up the red onion in the same pan, until soft. Add the red pepper, spices, sliced chilli (leave the seeds in for extra heat) and garlic. Lastly add the frozen peas. Cook for a few minutes and then remove from the heat. Add your chorizo to this pan and give it a stir.

3. Start cooking your rice in a pot, adding some of the juices from your cooked veggies and chorizo.

4. Now for the prawns! I bought frozen ones which I simply de-shelled and cooked in a separate pan on a medium heat with a knob of butter. When they turn a pink colour, you know they’re ready.

5. In your big frying pan that your veggies and chorizo are in, add the rice and prawns. Give it a bit of a mix, season to taste, add in your torn parsley and squeeze the juice from half the lemon. Cut the other half into slices and mix in with your paella.

6. ” Muy buena”!!




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