Paella

I seem to be cooking paella more and more recently.

The key for me is the right kind of rice and saffron. I really do like the way the saffron adds not just colour, but also flavour. Some people I know have used tumeric, however that is most certainly not saffron, and though adds a similar colour, the earthiness of tumeric really can ruin an otherwise decent paella.

After that you can add many different things to make a really nice paella.

The dish above contains in addition to the rice and saffron, the following, chorizo, prawns, onions, pepper, pancetta and a small tin of tomatoes.

There is something about paella, the richness, flavours that I really enjoy.

Wrapped Stuffing

I very rarely buy stuffing, if I do it is only fresh stuffing, I don’t think I have bought a stuffing mix in years. Normally I make my own stuffing.

These were made very simply with diced onions, sausage meat, breadcrumbs, fresh herbs and wrapped up with pancetta bacon. I would then roast them in the oven for about 20-30 minutes.

Quick and easy and certainly just as quick as using a stuffing mix.

Grilled chicken on green lentils

 Grilled chicken on green lentils

For the grilled chicken, take a chicken breast, I used a free range corn fed chicken breast which I flattened with my hand (though you could take a rolling pin to it). I seasoned the chicken with seasoning and olive oil before placing under a hot grill for 15-20 minutes.

For the lentils eat a frying pan and add some chopped pancetta. There is no need to add any extra oil as there is usually sufficient fat in the pancetta.

Pancetta

Finely chop an onion. Add the onion to the frying pan with the pancetta.

I softened in a frying pan, the finely chopped onion with the pancetta. When the onion was nicely soft I then added some red wine and beef stock before simmering it down.

I use beef stock over chicken stock just because of the colour rather than flavour. I then reduced and reduced this.

Then add some sliced mushrooms.

I then added the green lentils, I used a tin, for convenience and speed. Once the lentils had heated through I then plated up.

On go the lentils and then slice the grilled chicken and place on top.

Serve with steamed vegetables.

Risotto

Risotto

In a large frying pan, place some olive oil and butter. Then add some finely chopped onion, red pepper, courgette and pancetta.

Soften the onions.

Bring up the heat.

Add the risotto rice and ensure that the rice is coated in the oil and butter.

Add a splash of white wine.

Now add some chicken stock.

Keep topping up with stock to ensure that the rice doesn’t dry out.

Once the rice is virtually cooked, add a large handful of grated parmesan, some chopped parsley and some freshly ground black pepper.

Serve, garnish with a few slices of lemon.