I can’t go to Sydney without visiting the always wonderful Sydney Fish Market. I love it. It’s just such reliably good produce, at very reasonable prices. The selection is unbeatable, and simply doesn’t compare to what’s on offer in Canberra, obviously. I picked up enough for three different meals (for one person, five people and two people) for $25. We were visiting on a public holiday in Canberra, Canberra Day. I was excited about having some friends over the following day and making them paella. This would mean a weekday paella party, but I don’t know anyone that would complain. We were going to eat at a civilised hour, and wouldn’t be staying up late on a school night, so to speak. Besides, who says no to paella?! … apart from the allergic.
I recently scored myself a great paella pan made the old fashioned way, at Soho Foundry in Sovereign Hill, Ballarat. I purchased it for a VERY reasonable price. I’d recommend you visit Sovereign Hill next time you’re in, or driving through Ballarat, but you can purchase online from the Soho Foundry. I used to have to struggle making paella in a large saucepan. It’s oh so much easier with a proper pan, and you can make it look so pretty!
You can use different seafood to make this if you’d like. I often also chop up a chorizo sausage and add it with the onions and garlic. The chicken wings I used this time were smoked, which was lovely. The ingredient that is absolutely NOT optional in this dish is the smoked pimento. If you want to use just hot, or just sweet, feel free to make that substitute, but you will absolutely have to buy yourself a tin of this incredible aromatic spice if you want to make this dish.
|1||teaspoon||smoked pimento, hot|
|1||teaspoon||smoked pimento, sweet|
|440||gram||can of tomatoes|
|1||cup||yellow capsicum, diced|
Clean the squid. Cut the tentacles away from the head and cut into portions. Remove the wing flaps from the tubes and cut away the hard edge of the flap. Score the flap in a criss cross pattern, being sure you don’t cut it all the way through. Cut the tubes open, discard any soft or layers of tissue from the inside and outside of the tube. Score what used to be the inside of the tube with your knife, in a criss cross pattern, being sure not to cut all the way through. Cut the tubes into bite sized pieces.
Rinse the mussels and remove their beards and any errand weed from their shells.
Cut the chicken wings into three pieces at the joints. Discard the wingtips, or reserve them some other use.
Melt the butter in the paella pan and brown the chicken wings.
Turn the heat down and gently cook the onion and garlic with the pimento. Add the rice and stir until the rice is thoroughly coated with the spices.
Add the white wine, and stir to remove any particles on the bottom of the pan.
Add the fish stock and tomatoes. Shake the pan to ensure the liquid and rice are evenly distributed. Arrange the chicken wings evenly around the pan. Simmer for about ten minutes.
Arrange the seafood atop the rice in an attractive pattern. Dissolve the saffron in a little water and drizzle over the squid. Cover the pan and cook for five minutes.
Scatter over the peas, capsicum and salt. Cover again and cook till the mussels have opened and the other seafood is cooked through.
Garnish with chopped parsley and serve at the table.