Monday, October 13, 2008

Trying to make Seafood Paella

On Saturday morning, we have decided to take Ryan with us to Solaris Mont Kiara for breakfast. After breakfast, we were taking a walk at Cold Storage when the idea of trying to cook seafood paella (which we have postponed for a long while) came up AGAIN. We find it rather difficult to get the long-grain rice needed previously. So we gave it a try at Cold Storage. Found the short and medium grain brown rice. Bought a packet although I'm not sure whether it is the right one. (Could be the wrong one as we discovered when we cooked it. Read on....)

Comes dinner time, we took out the recipe book, and boldly went where we have never went before. The recipe book says preparation time is 25 minutes and cooking time is 45 minutes. One look at the clock and the time is 7:00pm. (Should have started an hour earlier, but Ryan has a mind of his own in determining when I should be free to cook). Dinner ready by 8:30pm if everything turns out well...(or so I thought).

Preparation was a bliss. So far so good. Started the cooking process and all went well with the diced onions and thinly slice red and green capsicum. The problem started when we added in the rice. The recipe said 5 cups of fish stock and allowed to cook for 20 minutes or until almost all liquid is absorted into the rice. When 20 minutes was up, to my horror, the rice was still pretty uncooked and hard. Gasp!!! What went wrong? Started to add more fish stock and continued cooking. After 45 minutes of simmering and another 7 cups of fish stock later, the rice finally looked cooked. Phew!! Put in the seafood as instructed. Finally dinner was served at 9pm. Needless to say, it tasted great but I guess it was probably because our stomachs were growling....

What went wrong? I am not sure. Our guess is that we could have bought the wrong type of rice. However, what is important is that by end of day, I still got my paella cooked!

Recipe of what we used:
250 g (9oz) black mussels, scrubbed
500g (1lb 2 oz) raw medium prawns (shrimp), peeled and deveined with tails intact
3 tablespoon of olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small red capsicum (pepper) thinkly sliced
1 small green capsicum (pepper) thinly sliced
1 small red chilli, deseeded and chopped (optional)
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tomatoes, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon tomato paste (puree)
400g (2 cups) long-grain rice
125ml (1/2 cup) white wine
1.25 litres (5 cups) fish stock
3 tablespoon of chopped parsley, to serve
lemon wedges to serve
  • Heat the oil in a paella pan or a large deep frying pan with a lid.
  • Add onion, garlic, capsicum and chili to pan and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes or until onion and capsicum are soft
  • Add turmeric, paprika and 1 teaspoon of salt and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes or until aromatic
  • Add tomato and cook for 5 minutes or until soft.
  • Add tomato paste
  • Stir in rice until well coated.
  • Pour in white wine and simmer until almost all absorbed.
  • Add stock, bring to boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until almost all liquid is absorbed into the rice. Fluff up the rice occasionally with a fork to separate the grains.
  • Add mussels and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add prawns and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Cook for another 2-3 minutes if the seafood is not cooked but avoid overcooking as the seafood will toughen and dry out.
  • Serve with parsley and lemon wedges.

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