Come Tapas with Me…

A simple Spanish inspired night complete with too-easy pumpkin and eggplant croquettes, spicy chorizo meatballs, Spanish style chicken, smokey char-grilled corn with lime and red pepper sauce, and of course…paella.

Traditionalists will no doubt call murder when they read the recipe for the paella but considering my current love for quinoa I thought I’d substitute the typical bomba rice for golden quinoa.

I didn’t manage to achieve a beautiful ‘paella crust’ but the dish nonetheless did have a intense and punchy flavour. Serve with mussels, prawns, big wedges of lemon and a sprinkling of fresh flat leaf parsley. Buen provecho!

60ml olive oil

1 chorizo (cut into slices)

3 garlic cloves (roughly chopped)

½ bunch of thyme (roughly chopped)

½ bunch of oregano leaves

Red capsicum (chopped into large chunks)

½ tsp saffron threads

½ tsp sweet smoked paprika

60ml dry sherry

1 litre good chicken stock (home-made or store bought)

400g of quinoa

Assorted seafood (mussels, clams, prawns, squid…)

Lemon wedges

Heat half the oil in paella pan or frying pan until sizzling over high heat. Add chorizo and cook turning occasionally, until deep golden brown. Remove and set aside. Reduce heat. Add remaining oil to same pan. Add garlic, thyme and oregano. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute, being careful not to burn the garlic. Stir in capsicum, saffron, paprika, sherry and stock and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Return chorizo to the pan and sprinkle quinoa evenly over top. Gently shake pan to submerge the quinoa in the stock. From here on do not stir so that the crust can form on the bottom. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until stock has been absorbed and quinoa grains have become translucent. Increase heat slightly and cook for a further 2-3 minutes to form a nice ‘soccarrada’, or crust. Add cooked seafood to the dish and serve with lemon wedges and a sprinkling of flat leaf parsley.

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