… I think many of us are creatures of habit when it comes to holidays. I’ve always liked to think of myself as the adventurous sort – I have visions of a ramshackle bus on a dirt road in South America with a chicken as my travelling companion – but alas when push comes to shove I think I’m less ‘bus full of chickens’ and ‘chicken in a basket’. The thing is, if you’re going to spend your hard-earned cash on two weeks in the sun there’s a big part of me that wants some guarantees such as sunshine, a comfortable bed and a warm ocean to dip into. I’m lucky because since I was a young boy my family have had a home on the Spanish island of Mallorca. Regular readers of this blog will know all about my love for this very special place and the inspiration it has brought to my cooking. I love the fact that we have so many different cuisines from so many countries so close to the UK and travel is so simple and really quite inexpensive now there is very little reason not to get away and stuff your face…
wether you’re feeling adventurous or in need of guaranteed sunshine the good people at ebookers have given me £50 worth of Bonus+ points to give to one lucky Belleau Kitchen reader… the Bonus+ points can be put towards booking flights and hotels through ebookers.com. ebookers are the first online travel agent to develop allow customers to earn rewards on flights, hotels and packaged trips all in one place with both business and leisure travellers being rewarded with meaningful discounts, bonuses and exclusive added value services. All you have to do is answer the simple question in the nifty rafflecopter thingy below…
spinach and broccoli paella
I adore a good paella and even though it’s something of a dirty word when you’re on a Spanish holiday you need to get over the naffness of it all and go ahead and order one… the issue I have of course is that The Viking is a vegetarian and there are very few places I can find that will make a good quality vegetarian paella so it’s nice to try and develop something that has all the wonderful flavours of a traditional paella but without the meat…
i’ve used traditional paella rice which is slightly different to risotto rice and if you can find it then do but risotto rice will work here.
1 onion – finely chopped
1 medium carrot – finely chopped
2 sticks of celery – finely chopped
2 garlic cloves – crushed
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
150g button mushrooms – halved
250g paella rice
1 glass white wine
600ml good quality vegetable stock
1 head of broccoli
250g bag of baby spinach leaves
a large handful of frozen peas
if you have or can find a large paella pan then go for it but if not a large shallow casserole pan with a lid, like the one i’ve used, will work really well
place the pan on a mid heat and heat up some butter and olive oil, add the carrots, celery and onion and let them sweat for about 5 minutes, then add the smoke paprika, stir and let it cook off for another 3 minutes, then add the garlic, thyme and mushrooms and again let it cook off for another 3 minutes, place the lid on and let is cook gently for 5 mins until all the veg is soft
add the rice, stir then add the wine and let it sit for a moment whilst it bubbles away, then add the stock, tun down the heat, place the lid on and let it cook gently for 10 minutes
take the lid off, add the broccoli, place the lid on and let it steam for another 10 mins, then add the peas, stir in, then add the spinach, place the lid on for a further 5 mins whilst the spinach wilts.
take the lid off, stir it all together, turn up the heat and add a couple of gluggs of olive oil and let it really pick up heat… you want that patina of darkly golden rice on the bottom to get an authentic paella taste… then once you’re happy, serve…
eat and of course, enjoy!