There are two ways to get a great paella… one is to cook it yourself (suggested recipe below), the other is to head to Mundo Latin Grill & Tapas Bar at Rydges North Sydney on Wednesday nights. Oh! And if you want to watch State of Origin on the Big Screen on any of the three big Wednesday nights (kick off 8:00pm) your first beer is free. To get a fantastic paella without the fuss of shopping, preparing and cooking, Mundo serves up Spanish from 7:00pm – the paella is, naturally, based in perfectly cooked saffron rice with seafood, chicken and chorizo – it costs $14 for an entrée size and $28 for a main and you can set the full Spanish mood with Sangria at $5.
Traditionally, paella is a dish for Sundays and cooked by the man of the house to give Mum a day off from the kitchen, but if you are thinking that if a Spanish bloke can knock up a tasty treat it can’t be too hard, you do need time, patience, a bit of culinary flair and the right ingredients.
First, the shopping list… some of these are optional and will depend on your own taste buds, but to feed four you will basically need:
- Two cups of medium-grain rice
- Five cups (1.25 litres) of chicken stock (could use fish if you want it really seafood)
- Red and/or green capsicum – chopped fine
- One brown onion – chopped fine
- One large tomato – chopped fine
- A couple of cloves of garlic if you are a fan of garlic – crushed
- One cup of frozen peas
- Two teaspoons of smoked paprika
- About ten saffron threads (half a teaspoon)
- A couple of chorizo sausages (sliced diagonally)
- A couple of chicken thigh fillets, diced (around 200g) – you can use breast fillet but they can be a bit dry…
- Seafood – again, your call but you can use squid, crab, pippies, prawns and mussels – personally, the prawns and the mussels are a must for both look at taste – at least two or three green prawns per person, deveined but with tail intact (head too if you want a really good look and messy napkins)
Add a bit of salt to the saffron and crush to break it up a bit and combine with the stock. Bring that to the boil on high then reduce to a simmer and cover. Get the large frying pan and a bit of olive oil – cook the chorizo for a minute each side or until brown – transfer to a heat-proof bowl. Do the same with the chicken until brown (about five minutes) – transfer to the bowl – now it’s the prawns turn – couple of minutes until they curl and change colour – transfer and cover with foil to keep warm.
Increase the heat and add the onion and capsicum – cook until the onion softens. Add the rice, tomato and paprika and cook, stirring, until combined (about a minute). Reduce the heat and add a third of the stock and stir until combined. Add chorizo and chicken – by now the liquid should be almost absorbed so add the rest of the stock and let it cook away for another five or ten minutes until pretty much absorbed. Push the mussels (and/or pippies) into the rice and continue to cook until they open. Add the prawns to heat through with the mussels. Serve away!
There’s a peek at the Mundo North Sydney Wednesday night paella towards the end of this short video.