Updated: Feb 21
Since dining in a seaside restaurant on the Spanish coast is nowhere in sight, eating paella whilst snowed under in Sheffield was the next best option.
Me and the Mrs brought back a lockdown favourite. The ‘Come Dine With Me‘ Saturday night cook off. Each Saturday we cook a starter, main, and dessert, giving a mark out of 10 for each course (you’ve seen the show!).
Now I’m an average cook at best, but the competitive nature in me can not lose! So I’ve had to seriously step my game up recently, because Amy (my mrs) is double decent in the kitchen.
This week was no exception.
The starter was scallops, Bramley apple and chilli oil over fried bread. The main was my favourite dish of all time... Paella!
I finished it off with a Belgian chocolate cheese cake and salted caramel mousse dessert. Both shop bought, guilty as charged (they looked too good not to buy).
The whole thing went down a treat and to be quite frank, I’ll be fuming if it doesn‘t get 10’s across the board, even bought her favourite gin to go with!
There was a few asking for the recipe when I posted some pics on online. So for those interested, heres the run down...
Starter - Scallops, Bramley apple and chilli oil
30 hand dived scallops
1 Bramley apple
15g of unsalted butter
2 tbsp of chilli oil
4 thick cut slices of Ciabatta bread
1 handful of coriander
Preheat a pan over a high heat and add a tbsp of oil. Pat fry scallops with kitchen paper and season well.
Add the scallops to the pan flat side down and cook until golden brown, this will take 2-3 minutes. Dont move the scallops around in the pan as this will prevent them from cooking.
Turn the scallops over and cook for a further 1-2 minutes. Add a knob of butter to the pan and baste the scallops. Place scallops in a bowl to rest.
Place ciabatta bread in the pan to fry and soak up butter for 3-4 mins. Cut the apple into quarters, then thinly slice one quarter into 8 shavings. Do this with 2 quarters creating 16 shavings
Arrange the 2 ciabatta peices on each plate, top with scallops, arrange shavings upright in between scallops, drizzle chilli oil and sprinkle coriander over and around plate.
Main - Paella!!
20-24 raw shell-on king prawns
2 tbsp olive oil
500g monkfish, cut into chunks
1 large onion, finely chopped
500g paella rice
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
pinch of saffron
½ x 400g can chopped tomatoes (save the rest for the stock, below)
500g mussels, cleaned
100g frozen peas
100g frozen baby broad beans
handful parsley leaves, roughly chopped
For the stock
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
½ x 400g can chopped tomatoes
6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 chicken stock cube
1 star anise
Peel and de-vein the prawns, reserving the heads and shells. Return the prawns to the fridge.
To make the stock, heat the oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat and add the onion, tomatoes, garlic, and reserved prawn shells and heads. Cook for 3-4 mins, then pour in 2 litres of water and add the stock cube and star anise. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 mins. Leave to cool slightly, then whizz in batches in a blender or food processor. Strain through a fine sieve.
Heat the oil in a large paella pan or an extra-large frying pan. Brown the monkfish for a few mins each side, then remove and set aside. Add the onion and fry for 4-5 mins until softened.
Stir in the rice and cook for 30 secs to toast. Add the garlic, paprika, cayenne (if using) and saffron, cook for another 30 secs, then stir in the tomatoes and 1.5 litres of the fish stock. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook, stirring, for about 10 mins (the rice should still be al dente). Return the monkfish to the pan with the prawns, mussels, peas and broad beans.
Cover the pan with a large baking tray, or foil, and cook on a low heat for another 10-15 mins until the mussels are open and the prawns are cooked through. Scatter over the parsley before serving.
Grubs up! Enjoy