Originating from Valencia, paella stems from humble beginnings as a food cooked over woodfires by farm workers. They incorporated the ingredients from the rice fields and local countryside to cook and eat straight from the pan. Since these days the dish has come a long way, and is now recognised as one of the most popular and famous dishes from Spain. There are many different variations of paella and its versatility only enhances its popularity.
If paella is a dish you haven’t yet ‘mastered’ or you would like to try more variations, then follow this recipe at home from the team of experts behind SEASON, The Exclusive Cookery School at Lainston House; or at SEASON with gift token the compliments of the Luxury Restaurant Club.
- Paëlla rice: 150 g
- Frozen peas: 50 g
- Red pepper: 1
- Garlic clove: 2
- Saffron thread(s): 3 pinches
- King prawn(s): 9 whole
- Flat-leaf parsley: ½
- Baby squid: 150 g
- Mussel: 100 g
- Fennel: 1/2
- Tinned chopped tomatoes: 70g
- Olive oil: 30 ml
- Fish stock: 500 ml
- Lemon: 1 whole
- Dry white wine: 50 ml
- Onion: 1. Peeled and diced
- Smoked paprika: 5 g
- Fine salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Cut the fennel in half, remove the tough core and dice. Peel the red pepper, remove the seeds and cut into strips. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Pick the parsley leaves from the stalks and chop the leaves finely.
- Prepare the squid by removing the head. Keep the tentacles to one side. Clean the inside of the body under running water and remove the cartilage. Remove the skin and chop the squid into 0.5cm thick rings.
- Wash and de-beard the mussels. Throw any away that are open or damaged.
- Remove the head and shells from 6 prawns and de-vein them by gently cutting down the spine and removing the black vein. Keep the remaining 3 prawns whole for the final presentation of the dish.
- Bring the fish stock to the boil.
- In a separate wide, flat pan heat up the olive oil. Sweat the onions and fennel until soft. Add the peppers and cook until soft. Add the chopped tomatoes and the garlic, cook for 1 minute.
- Now add the paella rice and cook until the rice is translucent. Pour in the white wine and stir until it has been absorbed then add the smoked paprika and the saffron. Start adding the fish stock 1 ladleful at a time. Stir the rice until the liquid has been absorbed before adding more stock. Continue until you have used half of the stock. Now add the rest of the stock and seal the pan with a lid. Do not stir the paella from this point onwards. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the mussels, prawns, peas and squid and continue cooking with the lid on. After a further 3 minutes check the mussels are open, that the prawns in their shells are cooked through and that all of the stock has been absorbed by the rice.
- Serve the paella with a sprinkling of chopped parsley and some lemon wedges.
The Cookery School:
Try your hand at learning to create this dish yourself by attending one of the courses at SEASON, The Exclusive Cookery School at Lainston House Hotel.
With state-of-the-art kitchen facilities, a dedicated modern dining space and a kitchen garden complete with pizza oven and outdoor seating, you can learn from the award-winning and Michelin starred chefs within Exclusive Hotels , as well as external experts you may have seen on MasterChef or Bake Off Crème de la Crème.
Full-day courses are from £165 per person and half-day courses from £75 per person –click here to see courses available.
Join Luxury Restaurant Club for just £105 inc. VAT for 12 months and receive a selection of experiences to enjoy at Lainston House Hotel including a £25 Gift voucher to redeem against any full-day cookery class at Lainston House Hotel – call 01276 850581 quoting ‘Lainston Paella’ to find out more. Available until 5pm on 29th February 2020.
Luxury Restaurant Club members also enjoy dining privileges at Lainston House’s Avenue Restaurant. See more details here.