Sunday, 24 April 2011

Cooking with Keith. Paella

I have a recipe for us from Keith. Keith and I used to work together and you would not ever have looked at him and thought he liked cooking (just trust me on this one, you really wouldn’t. It would be like imagining Gordon Brown doing modern interpretative dance in a thong leotard), so, subsequently, whenever he shows any signs of knowing where the oven is I am specially impressed, and I want to pat him on the head or pinch his cheeks and say, look at you, aren’t you clever. I don’t do this, obviously, because I sometimes feel there are social limits to playful irony. Anyway, he is in Spain at the moment, and, not only has he put together this recipe he has taken photographs of it being cooked on a large scale.
Whatever you do in life, a lady of a certain age will appear to check you are doing it properly
I am slightly ashamed to say to you that the only paella I have ever cooked is a Vesta one when I was a child. I imagine I would like paella very much. Perhaps I should have a go? (I mean, I made something edible out of nettles, certain people’s Gaviscon notwithstanding. How difficult can it be?).

My version of Paella
Keith Bennett

Chop up:

1 large onion
As much garlic as you like
Some green beans
Some mushrooms
Some green peppers (if you can get the Spanish type, all the better)
Two chicken breasts

Pour a large slug of olive oil into a paella pan (if you don't have one, a wok will work or a large frying pan) and heat until smoking.

Put all the chopped ingredients into the pan and cook for a bit on high heat stirring constantly. 

Add about a teaspoon of Pimenton Dulce (paprika is not a substitute for this) and a bit of any herbs you like (I like oregano). [Note from me, for those of us who do not live in Spain, I think you can either get this on ebay or use smoked paprika. He will email me now and say, no, smoked paprika is not the same! But if it is good enough for Delia it is good enough for me].

When everything's coated with the Pimenton, pour in about half a litre of chicken stock and a good slug of white wine.

Put in a large handful of peeled, cooked langoustines or prawns (don't use frozen ones, they're tasteless. Peel them yourself you lazy bastard!) [Note from me, I am going to have to quote the very funny Gingerbread Lady here: 'If you wish to change to attic24's blog, please do. She photographs tulips and ladybirds and squees at baby toes. I don't think she scolds her readers.' Also, I would not know what to do with an unpeeled prawn if one walked into the house and introduced itself to me, but you all may be better people].

Keep on high heat and keep stirring. 

Add about half a mug of washed, short-grained rice (I like brown rice - "integral" as we call it here)

Turn heat down and simmer until the rice is "al dente", stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. 

Eat with a good Rioja while listening to "Variations for Electronic Orchestra" by Keith Bennett - available from iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and eMusic. [And I think we are all admiring the subtlety of Keith’s plug here. Unfortunately because of the way his site is set up I can't do an internal link - you have to go to the link I have given you and look for Variations].

Thanks Keith! Hope your weather is good, we are having delightful sunny days here (says she, smugly. Ha! You may have pimenton dulce but we have nice weather. For once).


Marushka C. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marushka C. said...

Sorry about the deleted one, I had said. "It is good to have friends TO cook" when obviously you are not a cannibal, so I will say instead, "It's good to have friends THAT cook."

I was still laughing at how true the photo caption is and trying to comment at the same time.

Keith said...

Thanks for your wonderful notes and picture caption, I agree with Marushka. I don't know what smoked paprika is. What I mean by paprika not being a substitute is that the paprika in England I know is picante rather than dulce.

Susie said...

Marushka, ha! (Have you seen The IT Crowd? There is an episode where Moss makes friends with a cannibal. Everyone please watch The IT Crowd).

Keith! Hello! {Waves}. I keep thinking I might email you to see if you understand AV but then I think, perhaps I prefer not knowing. Oh the trials of being a responsible voter.