Hi Blog! Sorry I haven't been around for a couple of days. Now that the weather is so much prettier, I've been spending more time outside in the garden, planting veggie seeds, pulling weeds and trying to figure out what animal(s) is living in my compost bin. Whatever it is, it has tunneled underground and into the greenhouse and is doing a fantastic job of turning over all the decomposing vegetables. I pulled a load of compost out from the bottom yesterday to dig into the garden, and just like last time, it smelled really lemon/limey because of all the citrus peels I toss in there while I'm cooking.
It's also possible that I discovered the Angry Birds game two days ago and so have been absolutely glued to my iPhone for the past two days playing it...
So I haven't posted any recipes or chatter on you for a few days, but I have been cooking as much as always and will post my recipes in a little bit. I've had some serious banana cake and stuffed chicken successes, as well as a truly memorable evening at Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons, so I'll post about that incredible experience too.
A few nights ago, I was planning on making a Thai noodle dish with some squid, but when it came to it, I just wasn't feeling Thai at all so I made this simple little Spanish-style rice dish with saffron and peppers. The addition of the smoked paprika is fantastic with the squid, especially when sprinkled with a generous squeeze of lemon juice to finish.
Spanish Rice with Squid and Saffron
Serves 2, takes 20-25 minutes
250g (9oz) bomba (paella) rice
500ml (pint) good chicken stock
1 medium red onion, diced
8 squid tubes and tentacles, cleaned
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp hot, smoked paprika
large pinch, Spanish saffron
3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow pepper, diced
1 lemon, quartered
Bring the stock to the boil and then turn off the heat while getting the rest of the dish started.
Heat the oil over a medium-high heat and sautee for a minute or so, until it begins to soften, then add the paprika and saffron. Stir-fry for another minute or so before adding the peppers and garlic.
When the peppers are also beginning to soften, stir the rice in well, making sure to coat well in the oils. Cook the rice for a minute or so before pouring in the hot stock. Bring the pan to a low simmer, then turn the heat down to low, cover the pan and leave to cook for 10 or so minutes until all the water has been absorbed and the bottom of the pan is quite dry.
While the rice is cooking, trim the tentacles so remove the hard beaky bit and cut them in half. Slice the the tentacles into rings about 5mm (1/4") wide.
Turn your grill on high and when the rice is cooked through, stir the squid through and cook for
a minute. Pop under the grill for a further minute-90 seconds to begin to ever so slightly brown the rice. Take care not to over cook, as the squid will have the consistency of rubber bands.
Serve with a wedge of lemon and a mixed green salad with ripe tomatoes.