Paella for an Army

Last nights dinner wasn’t so much for us, it was for the Clonakilty Waterfront Festival.

The festival kicked off last night with a Taste of West Cork and Con and I took our big paella pans for the cook up.

We made two versions, a chicken and chorizo paella and a vegetarian paella made with veggies from our garden.

The meat one was the first to go, naturally enough but word got around and we soon had everyone tasting the veggie version. This was made with all the usual ingredients, tomatoes, peppers, saffron and rice with broad beans and artichokes poked in. It was a wonderful evening, all the people of Clon dressed in their glad rags, sampling the wares of the local restaurants to the accompaniment of the Cafe Orchestra and the rain held off until everyone arrived! Here’s a domestic version of the chorizo paella. It’s great one pot dinner for feeding a crowd

Chorizo Paella

2 medium onions

about 100ml olive oil

2-3 celery stalks

2 peppers –green, yellow or red

1 leek, white part only

4 cloves garlic

2-3 fresh chorizo

1tsp smoked paprika

300g calaspara rice –or use Arborio if you don’t have/can’t find

1 can chopped tomatoes

1 glass white wine

900ml vegetable or chicken stock

salt and pepper

Peel and chop the onions. Heat a large heavy pan and add enough olive oil to cover the bottom. Add the onions and stir. Season with a little salt.

Cut the celery into 2 or 3 strips lengthwise then dice into small pieces. Add to the onion in the pan and continue cooking. It’s important that the vegetables are sizzling away without browning so maintain the heat so that you can hear everything cooking and stir frequently.

Deseed the peppers and chop into a large dice, add to the pan, season with a little salt and give a stir. Chop the leek and add to the rest of the vegetables. Give a good grind of black pepper and check the seasoning. Add more salt if necessary. Peel and chop the garlic and add to the pan then cut the chorizo in half lengthways. Chop the chorizo into equal sized chunks and add to the pan. Cook until the oils from the chorizo are released.

Stir in the rice and cook for a couple of minutes then add the tomatoes, smoked paprika and white wine. Bring the temperature up so that the alcohol burns off then stir in the stock. Taste and adjust seasoning then once all the ingredients are cooking turn the heat down to maintain a slow bubbling pot. Now stand back and do not stir. Cook gently for about fifteen minutes then turn the heat off. Cover with a piece of aluminium foil and leave to relax for five minutes.

Serve with lemon wedges.

About lettercollumkitchenproject

A cook that gardens. Sun addict. Not a good addiction in West Cork hence the travel addiction. Add in a splotch of kitchen snooping while away, a big walled organic garden while home and a kitchen full of a bit of everything. Runs an organic bakery/delicatessen/food shop with her husband using food from the garden and the years of accumulated kitchen snooping. Check out the shop and garden at www.lettercollum.ie View all posts by lettercollumkitchenproject

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