I love serving a seafood paella at home for supper with my friends – one big pan set in the middle of the table for everyone to enjoy. You can make it up to step two a few hours before serving it – just so that you’re not chained to the stove when your guests arrive. There are so many alternative fish that you can use instead of the monkfish, the only thing is that they need to be meaty, so fish like hake and cod also work very well. If you don’t have any saffron then use 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika. Serve with a big, green leafy salad.
1kg live mussels
olive oil, for cooking
10cm piece of fully cured, ready to-eat chorizo, diced
2 onions, diced
2 red peppers, cored, deseeded and sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
800g paella rice
1 teaspoon saffron threads
1 litre hot fish stock
500g monkfish fillets, cut into 2–3cm pieces
10 raw prawns in their shells
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 lemons, cut into wedges, to serve
First prepare the mussels. Rinse them under cold running water, then scrub the shells to remove any barnacles and pull away and discard any stringy beards. Discard any with damaged shells or open shells that won’t close when tapped.
Heat a large paella pan over a medium heat. Add a splash of olive oil, followed by the chorizo. Cook for about 5 minutes until crisp.
Add the onions, red peppers and garlic to the paella pan and cook for a further 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Stir in the rice and season with salt and pepper. Add the saffron threads and hot stock and leave to simmer for about 15 minutes.
Scatter the pieces of monkfish over the rice and push under the surface with the back of a spoon. Lay the mussels and prawns over the top and simmer for a further 10 minutes or until all the mussels have opened (discard any that remain closed) and the prawns have turned pink.
Serve the paella in the pan, with the lemon wedges placed around the edge.
This recipe is from Clodagh’s Suppers by Clodagh McKenna