Monday, 28 May 2018

"Surf and Turf" risotto com espargos e camarão

Some things signal the return of spring better than a calendar: birds chirping in the morning, blossom abounding, and a small sea of green-speared asparagus. I love making a simple, superb springtime meal with that in-season inspiration.Asparagus is really only worth eating in the springtime.However we have a history of getting het up over cooking asparagus. So much has been made of getting the thicker end of the stalks tender without overcooking the thinner tips, that some of us avoid cooking it altogether. What is the simplest thing on earth - boiling a vegetable - suddenly becomes shrouded in mystery. There are several reasons not to eat asparagus, including  the fact that it makes some people's wee smell funny, but cooking it shouldn't be one of them.This is the most foolproof easiest and tastiest way that I have found yet to get that wonderful in-season inspirational flavour. 
 The colour of this risotto is really fun, and with the addition of prawns and asparagus it is a complete, but still light, meal. In this recipe the combination of land and sea (surf and turf) works perfectly.
Risotto com espargos e camarão
Serves two
16 asparagus spears (300g), peeled and trimmed
1.5 litres (2¾ pints) unsalted chicken stock
30g (1oz) unsalted butter
8ml (¼fl oz) extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic,thinly sliced
170g (6 oz) Arborio rice
60ml (2fl oz) dry white wine
6g (¼oz) finely grated fresh Parmesan
15g (1oz) mascarpone cheese
200g small prawns or shrimps

Cut off the top 5cm of each asparagus spear and set aside. Cut the next 5-7cm into 1cm-thick rounds; discard the remaining portion.
Put four asparagus tips, ¼ of the asparagus rounds and 45ml (2fl oz) of water in a blender and purée until smooth. Set aside. Pour the stock into a milk pan and bring to the boil over medium heat; reduce to a simmer.
Melt 25g (¾oz) of the butter and a tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the shallots,asparagus rounds,garlic and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until just translucent, about five minutes. Add the rice and continue to stir for about five minutes, then add the wine. Cook, stirring once or twice, until the liquid has evaporated. Add a cup of the stock, stirring often, until the rice absorbs most of the liquid. Add another cup of stock. Continue stirring and adding the stock, 250ml (9fl oz) at a time, until 1 litre (1¾ pints) has been added. At this point, taste the rice. Usually it will need another 500ml (18fl oz) stock and a few more minutes to cook.
Stir in the remaining butter, the Parmesan, mascarpone, and the asparagus purée. remove from the heat. Season to taste. Cover and keep warm.
Warm the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the asparagus tips and warm through, about three minutes. Add the prawns  and continue to cook for three to five minutes; season. Spoon the risotto into warm soup plates, top with the warmed asparagus tips (halved lengthways) and prawns, and serve immediately.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

"A cooking Guinea pig" eats Seared Tuna and spiced lentil salsa

How often does a dish come along that has all the wow factor needed to send it soaring across the globe? This simple seared tuna dish stems from that great London Institution,The Ivy, but is now flagged up by food bloggers and on some of the best food websites in the world, such as Epicurious.When I was asked in 1997 by Richard Erlich,then food and drinks columnist for the Independent on Sunday, to be a"cooking Guinea pig" and put the recently published book, "THE IVY THE RESTAURANT AND ITS RECIPES", to the test,this recipe somehow missed my attention.So how could something so delicious have passed me by? 21 years later it has returned to haunt me, and though long since gone from the Ivy menu I am now adding it as a prominent starter and tasting menu item to the casa rosada portfolio.
Lentils and tuna are a wonderful combination.Lean tuna replaces the fattier beef loin steak,and a surprise side of lentils, adds an earthy boost of fibre.
The finest blue fin tuna loin must be used for this dish.The tuna should be cut into approximately 10cm long,4cm x 4cm square,blocks.The fish will be sliced after cooking.If you are serving this as a starter allow about 100g per person or 170g as a main course.The lentil salsa is better for being  made the day before.
Seared Tuna loin and spiced lentil salsa
serves 4

4 x 170g Blue fin tuna steaks

100g Puy lentils, soaked for an hour in cold water and washed
20g fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 medium-sized mild chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
½tsp ground cumin
⅓tsp cumin seeds
2tbsp water
½tbsp balsamic vinegar
½tbsp sweet soy sauce or light soy
1tbsp tomato ketchup
½tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2tbsp olive oil
1tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
Salt and pepper
Cook the lentils in salted water for 15-20 minutes or until they are tender. Drain and cool them. Place the chilli and ginger in a pan with the onion, garlic, ground cumin and seeds, water and balsamic vinegar and simmer with a lid on for a few minutes, stirring well so that all the flavours infuse. Remove the mixture from the heat and pour into a bowl with the drained lentils. Add the soy sauce, ketchup and chilli sauce, stir well and gradually add the olive oil and chopped coriander. Season with salt and pepper, cover and leave in the refrigerator overnight (if time allows). Season the pieces of tuna and cook them on a griddle pan or heavy-bottomed frying pan for 2 minutes on each side. The ideal way to eat tuna is rare, otherwise it becomes dry. Once cooked, serve the tuna on warmed plates with a couple of spoonfuls of lentils and if you are inclined some salad leaves, such as rocket, lightly dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Cha com agua salgada tocam seus dez maiores sucessos ( Cha com agua salgada plays its top ten greatest hits )

"Triumph" is a word I use sparingly,to give credit only where credit is due.On Thursday night the dinner we were served by the team at Cha com agua salgada to celebrate the restaurant´s tenth anniversary, more than deserves to be accredited with this accolade.What Sandra Gomes, Paolo Esteves and Chef Marco Jacó have built up over the last ten years is not only something remarkable, but something shining out as an exemplary role model that other East Algarvian restaurateurs should take heed of.Sandra and Paolo traded up architects practice and Marco transitioned from engineer to chef,to set up this unique beachside restaurant with city style and panache.They should have no regrets.
Situated in a prime location looking out across the dunes of the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve to the sea in the near distance, Cha com agua salgada is a restaurant with outstanding food and a friendly team that provides first class attention to its customers.In their own words "At Cha com agua salgada, the approach to traditional cooking is elevated to another level by an experimental attitude towards flavours and tastes, using local products ranging from Tuna, Flor de sal from Castro Marim, Asparagus and Oranges, seeds and flours (poppy, carob ...), Octopus and seafood from the Ria Formosa coast".Therein lies the reason for their success.
Darne of Tuna on a salt stone
Atum, tuna,"Atuna",we´ve tasted it everybody´s which way, but the tuna brought sizzling to our table was the highlight of ten years of chef Jacó´s
 menus.This was quite the best tuna we have ever tasted.Thank you so much Cha com agua salgada a sua equipa de trabalho e brigada dos cozinheiros.

Rolinhos de bacalhau marinado com espargos verdes e espuma de limão

 A palavra triunfo é algo que eu uso com moderação,só dando crédito quando o crédito é devido, mas na noite de quinta-feira o jantar em que fomos atendidos pela equipe do Cha com agua salgada para comemorar o décimo aniversário do restaurante,mais do que merece ser credenciado com este elogio.O que Sandra Gomes e Paulo Esteves construíram nos últimos dez anos é algo admirável, um modelo exemplar do trabalho para fazer com que outros donos de restaurantes algarvios tomem conhecimento.​Com uma localização privilegiada que combina o mar a perder de vista e o extenso sistema dunar do Parque Natural da Ria Formosa o ​Chá Com Água Salgada promove a arte de bem servir.No Chá Com Água Salgada a abordagem da cozinha tradicional coexiste com uma atitude experimental relativamente aos sabores e paladares, tomando sempre como ponto de partida um conjunto de produtos locais que incluem desde o Atúm, à Flor de Sal de Castro Marim, aos Espargos e às Laranjas, às sementes e farinhas (papoila, alfarroba …), ao Polvo e mariscos da nossa costa.E é nesse contexto que reside a razão de seu sucesso.Atum, tuna,"Atuna", nós provamos que todo mundo é o caminho, mas o atum trouxe sizzling para a nossa mesa foi o destaque de dez anos de menus do chef Jacó.Este foi bastante o melhor atum que já provei.Muito obrigado a sua equipa de trabalho e brigada dos cozinheiros.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Small fry: cods roe tempura

Portugal once was a culinary forerunner. It's now pretty well known that Portuguese merchants introduced tempura to Japan.They were in the habit of eating fried fish during the religious seasons ("tempora")* of abstinence from meat.Living in a seafaring nation,the Portuguese don’t like to waste any part of the fish, and that includes the eggs.Inspired by the Japan / Portuguese connection and ignoring the high cholesterol warnings, I decided to try my hand at giving cods roe the tempura treatment. 
Stripped of the oil, milk and bread of the famous Greek spread, cured cod's roe can become somewhat addictive.Like Marmite, gentleman's relish and other salty spreads, it is a like-it-or-loathe-it thing. I spread mine, probably thicker than I should, on thin brown toast or use it to stuff peppers. 
In Japan most often it is grilled whole or deep-fried in the thinnest tempura batter, but I have also met these luminous sacks of fish eggs (often pollock) mashed into mayonnaise and stuffed into sushi.
If you’ve never cooked cod roe before, don’t panic – it’s one of the easiest fish dishes to get right. All you have to do is to pack them in a foil parcel and poach them in their outer membrane for 25 minutes and then remove the membrane just before serving. When purchasing them fresh from the fishmonger, they are always kept in the membrane,which looks rather like  a pair of pants.In Denmark,apparently,where cods roe is nearly as popular as in Portugal, it is rumoured that you can even hear people ordering “a pair of pants” when they’re buying it!

plain flour 100g
sunflower oil 2 tbsp
sparkling mineral water 175ml
egg white 1
oil for deep frying

smoked cod's roe 200g
breadcrumbs 170g, fresh and white
Szechuan pepper a few large pinches,(ground in a pestle and mortar) to taste
pinch piri piri chilli flakes
8 large tender spinach leaves
lemon 1
You will also need groundnut oil or sunflower oil for deep-frying and 8 cocktail sticks or short wooden skewers.
Sift the flour into a large bowl, add the oil and water, mix lightly, then set aside to rest. If there are lumps in it, that is fine – in fact your batter will probably be better for it.
Remove and discard the fine membrane of skin from the cod's roe and put the flesh into a bowl. Add the crumbs to the roe with the Szechuan pepper, and a pinch of piri piri chilli flakes. Shape the roe into eight small rolls about twice the diameter of a wine cork.
Place the spinach or chard leaves flat on the work surface, one at a time, removing any tough stalks as you go. Place a lump of roe on each one and roll up in the leaf, then secure with a cocktail stick or short wooden skewer.
Heat cooking oil – groundnut or sunflower – to 180C degrees. Beat the egg white until almost stiff then fold into the batter mixture. Dip parcels of the roe into the batter then straight into the hot oil. The batter should not be even slightly coloured. You want it to be light, crisp and almost white. It should only just cling to the leaf here and there.

Serve with wedges of lemon or lime.

*The word "tempura", or the technique of dipping fish and vegetables into a batter and frying them, comes from the word "tempora", a Latin word meaning "times", "time period" used by both Spanish and Portuguese missionaries to refer to the Lenten period or Fridays, and other Christian holy days when only fish was eaten. The idea that the word "tempura" may have been derived from the Portuguese noun tempero, meaning a condiment or seasoning of any kind, or from the verb temperar, meaning "to season" is also possible as the Japanese language could easily have assumed the word "tempero" as is, without changing any vowels as the Portuguese pronunciation in this case is similar to the Japanese.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

The bastard Alfredo

pasta simplicity
Cottage cheese anyone? Paneer perhaps? Cottage cheese has always had a bad reputation.Some people are only familiar with the fat-free version and think of it only as diet food, meant to be mixed with pineapple chunks and not much else. Others are probably put off by the texture, which admittedly looks a little weird but actually tastes pretty great, in my opinion. No matter what your position is on the creamy, curd-filled dairy product, it's time to expand your horizons and channel your inner Little Miss Muffet.
One of the most classic dishes on every "Italian-American" menu is fettuccine alfredo. But did you know that what Americans consider to be alfredo sauce is rarely eaten in Italy? "The Italian-American" version of alfredo usually consists of lashings of cream and fat parmesan cheese. In Italy, however, cream is not used very often to make sauces, they consider it to be too heavy and thick.
Well I am sorry to disappoint you if you are looking forward to eating Fettucine Alfredo in Italy you won’t find it.  It isn’t Italian.  Well, that isn’t entirely true, actually.  You can get it in Italy, but you will never find anything like it it on a menu,or certainly not by that name.  To get you in the right frame of mind here,think of ordering a totally non authentic vindaloo in an English curry house or even better imagine I served you cheese on toast, and I told you that this was a special dish I call ‘Tosta alla Cozinheiro’, you would be laughing at me all the way to the toaster? Fettuccine Alfredo falls into that realm for an Italian.
So where did this bastard alfredo come from? The story goes that in 1914, a man named Alfredo di Lelio was trying to cook something that would please his pregnant wife. He created a sauce made from parmesan cheese and extra butter ("triplo burro") and poured it over some fettuccine. Di Lelio then opened up a restaurant in Rome and served his fettuccine dish.
Fettuccine Alfredo to our friends across the pond is a dish made from fettuccine tossed with Parmesan cheese and copious amounts of cream and heart rending lashings of butter. As the cheese melts, it emulsifies the liquids to form a smooth and rich sauce coating the pasta. In other words, it is a bastardised version of the Italian dish ( pasta al burro e parmigiano). Alfredo di Lelio gave it this name at his restaurants in Rome, in the early to mid 20th century.
The dish became popularized and eventually spread to the United States. The recipe has evolved and its commercialized version is now ubiquitous with heavy cream and other ingredients high in cholesterol.
The dish was so well known that di Lelio was invited to demonstrate it both in Italy and abroad. The fame of the dish, called on Alfredo's menus "maestosissime fettuccine all'Alfredo" 'most majestic fettuccine, Alfredo style', came largely from a "spectacle reminiscent of grand opera" when Alfredo prepared it at the table.Fettuccine Alfredo, minus the spectacle, has now become ubiquitous in Italian-style restaurants outside Italy, although in Italy this dish is usually called simply "fettuccine al burro".

Well so the story goes and I am sorry to have digressed, but to cut a long story short I have found a way to make an equally delicious but lower cholesterol version of pasta Alfredo using cottage cheese.Well here goes and hopefully no coronary side effects...
Cottage Cheese Alfredo
A  less rich,but nevertheless creamy alternative to heavy alfredo, made with cottage cheese.You can play around with the ingredients to create your own taste sensation.I threw in a generous sprinkling of Cajun spice to give it a bit of peppery whoop la la Tastes just like the real thing... or maybe even better!

250g Durum wheat pasta of your choice with no traces of egg
1/2 cup milk (low-fat)

1/2 cup greek yoghurt
1/2 cup cottage cheese,
1 tbsp cornflour
 flor de sal

1 tsp dried basil
generous grating of nutmeg
cracked black pepper pepper
2 large cloves crushed garlic, or more to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
or Pecorino Romano cheese
fresh basil or parsley, to garnish
Put all ingredients, except fresh basil, into food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
Pour mixture in small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat,stirring constantly until heated through and smooth.Check for seasoning as you stir, Adding more parmesan,salt, pepper (or other seasonings), to taste.
Let cook on very low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cooked pasta right before serving and let soak in for a couple minutes.

TIPS:Make double treble or quadruple the quantity and put in the freezer for multiple midweek suppers.You can also use this for a lasagna to replace the bechamel,or as a sauce for your favourite home made gnocchi or gnudi.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Bolinhos de peixe robalo tailandeses no forno

As every canny cook knows, perfectly good fishcakes can be made from leftover mash.They are in my estimation the best leftover,farls aside,that mash can aspire to.In theory, your choice of fish with such a dish is entirely dependent on your leftovers – fishcakes are, as we will see, a very flexible thing.Although most Thai restaurants would serve fish cakes as an appetizer, they are actually a great ingredient to serve as a main dish. Thai fish cakes are traditionally deep-fried, but if you keep the mix quite firm they can be baked, with excellent results. And if you keep bigger chunks of fish in the mix for extra texture, it also means you don't have to drag out the food processor (or clean it later). One of the beauties of the fishcake is how easy it is to play around with: once you've tailored the basics to your satisfaction, the choice of icing on this particular cake is very much up to you. I find that buttery mash makes the finished fishcakes too soft – even after chilling.Baking rather than deep-frying makes fish cakes an easy option.With regards to your choice of fish, leftover fish will bring something a little extra to the mix,it will bring the additional flavours of what it was previously cooked in or seasoned with,in this case fragrant Thai flavours of lemongrass,lime,garlic,fish sauce,chilli,ginger and soya
Bolinhos de peixe robalo tailandeses no forno
makes 6 main course fish cakes or 12 small snack sized fish cakes
You can of course pan-fry these fish cakes like hamburgers, if you prefer.

If frying, use a little more oil than you might think you need, as the fish cakes themselves are very lean.
250g left over firm white-fleshed fish (bass, snapper or ling) picked through for bones
2 tbsp home made Red Curry Paste or commercial paste
2 large spring onions or 4 banana shallots,grated
1 red large red chilli seeded and chopped finely
chopped lime leaves,central vein removed and chopped finely
generous handful of chopped fresh coriander leaves and stalks
egg and breadcrumbs for coating
Spray a baking tray with spray oil.
In a mixing bowl combine first 7 ingredients. Mix well.
Divide into 8 equal round cakes.
Coat with flour, then dip in egg and finally coat with the crumbs.
Place cakes on prepared tray; chill for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile preheat oven to 190c.
Spray cakes with oil and bake, turning once (spray again). They will take about 30 minutes in total to cook.

Monday, 7 May 2018

A Treasonous May,and the demise of The Jersey Royal

British classics pave the way to summer, led by majestic Jersey Royals, asparagus and this year Treasonous May’s crowning glory,Windrush, a truly heinous crime of betraying her country.Lets face it May´s got off to a bad start for the UK this year.
 Making a meal of these seasonal big-hitters could not be further from my mind in these utterly odious and villanous times when individuals of Caribbean descent who have resided in the country for decades would effectively be deported under new immigration rules.For a generation that was basically invited to come and save Britain from detriment, it’s a slap in the face to now be threatened with deportation back to countries where many hold no links after decades of naturalisation in the UK. 
 British Food Wouldn’t Be the Same without the Windrush Generation.The impact Caribbean food had in rebuilding neglected parts of the UK and, in the process, igniting street parties and street food ( ironically now turned into a multi-million pound industry)—is significant.In addition to jobs, Windrush migrants were promised a better quality of life in the UK. This very soon backfired. On arrival, many found themselves ostracised from wider British society and were barred from public spaces, such as pubs and nightclubs. In reaction to this, the Caribbean migrants created their own social spaces. Missing family and sun, they recreated elements of island life in the UK’s cold climate, which often involved music and food. The sound systems of Kingston, Jamaica were recreated in home basements not only in West London but across the country. These parties centred on pulsating Ska rhythms and were fueled by homemade rice and peas, curried meats,banana fritters, and a tot of rum. This pioneering group deserves our praise and adulation, not deportation.The current Conservative government’s treatment of the older British Caribbean community looks unnervingly like a long term strategy to have a group of people come and rebuild untouchable parts of the country, only to kick them out after the process is complete.
The whiff of ethnic cleansing that kicked off last week draws comparison to a world war 2 unexploded bomb which lays buried in the referendum malarky and if not skilfully defused, could go off with devastating consequences for the British  food system. ... The industry has  been screaming blue Brexit murder about its need for migrant workers. Now the government faces not only that but ...the demise of an annual national tradition, Jersey royal potatoes.Under the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union Jersey Royals are covered by a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO).
The potato's short season,is usually from April to mid-July.On the Channel Islands, the outdoor growing season is normally well under way this month, but not so this year.The lateness is thanks to months of severe frosts and persistent rain leaving farmland saturated.However, the shortage of Polish workers in particular has led to fewer seed potatoes being planted.Around 1,000 foreign workers are needed to plant and harvest the potatoes and other crops on Jersey but farmers have reported that they are struggling to recruit staff. Since the turn of the century, many of the 1,000 positions had been filled by Polish workers.
 This year’s harvest of one of England’s best loved crops has been hit by a shortage of migrant workers because of Brexit.A combination of ‘bad weather and Brexit’ means this year’s Jersey Royal potatoes will have their latest arrival in living memory.The first of the 2018 crop appeared a month later than normal – with growers predicting that production could be 20% down.According to The Guardian, some farmers are already hiring staff from outside the EU, including Kenya. The farmers’ union was forced to work with a recruitment agency to bring in staff from Romania.The inclement weather also has compounded issues in finding foreign labour to help with the harvest after Polish workers – who had provided the majority of the 1,000-plus seasonal labour for a decade – reportedly abandoned Jersey following the Brexit vote.The food and drink sector could now face significant EU tariffs and potentially cause supply chain disruptions.
Polish Nationals are often blamed for many things, their contribution to the Battle of Britain has been conveniently forgotten. As has the contribution of many other "grandfathers" that died during WW2 to protect Britain - it does not stop the "my grandad died fighting for this country" when justifying the anti foreigner/Muslim/Black verbal vomit.Let us just cast our minds back to June 2016 and  the days following Britain’s vote to leave the EU, the country was shocked by a spate of anti-Polish hate crimes, including the desecration of a Polish cultural centre in London. Xenophobic incidents were widely reported. In this febrile atmosphere it behoves all British citizens to look back to another time when Europe was in crisis and remember the sacrifices made by a former generation of Polish migrants for "their island race".The comfortably retired bigots of middle England must realise and not be allowed to forget that these migrant workers who put the potatoes on their plates are the descendants of those that helped their country win the war. Last but not least the recipe.......

Herb-roasted Jersey Royals with Cucumber and Paprika Dip

1kg (2lb 4oz) Jersey Royals, scrubbed
2 tbsp olive oil
1tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g (4oz) low fat Greek-style yogurt
300g tub light soft cheese with garlic and herbs
¼ cucumber, finely chopped
½ tsp paprika, plus extra for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 200˚C, fan oven 180˚C, Gas Mark 6
Cook the Jersey Royals in lightly salted boiling water until almost tender - about 10-15 minutes. Drain well.Tip the Jersey Royals into a roasting pan and add the olive oil, rosemary and thyme. Season with a little salt and black pepper, then toss to coat. Roast for 25-30 minutes, until browned.
Meanwhile, make the dip by mixing together the yogurt, soft cheese, cucumber and paprika. Serve with the Jersey Royals, sprinkled with a little extra paprika.

Tip: These potatoes make a great seasonal nibble to serve with drinks.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

The better the stock, the greater the paella

History accords that paella combines the Roman and Arabic cultures. Arab conquerors introduced rice in Valencia. The word “paella,” may have stemmed from the Arabic word “baquia,” which means leftovers.So, historically, paella was introduced as the delicious solution to leftovers. And depending on where you live, you would utilize ingredients available in that region. It makes sense then that there are so many variations of paella today.Undoubtably, paella is Spain's proudest culinary achievement.Together with the actual cooking of the rice, making the best possible stock is the single most important step when making any paella recipe.A proper fish stock is essential if you want to get the same depth and richness of flavour for paella as the Spanish do.
Home made prawn stock
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
6 cloves of garlic
4tbsp good quality olive oil
1 tbsp smoked sweet paprika
2 fresh bay leaves
shells and heads from 30-40  large prawns, from sustainable sources
200 ml dry white wine
1 litre home made fish stock
 Start by making the stock. Peel and roughly chop the onion, then peel the garlic, keeping them whole.
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat and sauté the onion, garlic, paprika, bay leaves and prawn shells and heads for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the wine and fish stock and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until it starts to reduce.
Strain through a colander into a large jug and set aside until needed (when you come to make the paella, just reheat the stock until hot, but not boiling).

Paella de cerdo con gambas chouriço y espinaca
Pork and prawn paella
serves 6

7 tablespoons olive oil
550g pork fillet cut into strips

30 raw prawns,shelled
200g mild cooking chouriço, cut into small pieces
2 large Spanish onions, finely chopped
2 large green peppers, halved seeded and finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
375g calasparra(paella) rice
2 teaspoons sweet smoked Spanish paprika
2 ñoras peppers, torn into small pieces and infused in boiling water
litre and a half home made prawn stock(recipe above)
500g spinach, washed and drained
1 lemon cut into wedges
Flor de sal and black pepper
In a 30-40cm paella pan or frying pan, heat the olive oil over a high heat, then stir-fry the pork for a few seconds so it is still a little undercooked. season with salt and pepper.Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and put to one side.Fry the prawns in the same pan until coloured.Remove from the pan and set aside with the pork. Turn down the heat to a low to medium temperature and fry the chouriço for a minute. Add the onion and green pepper and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for a further 5-10 minutes. At this point the mixture ( recheado) should have caramelised and taste sweet. stir the rice into the pan to coat in the flavoursome mixture for a minute.
( up to this point everything can be cooked in advance. The next stage requires about 20 minutes more cooking time).
Now season with salt and a little pepper, for this is the time to season the rice perfectly. add your paprika and Nõras peppers, drained of their water, followed by the hot stock, and simmer for 15 minutes or until there is just a thin layer of liquid around the rice.
Meanwhile in a large saucepan or wok, briefly wilt the spinach with a little salt, either by braising or steaming, and put to one side with the pork fillet.Evenly scatter the pork over the rice followed by the spinach. With the back of a wooden spoon gently push the pork and spinach partially into the oily liquid that remains at the bottom of the pan. Cover the paella tightly with foil and let it sit for 3-5 minutes.