This may be my favourite recipe for feeding a crowd; I absolutely adore it. Each bite is bursting with so much flavour and everyone I’ve served this to loves it, including a Spanish man, which says a lot! I was inspired to make this by a dish I tried in Colombia which was made from brown rice, spices and coconut milk; I loved it so much that I’ve been experimenting with the combination ever since and this is my best version!
2 red peppers, sliced
200g chestnut mushrooms, chopped
300g frozen peas
200g green beans
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
4 teaspoons paprika
juice of 3 lemons, plus more lemons to serve
4 garlic cloves, crushed
about 24 cherry tomatoes
1 teaspoon saffron threads
500g short-grain brown rice
400ml can of coconut milk
15g bunch of fresh coriander, finely chopped
Add the red peppers and mushrooms to a large saucepan with the peas, green beans, cayenne, paprika, the juice of 1 lemon, a generous amount of olive oil, the garlic and salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the veggies are starting to soften.
Meanwhile, chop the tomatoes into quarters. Add the tomatoes and saffron to the mix, then, a couple of minutes later, stir in the rice and coconut milk, adding 700ml of water.
Place the lid on the pan and bring the paella to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let it cook for 1 hour. Try not to stir it too much during this time, just every 20 minutes or so to ensure the rice isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pan.
After 1 hour the rice should feel cooked but still a little al dente. Stir in the juice of the remaining 2 lemons.
Place the paella in bowls, with lemon wedges on the side, sprinkling the chopped coriander on top.
If you want to make this heartier, stir in some boiled potatoes halfway through. Or, if you’re a fish eater, add some fish fillets or prawns to it, too, 5-10 minutes before the end of cooking.
Recipe from Deliciously Ella Every Day by Ella Woodward, published by Hachette Australia on 27 January 2016, RRP $29.99. Buy the book here.
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