Spiced tomato based Paella rice dish with chunks of blue swimming crab
This recipe, like many good recipes came from me experimenting with store cupboard ingredients and some leftover fresh ingredients. I wished to make a rice dish which was distinctly different from classic rice dishes such as risotto, paella and jambalaya. I am so happy with the results I have decided to share this recipe with you, in the hope you will give it a try.
The flavour base of the dish comes from a fried mixture of chilli, bell pepper, garlic, celery and red onion. This is softened then rice is added along with a spice mixture, this is fried and gently stirred until each grain is coated. White win is then added and cooked off followed by diced tomato flesh, stock, a little water herbs and seasoning. The rice is simmered until it has softened and the juices have almost been cooked off. For the last few minutes chunks of blue swimming crab are carefully placed on top, the steam and residual heat gently warms the crab through. Just before serving the crab is gently stirred through the rice using the back of a wooden spoon, to ensure the chunks don’t break up and get lost in the rice.
I think this dish is a real winner, its simple to cook with a simply fantastic flavour.
Serves two people
preparation 15 minutes, cooking time 35-40 minutes
Ingredients and method
150-170g Blue swimming crab chunks (from tin) – drain before adding to rice
2 large red chillies – remove stalk/seeds, finely dice
1 yellow bell pepper – finely diced
4 cloves garlic – peel, crush, finely chop
2 sticks celery – finely diced
2 red onions – finely diced
150g Paella rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
75ml dry white wine
6 round tomatoes – remove skin and seeds, then dice
500ml chicken stock
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp chilli powder
1.5 tsp smoked sweet paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley
2 tsp brown sugar
Generous handful coriander leaf – roughly chop, half for dish, half for garnish
Lime wedges – for garnish
Sea salt and black pepper – for grinding
Method: Start by heating 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a deep flat frying pan then add then chopped chilli, garlic, celery, red onion and yellow bell pepper. Fry over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened.
Add the rice then add the spice mixture – 1 tsp cumin, coriander, chilli and 1.5tsp smoked paprika. Stir well until the rice, spices and fried mixture is combined and each grain of rice is coated. Fry and gently stir for 1-2 minutes until all liquid in the pan is absorbed by the rice then pour in the white wine and stir gently until it is cooked off.
Once the wine is cooked off add the diced tomato flesh, 500ml chicken stock and a generous pinch of saffron. Next add 1 tsp dried oregano, basil and parsley, 2 tsp brown sugar, 150ml water , half the chopped coriander and sprinkle of salt (not too much as there is salt in the stock) and a generous amount of ground black pepper. Gently stir, bring to the boil then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Leave to cook uncovered for 25-30 minutes until the liquid is nearly cooked off and the rice is plump and tender. If the rice is not ready simply add an extra 50ml water, stir through and give it an extra 5-10 minutes.
Once the liquid is nearly cooked off add the crab chunks along with a little more chopped coriander, place across the surface of the rice as it simmers away allowing the steam to warm the crab through. Once the liquid has been fully cooked off use the back of a wooden spoon and very gently fold the crab through the dish. Serve with a garnish of coriander leaf and lime wedges.