Monday, March 22, 2010

Recipe: Saffron Vegetarian Paella

I wasn't really sure what to call this. This is one of my Mum's fabulous recipes, that she has been making for me since i was very little, and she always called it "Saffron Risotto". When i come to cook it- in terms of the ingredients i would say it is more of a paella, but anyone could tell me that the recipe is in no way traditional. Its just a yummy rice dish i guess. Very unique flavour. This recipe was also published in local magazine Pukka Bath!

Saffron Vegetarian Paella (serves 4) £1.55 per serving (without extra garnish ingredients)

Large Pinch saffron
85g butter
1 red pepper, cut into strips
225g button mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 red onions, chopped
225g Arborio rice
175g frozen peas
3 ripe tomatoes, skinned and chopped
½ tsp salt, black pepper
30g toasted flaked almonds (extra for garnish)
60g grated cheddar (extra for garnish)
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (extra for garnish)

1. Crush the saffron to a rough powder, and mix into 600ml boiling water.
2. Heat the butter in a large pan, and cook the mushrooms, red peppers and garlic for 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the red peppers and mushrooms and set aside.
3. Fry the onions in the remaining butter for 5 minutes, covered. Mix in the rice, add the saffron water and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer gently and cook covered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the peas, tomatoes, seasoning, and simmer covered for a further 5 minutes.
5. Stir in the nuts, cheese, parsley and the reserved peppers and mushrooms. Cook for five minutes or until the cheese has melted, and the ingredients are well mixed and hot. Season to taste and serve.

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