I do like my kitchen gadgets and unusual pots and pans. When I came back from a trip to York with a Paella pan, the other half was less than impressed. “How often do you make Paella?”

I took this as a bit of a challenge and at least try and make a couple a year in order to prove my point.

Pealla is the perfect meal when cooking for five or more, if you add a lot of interesting and different seafood to it, it looks pretty spectacular when you bring it out to serve your guests. Just remember to ask if your guest eat seafood (mussels in particular).



As we were having friends round for dinner on a Friday, I needed to get all the fresh ingredients at lunch time so I headed to Leeds market.

By wondering along the fish stalls I was able to buy fresh squid, langoustines, mussels and prawns. From one of the many Butchers I bought belly draft pork and chicken supremes.

I had some Three Pigs chorizo and the other ingredients at home already.

To make my Paella I loosely used Jamie Oliver’s recipe I usually use way too much chorizo and add in other seafood that i stumble upon, to the point that you can’t really see the rice, (trust me it is in there…somewhere).

Some people  get a little squeamish when preparing seafood, once you have the know how it is really simple. Here are some tips below:


  • Store them in a colander and cover with a damp cloth and leave at the bottom of the fridge until you need them.
  • Before cooking mussels you need to make sure they are closed. If you come across any that are open, simply give them a little tap. If this does not work discard them.
  • Scrub with a stiff brush under cold water, remember to remove any beards by pulling away at them.



  • Pull the tentacles away from the body of the squid.
  • Remove the quill (it resembles a shard of plastic) pull it out of the squid and discard.
  • Rinse inside the body of the squid in cold water.
  • Cut the tentacles away from the guts by slicing just below the eyes. Make sure that you don’t cut the ink sack.
  • Either slice the body of the squid into rings, or cut down one side of it, open it out, scrape away any traces of guts left inside the body, then score the inside lightly in a cross-hatch pattern. I prefer circles in my Paella.
  • Lay the squid on kitchen paper before cooking to ensure it’s dry.



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