I once asked two Frenchmen whether duck was essential to a good cassoulet. Big mistake. Almost immediately, the dinner we were at took on a remarkably serious - and sour - tone. One was fervently of the view that duck was indeed a sine qua non of the famously hearty dish, the other accused him of being a ‘puriste absurde’. The evening never really recovered. I begged our hostess for forgiveness as a simple rosbif, but truth be told I found it all very invigorating. We should care – passionately – about the food that we eat, where it comes from and how we prepare it. The French don't have the monopoly on this, of course. The Spanish do a good line it too. And that’s why – despite having cooked hundreds of the things – I’ve never shared a ‘recipe’ for paella. It’s simply struck me as too controversial. It leads to all sorts of theological arguments about when a paella becomes a more simple arroz, what precise amount of stock makes a rice dish caldoso or not, whether genuine paella can actually even exist outside of Valencia, and whether or not soccorat is something to aim for or simply hope for. But:
- Paella is an amazing Sunday lunch
- It’s actually very easy to make
- And a huge amount of the produce on our site lends itself to the dish
So I’m giving in. Here - but with absolutely no guarantees and all the caveats above - is Omar Allibhoy, aka The Spanish Chef, making a magnificent paella de mariscos. Happy Sunday, NickPS – ni hablar del chorizo ridículo de Jamie Oliver….