D and I are exceptionally fond of pretty much any foodstuff that comes out of the sea and a pretty large proportion of our meals feature fish or seafood of some kind. Recently, his father gave us a huge bag of frozen mussels which we’ve been eating our way through and the following recipe (adapted from one in an old WW cookbook) entered our meal rotation as a particularly delicious way to use them. I should say that it’s only a paella in the loosest sense of the word (I sense generations of Spaniards looking around for kitchen implements to hurl at me for accosting it). I should also say that it would probably be equally delicious made with one of those frozen seafood mixes that you can pick up in the supermarket, or with fat prawns. Some finely diced chorizo sausage added at the initial stages would be good too, although obviously would up the points.
Tsp olive oil
Clove of garlic, crushed
Red pepper, chopped
110g risotto rice
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Pinch of saffron
50ml dry sherry
450ml chicken or vegetable stock
200g frozen unshelled mussels (defrost before using)
Serves 2, 5.5 points per person
Warm the oil and gently soften the onion for a couple of minutes. As it starts to sweat, chuck in the garlic and the pepper and continue to cook, gently. Meanwhile, add the saffron to the sherry to infuse.
Stir through the risotto rice and the spices and thoroughly combine.
Add the sherry (which should now be a lovely golden colour) and allow to bubble off. Then pour over the hot stock, bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
Next in are the peas, which cook for about 5 minutes. Then finally, the defrosted mussles for another minute or so – they require very little cooking so really you’re just warming them through here.
Et voila! (or whatever the Spanish equivalent is).