Chicken and Chorizo Paella

Chicken and Chorizo Paella

I’m not getting into an argument about whether chorizo belongs in a paella or not – I like to add some cubes of chorizo and think that this improves the flavour. END OF.

The paella is cooked over the flames shortly after the fire is lit. The idea is to use the heat from the flames to fry the onions, meat and other ingredients, before adding the rice and the stock and then cooking over a more constant heat once the fire has died down a bit.

We lit the fire at 13:00 and the paella was ready at 14:00.

One of the secrets to making a good paella is to get a beautiful layer of the caramelised socarrat on the bottom of the pan. You can see how much liquid is left and by cooking the paella for a final 10 minutes on a gentle flame when there is not much liquid left, you should get the socarrat of your dreams.




  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green pepper, finely chopped and 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 3 or 4 tomatoes, coarsely grated
  • pinch of saffron
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of green beans
  • 1 cup of garrofones (large, flat butter beans)
  • 1 cup of frozen baby artichokes
  • 20cm stick chorizo, cubed
  • chicken stock
  • 60g paella rice per person
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil extra virgin
  • water


  1. In a pestle and mortar, grind the saffron, garlic and a pinch of salt. Add a tablespoon or so of water and leave to infuse.
  2. Heat some olive oil in the paella pan.
  3. Add the onion and quickly fry over the flame for a minute or so.
  4. Add the green pepper and the red pepper and fry quickly.
  5. Add the chopped chorizo and fry.
  6. Add the grated tomatoes and fry for a further minute.
  7. Add the green beans, garrofones and artichokes.
  8. Sprinkle in the rice and stir well.
  9. Stir in the saffron/garlic mixture.
  10. Add the stock and the white and green beans and mix well.
  11. The rice will take about 40 minutes to cook. It is important to make sure that it has enough liquid for the first 30 minutes or so, so sprinkle over more water as required. You can always cover with a lid to ensure that the rice cooks properly.
  12. The socarrat will caramelise during the last 10-15 minutes of the cooking time so you want to ensure that the paella is moist enough by now and not add any more water than necessary.
  13. When the rice is cooked, you can leave covered for 10 minutes so that all the liquid is absorbed.
  14. Serve.

Sausage Pasta

This is a recipe for sausage pasta.



    • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
    • 2 stalks of celery, finely diced
    • 1 carrot, diced
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 500g pork sausage meat, split into small pieces
    • 1/2 cup of white wine
    • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 1 teaspoon ground fennel
    • a pinch chilli
    • 1 can tomatoes
    • 2 tablespoons tomato sauce
    • pasta
    • parsley
    • Parmesan cheese


  1. Heat the olive oil in a stainless steel frying pan.
  2. Gently fry the onion, garlic, carrot and celery until soft, seasoning with salt and pepper.
  3. Transfer the vegetables to a dish.
  4. Fry the sausage pieces until golden brown.
  5. Add the fennel, bay leaf and wine.
  6. Add the vegetables, can of tomatoes and tomato sauce and cook for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, cook the pasta.
  8. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with Parmesan cheese.

Prawn and Garlic Pasta

prawn garlic pasta



This prawn and garlic pasta dish is easy to prepare and takes about 15 minutes to make.

prawn and garlic pasta


  • spaghetti or linguine
  • 360g frozen prawns
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • a bunch of parsley with the leaves and stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 small tin of anchovies, finely chopped
  • a pinch of chilli powder
  • a can of tomatoes or 500g cherry tomatoes
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato sauce


  1. Heat the water for the pasta in a large saucepan with a teaspoon of salt.
  2. Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large, deep frying pan.
  3. Add the garlic, parsley and anchovies and grind in some black pepper.
  4. Fry for a couple of minutes and then add the tomatoes and tomato sauce and mash well to break up the tomatoes.
  5. Add the prawns, a splash of white wine and a knob of butter and mix well.
  6. When the pasta is cooked, transfer to a colander, saving back some of the cooking liquid.
  7. Put the pasta into the frying pan and mix well.
  8. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

Cooking Long-Grain Brown Rice in a Pressure Cooker


I don’t normally like talking about nutrition on this blog but it is generally accepted that wholegrain brown rice is better for you than white rice thanks to the extra nutrients, protein and fibre that it contains.

Cooking it, on the other hand, can be quite tricky and if you’re not lucky, it can turn into a sticky, stodgy mess.

The idea behind this post is to describe a fail-safe method for cooking brown rice using a pressure cooker with times that can be relied on to produce consistently perfect results.



  • Boil some water in a kettle.
  • Put 1 cup of brown rice in a pressure cooker with 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • Add 2 cups of boiling water.
  • Stir well and close the pressure cooker.
  • Bring to pressure.
  • Time 25 minutes.
  • Remove the pressure cooker from the heat and time an additional 5 minutes.
  • Quick release the pressure by placing the pressure cooker in the sink and running cold water over the lid.
  • Test the rice.
  • If it is done, leave the lid off for a few minutes for the steam to escape.
  • If it not done, cover with the lid and leave for another 5 minutes before checking again.

If I’m cooking rice, I normally allow 1/3 cup of white rice per person but 1/2 cup of brown rice per person.

Spinach and Ricotta Pasta

We’ve been fairly self-sufficient recently in terms of green vegetables and the broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussel spouts have kept us going through the winter months. The other day, I spotted some perpetual spinach and so thought I would do something different with it. Here is a recipe for pasta with spinach and ricotta. I used wholewheat macaroni but you could use anything.



  • 200g pasta
  • 200g ricotta
  • fresh spinach
  • salt and pepper
  • cheddar or parmesan cheese, grated
  • extra virgin olive oil


  1. Heat some salted water for the pasta.
  2. Wilt the spinach in a frying pan with a splash of water.
  3. Roughly chop the spinach.
  4. Cook the pasta.
  5. Heat some oil and a knob of butter in a frying pan and gently fry the garlic.
  6. Add the spinach, the ricotta and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pasta to the frying pan and mix well.
  8. Add some more of the pasta cooking liquid if necessary.
  9. Serve and sprinkle with grated cheese.