Delicious, healthy and great value
This tasty paella features one of Scotland's finest shellfish, rope grown MSC certified mussels from Shetland. These bivalve molluscs were a steal at £3.50/kg from Edinburgh Farmers' Market and are packed full of protein and nutrients like vitamin B12 and iron.
Once you've purchased your live mussels, get them home and keep them in the net or bag in a drawer at the bottom on the fridge. I clean them by running under cold running water, while pulling off any 'beards' (the feathery bits) and scraping any barnacles off with a small blunt knife. Then I put them in a bowl or colander back in the fridge covered with a clean tea towel while getting on with the rest of the paella using the following recipe:
- 500g fresh mussels
- knob of butter and slug of olive oil
- 2 banana shallots, finely diced
- 300g risotto rice
- small glass white wine (and one for the cook)
- 500ml chicken or veg stock
- pinch of saffron
- 125g spicy chorizo, diced
- one green and one red pepper, roughly chopped
- 1 large vine tomato, cut into eighths
- lemon wedges and handful fresh basil or flat leaf parsley to garnish
- black pepper to season
- large frying pan, saute pan or shallow casserole with lid
- chopping board and cook's knife
- large saucepan or wok with lid
- wooden and slotted spoons
- measuring jug
- Heat the butter and oil in the frying pan on a lowish heat. When foaming add the shallots and fry gently till softening. Add the rice and fry for a minute more.
- Meanwhile make up the stock and stir in the saffron.
- Add the white wine to the pan, let it sizzle and evaporate a bit, then stir in a ladle of stock.
- Cook the rice mixture on a low heat till it has absorbed most of the stock. Keep stirring and adding stock a ladle at a time till most of it has been absorbed and the rice is nearly cooked. Add some hot water if you run out of stock.
- Add the chorizo and peppers and cook for another few minutes till the chorizo oils come out and the peppers start to soften.
- Cover and turn off the heat. Put the mussels in the saucepan (no need for any stock or seasoning), Cover with the lid and cook for about five minutes on a medium heat. They are ready when they are all open and have released all their musselly juices.
- Drain them off and discard any mussels that are still closed. Add to the paella with the tomatoes, garnish and a good grinding of black pepper to taste.