Friday Foodie: Lindsey Bareham – Monkfish, Squid & Chorizo Paella

Monkfish

This entry from The Trifle Bowl & Other Tales is all about the paella pan. Earlier this year we went camping at Wowo, a firm favourite family-friendly campsite in Sussex. On the Friday night we made arrangements with a paella man, who delivered an enormous paella for our group. It certainly kicked off the camping weekend and it was actually kind of nice to have a night off working the campfire. Once we got the tents up, beds made, lanterns hung and kids sorted, we could really relax. Ever since, I’ve been yearning for a paella pan of my own to position over the campfire. It’s a great way to feed your camping buddies, and everyone can take turns with the stirring. This is a delicious recipe from Lindsey Bareham and one that can happily be transferred to a campfire. Just put the peppers over the flames to blacken rather than in the oven. It’s probably quicker anyway…. I imagine making this at a campsite near the sea where fresh seafood can be bought from the fisherman himself.

“Pretty much anything goes in the name of paella, but the favourite combination in my household is spicy chorizo with mildly flavoured, creamy and meaty monkfish or tender (and blessedly inexpensive) squid, with a few prawns to finish,” says Bareham. “A good tip from food photographer Jason Lowe – who cooked three paellas, each for fifty, for his wedding feast – is to cover the paella with spinach for its 10-minute (covered) rest before serving, then stir it into the paella with a pesto-style paste made with flat-leaf parsley, garlic, saffron and a slick of olive oil. This optional extra gives the paella a burst of vitality, livening up the look as well as the flavour of the dish.”

Here’s the what:

1 large Spanish onion or 400g tin of  Eazy onions

4 large garlic cloves, preferably new season

150g Iberico chorizo

2 pointed red peppers

4 tbsp olive oil

1 large beef tomato or 5 plum tomatoes

2 very generous pinches of saffron threads, softened in 1 tbsp hot water

1kg monkfish tail fillet or 500g

monkfish tail and 500g small prepared squid

350g Bomba, Calasparra or Arborio

rice

1 litre fish stock, light chicken stock or water

8 large shell-on raw prawns or 12 medium-sized ones

350g young spinach

2 large lemons

For the parsley paste:

60g bunch flat-leaf parsley

4 garlic cloves

2 generous pinches of saffron

threads, softened in 4 tbsp hot

water

3 tbsp olive oil

Heat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Keeping separate piles, peel, halve and finely chop the onion and garlic. Sprinkle the garlic with ½ teaspoon of salt and use the flat of a small knife to crush it to a paste. Run a knife down the chorizo and peel away the skin. Slice chunkily. Arrange the peppers on a roasting tin and bake for 10 minutes, then turn and repeat. Remove to a plate, cover with clingfilm, leave for  10 minutes, then remove the skin. Halve lengthways, scrape away the seeds and chop.

Heat the oil in a 35cm diameter paella pan or in two large frying pans placed over a medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic and cook for 3–4 minutes before adding the chorizo. Cook for a further couple of minutes to release some of the fat and flavour from the chorizo. Pour boiling water over the tomato. Count to 20, drain and remove the skin. Chop the tomato. Add the peppers to the onion. Stir well, then add the tomato and saffron. Leave to cook while you remove any trace of the slimy membrane covering the monkfish and chop it into kebab-size pieces. If using squid, remove the tentacles from inside the sac and quarter the sac lengthways.

Stir the seafood into the onion mixture. Increase the heat slightly and cook for 5 minutes to seal the fish. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the unwashed rice and cook for a couple of minutes while you heat up the stock. Stir the stock into the pan, return to boiling then reduce the heat to a steady simmer. Cook for 20 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed into the rice and the grains are swollen and tender. If necessary, fold the food together rather than stir it, encouraging the paella to cook evenly. Push the prawns into the rice, and when they turn pink, cover the entire paella with the spinach leaves.

Cover with foil and punch a few steam holes. Weight the foil with folded newspapers and leave for at least 10 minutes. To make the parsley paste, blitz the parsley leaves, peeled garlic, saffron liquid and olive oil, adding extra water if too stiff. To serve, fold the wilted spinach and parsley paste into the rice. Serve the paella from the pan, with lemon wedges.

Camp + Cook: Lindsey Bareham – Persian Kebabs with Beetroot and Anchovy Salad

Persian Kebabs

I had a completely differently post planned for today. But it’s 25 degrees in London and no-one wants to think about woollen blankets from the Netherlands no matter how beautiful they are! So I’m skipping to our new Camp + Cook featuring recipes from the wonderful Lindsey Bareham’s new book The Trifle Bowl and Other Tales. I have enjoyed Bareham’s cooking since I bought her delightful book The Big Red Book of Tomatoes way back in 2000. This recipe is divine and a great one for the campfire this gorgeously hot weekend, or even for your backyard BBQ if you’re not lucky enough to be camping this weekend.

“It’s always intriguing to come across a recipe with a seemingly random ingredient that proves to be the making of the dish,” says Bareham. “That’s the case with these gorgeously meaty kebabs, and bicarbonate of soda is the curiosity. While its effect seems to encourage stickiness, you will get the best results if the mix of the minced lamb and beef is quite fatty to retain moisture and juiciness. The meat is seasoned only with grated onion, salt, pepper and the bicarb. It is kneaded like dough and ends up almost like a paste that is easily formed into big, fat sausages to thread on flat stainless steel skewers. As the kebabs cook, they are basted with melted butter seasoned with crushed garlic and a hint of lime. the last of the butter is mixed with chopped parsley to give a bright green finish to the Persian-style koobideh. Serve with rice, pickled green chillies, crusty bread, hummus and this agrodolce beetroot salad livened up with anchovies. The latter is also very good with hard-boiled eggs or feta cheese.”

Here’s the what:

2 medium onions

500g minced lamb, preferably shoulder

500g minced beef

2 tsp salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

125g unsalted butter

2 garlic cloves, crushed

a squeeze of lime or lemon

2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves

For the beetroot salad:

approx 900g medium-small beetroot

1 large lemon

2 red onions, approx 200g

2 tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp dried crushed chillies

1 tbsp Belazu balsamic vinegar

200g sun-drenched/sun-blushed tomatoes in oil

10 pickled garlic cloves, from a jar

1 tbsp capers

100g Adriatic anchovy fillets

1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

Here’s the how:

Peel and halve the onions. Grate on the large hole of a box grater into a mixing bowl. Add the minced meat, salt, pepper and bicarb. Mix, then knead with your hands for 5 minutes until smooth and almost like a paste. Leave for 15 minutes at room temperature, then, with damp hands, form into 10 or 12 small orange-size balls. Roll into sausage-shapes, transferring them to a plate as you go. Cover with cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours. (I would do this before going camping and keep them in my cooler). Thread on to flat skewers when you are ready to cook.

Make the baste by melting the butter, then stir in the crushed garlic and a squeeze of lime. When the coals are ready (or the ridged griddle very hot), BBQ without resting the meat on the grill if possible, i.e. with one end of the skewer on the back edge and the other on the front. Baste with melted butter as you turn the kabobs, cooking until done to your liking. Mix the parsley into the last of the butter and smear the kebabs before serving.

To make the salad, cook the unpeeled beets in boiling, salted water in a covered pan for about 20 minutes, until just tender to the point of a knife. Drain, then slip into your Marigolds and rub off the skin. With fork and knife, trim away any stalk and cut the beets into kebab-sized chunks. Squeeze the lemon over the top and season with salt and the chilli flakes. Cook for a couple of minutes, then remove from the heat. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook briefly until syrupy.

Tip the tomatoes into a sieve to drain. Slice the garlic into think rounds. Add the prepared beets, tomatoes, capers and garlic into thick rounds. Add the prepared beets, tomatoes, capers and garlic. Stir, then tip on to a platter. Decorate with anchovy fillets and garnish with parsley.