Sunday brought round for Steph and I our weekly jaunt to the Stockbridge farmers market, although we had been resolved to the idea of walking as part of our healthy January the sight of the snow quickly lead to a strategic decision to get the bus instead, an afternoon gym session that lay ahead justified this to us easily.
With it being still the start of the year not all of the producers are back from their well earned breaks but the stalls still hold a wealth of fantastic produce. The Stockbridge Market does lack one thing to my mind, a true Scottish seafood stall, Ridleys Fish & Game however hailing from Northumbria more than make up for this shortfall as I have said before. Their game selection as I have also said before is superb and this week we decided to go for a selection of their seafood.
With funds tight in January we had decided dinner had to incorporate the king prawns we had at home but we still wanted something a little special to beat the Sunday blues. A seafood paella was agreed upon, from the good people at Ridleys I got 4 langoustine, a piece of monkfish, a few handfulls of mussels and a squid.
To prepare dinner I started by cooking the langoustine in my pan with a little oil for 3/4minutes, letting them cool and then removing them from their shells, I then cooked the prawns and medallions of monkfish in the same pan and left to one side. Using the same pan I added oil, the langoustine shells and a combo of thyme, sweet and hot paprika and a little cayenne. I fried off the shells then added half a glass of dry white wine and reduced then half a pint of water. This will make a brilliant stock for later.
I cooked off the stock for 15 minutes then strained into a jug, I added boiling water until I had a pint of liquid. Back to our pan and in went 2 cloves of garlic, 1 red pepper, 1 yellow pepper and one onion with some oil. Cook till soft. Now add thyme as well as sweet and hot paprika, a large teaspoon of each. Fry for 1-2 minutes and then add your arborio rice. I used a mug full. Fry the rice for 2-3 minutes mixing well. To loosen the mixture add some of your fish stock and add a teaspoon of saffron, now put in a tin of chopped tomatoes and 2/3 of your fish stock. Put the heat to simmer, try not to stir at this point and let the rice cook and soften. After 10 minutes check the rices progress and add more stock if required.
Check the rice and taste your sauce, season as required. If your rice is cooked it time to get your seafood in. I started with the mussels, burying them throughout the pan – in the pan they will take 5-6 minutes to cook sufficiently. Shortly after I added the rings of squid then monkfish and finally the prawns. Mix well ensuring even coverage of your fish across the pan. Season with lemon juice and parsley and you are almost ready to serve. To finish I took a separate pan and with a little oil finished off the langoustine, these are too precious to be mixed in and once cooked I added to the plate once the paella was dished out :)!
What you have is a delicious meal using some of the best of Scottish seafood with a real taste of summer that will warm you on even the coldest of nights. Seafood paella is highly Jd Recommended.