Paella is Spain’s national dish. Although traditionally not served using seafood, this is now nearly the norm in the UK.
Author: Paul Higham
Recipe type: Rice
- 4 raw, unshelled tiger prawns
- 90ml olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 500ml good-quality fish stock
- 150g sustainable monkfish, cut into chunks
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 200g chopped tomatoes
- 50ml dry white wine
- Pinch of saffron soaked in 1 tbsp hot water
- 200g Calasparra or other short-grain rice
- 150g baby squid, cut into rings
- 150g broad beans
- 150g mussels, scrubbed
- Handful of flat-leaf parsley to garnish
- ½ lemon, cut into wedges
- Shell the prawns and put the flesh aside. Heat 1 tsbp olive oil in a large pan and gently sauté one clove of chopped garlic for two minutes. Add the prawn heads and tails and sauté, stirring to break them up, for three minutes. Pour in the stock and simmer gently for 30 minutes, then strain, season to taste and keep warm.
- Heat the remaining oil in a 26cm paella or other wide, thin-based pan and add the monkfish. Sauté for five minutes until slightly browned, then remove and set aside. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, then stir in the paprika and cook for one minute. Tip in the tomatoes and wine, turn up the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the squid and beans.
- Stir in the rice to coat well so it forms an even layer, then add 400ml stock and the saffron and soaking water. Simmer vigorously for 10 minutes then arrange the monkfish, mussels and prawns on the top of the dish, pushing them well into the rice but not otherwise disturbing it. Cook for about eight minutes – if the dish looks very dry before the rice has cooked completely then add the rest of the stock, bearing in mind it shouldn’t be at all soupy.
- Cover the dish with foil and take off the heat. Allow to rest for 10 minutes then garnish with flat-leaf parsley and wedges of lemon.
Barm Cakes Recipe
Author: Paul Higham
Recipe type: Bread
- 1lb strong white flour
- 1 teaspoon salt. 2oz lard
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar. 1oz fresh yeast
- 10 fl oz warm milk and water, mixed.
- Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and rub in the fat until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add half the sugar, Cream the yeast with the remaining sugar and add to the warm liquid. Leave until frothy; about 5 minutes. Pour the liquid into the flour and work to a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
- Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with clean tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
- Knead the dough again and divide into 10 pieces. Shape into rounds and flatten them with rolling pin until about half an inch thick, make a dimple with finger in the center of each, and place on a greased baking tin.
- Cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place to prove for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, set your oven to 450F or Mark 8. Sprinkle each roll with a little flour and bake for 20 minutes, or until just nicely coloured. Wrap in a clean tea towel to keep them soft as they cool.
Make ham at home
Ham and bacon are one of the easiest cured meats to make at home. As well as being able to control exactly what goes into it, you can vary the cure until you get something that is near perfect for your taste. Ham has a long tradition of being made in the British Isles and with prices of tasteless imported ham from overseas dominating the supermarkets, there has never been a better time to make your own.
Author: Paul Higham
Recipe type: Home Curing
- 1 leg of pork
- 1.8 Kg of salt
- 80g of saltpetre
- 1.5 Ib sugar
- The first thing is to get hold of a fresh leg of pork. If you have your own pigs, your away. But otherwise most butchers should be able to sort you out. Luckily I live in St Anne’s and we have a fantastic butchers called Giglis. They only sell pork from Gloucester Old Spot rare breed pigs and the meat is second to none.
- In this recipe I am using saltpetre. Most people now recommend using sodium nitrate instead of potassium nitrate (saltpetre) but I have never had a problem with it and have just bought 3 kg of it from a butcher supply’s, so could be using it for a while!
- The first thing to do is to mix all your ingredients together in a big bowl. Really mix the saltpetre into the salt well and then add your spices. I used Rosemary, Mace, and cloves in this time. Hope it tastes ok!
- Once the salt, sugar, saltpetre and the spices are all mixed together, get a couple of cupfuls out and into a pan. Add plenty water. Heat up until the sugar has melted salt have dissolved into the water. This is for a brine injection. Make sure that you leave this mixture to cool before using. You do not want to cook the meat!
- The reason I inject brine into the pork is to prevent any decomposing before the salt has reached all parts of the meat. I concentrate on getting as much brine in as possible especially next to the leg bone where the salt finds it difficult to reach. I bought a meat syringe for a fiver on Amazon. It is excellent for injecting the water into the pork.
- Once this has been done, completely rub more of the salt mixture into the pork, making sure that you get it into all the crevices and any gaps that you can see. Once this is done, put the pork leg into a bin bag and cover with about half of the remaining salt. Wrap the bin bag tightly and place the pork into a fridge. (Make sure it is at the bottom, so that any escaping liquid does not spoil things underneath). I also pull the bag down a bit through the gaps in the shelf, so that any liquid coming from the leg has somewhere to go. The idea is that the pork will start to get drier.
- After a week, take the bag out of the fridge. Remove the leg and throw the bag away. Use the rest of the salt to completely rub into the pork again and cover with the remaining salt. Put in another bin bag and put in the fridge again for another week.
- Once another week has passed, remove the pork and soak in clean water for an hour. Once removed, you should have a nice home cured ham. (I simmer it up in Dandelion and Burdock pop for a great taste before roasting!)