Paella is something that we hadn't eaten for a while at The Madhouse, so when Schwartz sent us through a sachet of Paella seasoning from their limited edition Summer range, I was intrigued to see how it would come out. Every other time we've eaten paella, it has been from a frozen sachet of ready-made paella because - to be honest - I thought it would be really hard to replicate because it uses so many unusual ingredients, from seafood to saffron and Spanish spices.
Well, the ingredients that you need to add to the Schwartz paella mix are suprisingly easy to get hold of. Although I bought in some frozen prawns and chorizo specially for the recipe, these are ingredients that we sometimes have in the store cupboards (and freezer) anyway, and the only other things to add are onions, red pepper and rice.
The first step is frying the onion and chorizo, to release all the lovely spicy oil from the sausage. This also adds some lovely colour to the dish.
You then add the spices and water, red pepper, prawns and rice and mix it up before leaving it to cook for about 20 minutes until the rice is cooked through and all the water has been absorbed.Keep stirring from time to time or the rice will stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.
I was impressed at how colourful it looked and how authentic the taste and small were. It's a really impressive dish to serve up at a dinner party and is great for family meals because you just serve everyone from the huge frying pan or wok straight at the table. We followed the recipe and used chorizo and prawns, which was perfectly suited to our tastes, but you could also add mussels, chunks of fish or leftover cooked chicken. It should have had peas in it too but I didn't have any in the freezer which was a shame, as that would have added some lovely contrasting colours.
The recipe calls for risotto or paella rice but I used normal long grain rice because it was we had in the cupboard and that worked just fine too. Madhouse Daddy Mike was convinced he was eating the frozen ready-made version which just goes to show that the seasoning is spot-on.
The ingredients list reveals that the sachet contains a blend of Dried Onion, Maltodextrin, Garlic Powder, Paprika (10%), Salt, Chilli Powder (Chilli Pepper, Cumin, Salt, Oregano, Garlic), Flavouring, Lemon Peel Powder (5%), Acidity Regulator (Citric Acid), Parsley (3%), Black and White Pepper, Turmeric, Vegetable Oil.
If you think paella is too complicated to cook from scratch, this is a really simple way to add it to your cooking repertoire. Thumbs up all round here at The Madhouse with the kids even asking for seconds !
star rating : 5/5
RRP : 99p for 35g
for more information : http://www.schwartz.co.uk/Products/Recipe-Mixes/Limited-Editions/Paella.aspx
Disclosure : We received some spice mixes in order to write honest reviews.
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