Seafood paella: Dinner for 2 with my favourite person

The most frustrating thing is when other people’s behavior affect you, your entire family and your livelihood and there’s not much you can do about it.

Long story short, it’s been a long week wheeeu😓. But now I have to make dinner. Quite surprisingly not in the dark. There hasn’t been any power cuts this week, well in the evenings or early mornings when we’re home. Hopefully I’m not jinxing things now.

Dinner tonight, quite honestly I’m not sure yet. I know what ingredients I want to cook with, since I’m spring cleaning my freezer. I feel it’s been neglected for too long now. I’m actually not as bad as that might sound, my freezer. In my fridge, I have a corner of the recycled and longer lasting products such as my pesto, homemade sauces and stocks, my homemade peeled tomatoes, creams, coconut milk,cheeses etc. Then the rest of my fridge is occupied by easily perishing foods such as veggies, fruits, juices, herbs etc. It’s not as perfectly organised as I describe it but it’s organised chaos for me. It all makes sense. I’m not the best at throwing out things either, even when there’s mold, that’s why I need my helper to pull the bandage most times.

Yes, I have a fully packed freezer at all times but in my Defence: 1. It’s way too small, so it being fully packed might not necessarily mean there’s a lot of stuff in it and 2. The frozen food that is in there is mostly meat; not my fault as most packagings package to serve 4 and my family is 2 1/2, so there’s always pieces of meat left and I place them back in the freezer without cooking them. For another day, another meal.

Anyway, dinner tonight is just for two. Daddy had a very long day at work and is in bed already and won’t be joining us for dinner. We’re making it extra special. Setting up the table with mommy’s Valentine’s roses and  special scented candles for a romantic dinner for mommy and son, and also awaiting load shedding( but the candles being for a romantic dinner sounds much better though).

What do we have?

  • 1/4 bag of seafood mix

  • opened packet of frozen scallops

  • 3 rashes of bacon back

I have an idea, how about a quick version of seafood paella? My son and I love rice, it only makes sense.

What else do we need?

  • 1/2 cup of rice

  • Spices- nutmeg, cumin, ginger powder, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, paprika, salt & pepper.

  • fresh ginger

  • garlic

  • half an onion

  • quarter of red pepper

  • 8 cherry tomatoes

  • 1 radish

  • 1 carrot

  • fresh fennel

imageWhat to do?

imageimageimage– in a hot pot with 3 tbs of olive oil, add chopped onions and soften. Then add chopped garlic, 1 tbs of grated fresh ginger, red pepper and halved cherry tomatoes. In 2 minutes, add the rice, 1 tsp of nutmeg, 1 tsp of cumin, 1 tsp of paprika, salt and let this mix well for another 2 minutes. Then add 1 cup of boiling water. When the water is reduced, add another cup. Add a cup at a time until the rice is cooked. With a few minutes to go before the rice is cooked through, add the chopped carrots. This will give our paella a crunchie fresh texture.

While the rice is cooking, we can start with our seafood. With a traditional paella, the food, veg and meat are all cooked in one pot. But this is my quick version and I don’t want my seafood to be overcooked and mushy.

So in a pan with 1 tbs of olive oil, add the thinly diced bacon. When it’s browned, add the seafood mix and 8 defrosted scallops( keeping the shells on- this will look good for presentation and gives the extra fish flavour), diced radish, 1/2 tsp of ginger powder, 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper, salt & pepper. Let this cook for 5 minutes, and it’s done!image

imageWhen the rice is just cooked, drain if there’s a lot of excess liquid( there shouldn’t be). Add the seafood onto the rice and combine well. Season with salt & pepper, ginger and cayenne pepper to taste.

imageViola, we are done! In 30 minutes.

Serve in a bowl with a sprinkle of fresh fennel.

imageimageimage

Author: preciousgarnett

I'm a multi-faceted young woman. I'm a proud mom to a now 5 year old 😜. I'm a daughter, I'm a sister and a friend to a few people. I'm a medical doctor by profession, passionate about infectious disease, primary health care and public health. I live food, from thinking about it, cooking it to eating it. Health and Nutrition fanatic. I live by a few chants...: 1. Before I do anything whether related to food or not, I ask myself ' Is it worth the calories?' Whether literally or figuratively( i.e. Is the decision worth the stress, effort, investment) 2. What you put in must come out! If you don't let it out, it settles on your tummy and hips. 3. 'Everything happens for a reason'. I try reflect on situations I find myself in, whether by choice or not. And look for Lessons I'm meant to learn from them, in order to grow.

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