Happy weekend, guys! Mine is going to be a busy one. On Saturday, I am attending my third day-long pottery workshop, which I am super stoked about. I am looking forward to honing my skills and also picking up the bowls I made last time. I cannot wait to see what they will look like once fired and glazed. After the workshop, I am hopping out of my clay-stained clothes and into something more presentable as we are going to a restaurant with Duncan’s family, to celebrate Duncan’s niece turning 21. Sunday will be spent doing chores of various descriptions and running so I won’t bore you with details, but you get the gist – a mixture of fun stuff and less so is on the agenda.
We are not planning on any entertaining this weekend, but if you are I recommend that you try this vegan paella on your guests! Despite its pretty elaborate and somewhat luxurious appearance, it is actually deceptively simple to make. It’s all about learning to cook the rice to perfection using visual cues alone. If you have a paella pan, dust it off and you are set, but if you don’t, just use a regular pan. I actually tried to get myself a paella dish, but I could not find anything suitable. I found one that was way too big for my needs and another that was coated in teflon, which I did not like, so I resorted to using my regular, stainless steel pan and it worked just fine. A pan with a tight fitting lid would be even better here as resting the rice at the end of the cooking time is key.
Once you’ve got your pan covered, make sure you have the correct type of rice to hand. If paella rice (there are quite a few varieties: senia, bomba or bahfa) isn’t available, most short-grain rice varieties will do. I used the widely available risotto rice (arborio) as I had a big bag of it that needed using up and it worked beautifully. The key thing with paella is judging the correct liquid to rice ratio and just the right cooking time, so please make sure you measure all three. I found that 200 g of rice needs approximately 2½ cups (600 ml) liquid in total to be cooked just right.
I went a bit batsh*t crazy (love the term) with my paella and topped it with all the veggies under the sun as I wanted it to look colourful, summery and festive, but you can totally be more restrained, especially if you are not in the habit of buying surplus vegetables just because they look good. I am totally guilty of that – I always get home hauling way more produce than what I set out to buy or what the two of us can physically eat and then I get really stressed that stuff will go to waste. It sucks to be me sometimes.
PS: If you do make my vegan paella, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram (#lazycatkitchen). I love seeing your take on my recipes.