In Portugal, there is a traditional seafood rice dish called ‘arroz de marisco’. It uses a variety of seafood from prawns, to clams to mussels, together with a light tomato broth. Every family makes it in a different way, and because I don’t live in Portugal, I’ve created my own style of seafood rice that I can easily make with ingredients that I can find at any supermarket here in the UK. I added the chorizo, which is not commonly used, simply because I think it adds a great flavour. I normally make it with prawns, a white fish that’s available at the supermarket that day (preferably monkfish), and I sometimes add crab meat if I can find it. But whatever seafood you use is up to you, it’s a versatile dish that can be adapted to suit everyone’s taste.
This recipe easily serves 6
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 shallots
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 chorizo cooking sausages
- 1 large pepper (yellow or red is best)
- 1 cup of frozen peas
- 200gr button mushrooms
- 150-200 gr prawns
- 300 gr skinless monkfish tail
- fish stock (or vegetable stock if you prefer)
- 1.5 cups white basmati rice
- splash of white wine
- 1/2 cup tomato passata
- olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
Start by dicing the shallot and the pepper. Cut the chorizo sausages lengthwise and then slice. Add the shallots to a large pan with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and gently fry until translucent on a medium heat. At this point, add the chorizo and fry with the shallots for about 5 minutes, then add the diced peppers and the chopped garlic, followed by sliced mushrooms. Cook the ingredients for about 10 minutes and then add the rice and peas. I use white, easy cook basmati rice for this dish, but you can use whatever type of rice you prefer. Add a splash of white wine, and gently fry the rice with the ingredients for about another 10 minutes.
In a seperate bowl, melt the stock with about 4 cups of water. You will need to add the stock in slowly, about a cup at a time. This dish is meant to be very liquid, so you want to have more liquid than necessary to cook the rice. For example, the rice I use needs 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice, so I double that for this recipe. Once all the stock is added, stir in the tomato passata, cover and leave to simmer on a low heat for about 10 minutes.
The last thing you will add is the fish and the seafood, as these take just minutes to cook. In this case, I used prawns that were already cooked, so I added them in about a minute before the rice was ready, so they would just heat up. But if using uncooked prawns, add them in at the same time as the white fish, 10 minutes before the rice is cooked. Slice the fish into bite-sized pieces and simply stir into the rice.
Season with salt and pepper and remember to taste the broth to make sure it’s seasoned well. Cook until the rice is done, ensuring there is always enough liquid. If the liquid starts to evaporate and the rice is looking dry, simply add in another cup of water, stir, season and taste.
Serve as soon as it’s cooked, as the rice will soak up the liquid very fast. Enjoy this with some crusty bread and a side salad or simply on its own. You can re-heat this dish, although it won’t have any of the liquid broth left as the rice will soak this up. So, enjoy it while it’s hot!