‘Luso-style’ seafood rice.jpg

‘Luso-style’ seafood rice

By: ROSEMARY LADLE

Having lived in Portugal for more than five years, multifaceted Rosemary Ladle is carving out a name for herself as a kitchen whiz. Between designing recipes and testing them, she is also a talented seamstress.

THIS WEEK I thought it was about time that I actually considered our local cuisine a little more.

The recipe here is an adaptation of several ideas as to how to prepare seafood rice.

One thing I did find, after talking to my Portuguese friends and colleagues, was that there are a few variations. Sometimes, instead of parsley there was coriander and, on occasion, the use of ready prepared and frozen shellfish (for convenience of course), which is why I have chosen to use it here.

All suggested plenty of garlic, a few mentioned piri-piri for a little heat but one ingredient I would not have considered and have chosen to include is that of cloves for a warm and gentle ‘spiciness’.

This could only be served a good ‘slug’ of chiiled white wine or beer. ‘Luso-style’ seafood rice serves four.

Ingredients

1x 300g pack frozen mixed seafood

8-12 frozen prawns in shells

3 cups short-grain rice

1 medium/large onion (chopped finely)

6-8 cloves garlic (crushed)

100ml dry white wine

100ml tomato polpa (pulp)

2 tablespoons olive oil (not extra virgin)

5 or 6 cloves

A good squeeze of lemon juice

1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley (chopped)

Sea salt and black pepper

Piri-piri sauce (optional)

Method

1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the garlic and chopped onions until transparent.

2. Add the frozen prawns, sauté for 1-2 minutes and then add the frozen mixed seafood.

3. Stir in the rice to coat.

4. Throw in the cloves and pour on the wine, tomato polpa and the lemon juice (for a picante sauce, add 3-4 teaspoons of piri-piri sauce).

5. Season with salt and pepper.

6. Top-up the liquid with enough cold water (or if you have it, fish stock) to cover the rice by 2.5 to 3cm.

7. Bring to the boil, partially cover with a pan lid and then turn down and simmer until the rice and seafood are thoroughly cooked (the starch from the rice will thicken the sauce slightly).

8. Stir in the chopped parsley and serve immediately in shallow bowls or soup plates.

Shopping basket for next week:

Beef frying steak, fresh ginger, fresh chilli peppers, spring onions or shallots, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar and fine egg or rice noodles.