Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Padella alla Licia

I invented this recipe while I was hard pressed to come up with an attractive "reduced calorie" recipe as my partner has been on a diet. It can NOT be classified either as risotto or paella, as the result is clearly different -- thus I decided to call this "padella" (which also means "skillet" in Italian). It skips the sautè process which will cut down significant amount of oil, however by toasting the garlic separately and adding it at the end with the drizzle of raw olive oil, it boosts the lively flavour to a satisfying level!

Ingredients (for 3-4)
200g basmati rice
300g-400g peeled prawns (decent sized-I used frozen), precooked
3 shallots, thinly sliced
3 spring onions, chopped
1-2 large cloves of garlic (depending on how much you love garlic :-p)
100-150g frozen green peas
2 smallish courgettes, sliced thin (about 1mm)
1/2 cup white wine
vegetable bouillon (granulated, powdered or cube)
1-2 bayleaf
1 packet of saffran
good quality extra virgine olive oil

- Chop the garlic finely, toast in a small skillet with a few drops of olive oil (just enough to cover them), until golden, taking care not to burn them.

-Place the rice, shallots, peas, rice, wine and bayleaf in a large skillet or shallow, flat based pot, add the water just enough to cover the rice, season with the bouillon (amount according to the direction--the amount of the total liquid should be slightly over 1 cup)

-Bring to boil, turn down the heat to the minimum, cover and continue to simmer for 6-7 minutes

-add the courgette, distributing evenly (not dumping all in one pile), add a small amount of hot water if needed, re-cover and continue to cook for another 5 minutes, or the courgette becomes thoroughly heated. (until they take on a slightly transparentish look while maintaining the colour)

-remove the cover, add the prawns*, spring onions, saffran, the toasted garlic and the olive oil, toss thoroughly and vigorously over the heat.

Serve immediately.

*I have used frozen, precooked prawns so I first boiled them just to defrost quickly. If you use a fresh prawn add them with the courgette, after thoroughly cleaning them. It should be even better this way as the flavour of the prawn will integrate itself more to other ingredients!

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