One of my best food moments is sitting outside at a pavement cafe on Rambla de Catalunya, just around the corner from Guadi’s Casa Milà in Barcelona. We had a wonderful tapas lunch of chorizo, pimientos de Padrón, tortilla de patatas, pan amb tomaquet and patatas bravas in the late September heat just before heading back to the airport to return home. Nothing about that meal is reproducable in the UK: sitting outside always involves dirty buses, loud police cars and beggars, and getting good spanish food is nigh-on impossible, although I’ve not yet eaten at Tapas Brindisa so maybe I could be proven wrong.
Erika and I are also fans of paella, but unfortunately the time that we had that in Barcelona was one of my worst food experiences. I won’t ruin the moment by going into any more detail but let’s say that we were starving and tired and it was the closest place. Regardless, we’ve cooked paella a few times at home in the past and always enjoyed it, so when deciding on meals for this week it came up as something I’ve not had for a while.
The recipe I follow is from delicious magazine. It’s not totally authentic: as I’m not a great seafood fan I go for a meat version but it’s nice all the same. The recipe is a bit confusing as it produces enough to freeze but involves cooking two panfulls at the same time. I say scrap that, halve everything and there will be enough to feed 4 hungry people. After 30 minutes of cooking you’ll have a fresh, spicy dish with a variety of textures and flavours ranging from the crunchy beans to the soft, slightly sticky rice.