MUSHROOM PAELLA - COOK'S NOTES Mushrooms are very popular in may areas of Spain and locals gather
them from the woods and forests for their own consumption. Many mushrooms
however are cultivated and sold in the many markets around Spain.
The trick with buying mushrooms in shops and markets is to ignore any
specific variety, simply choose the ones which look the freshest. We chose
chestnut, shiitake and simple large cup mushrooms. Some mushrooms are sold
as dried and need to be soaked in water before use. Many consider these sun
dried mushrooms to have a superior flavour compared to fresh mushrooms.
Whatever mushrooms you choose, try to select three different varieties to
give different textures and appearances.
This mushroom paella recipe assumes you will be
cooking on the hob of your cooker, not the ideal for a perfect paella but it
works well. You will need to fry off the mushrooms and sweet (bell) peppers
in a pan anyway.
The stock in this recipe is slightly less than some other paella recipes. In
part this is due to the liquid from the mushrooms but we also suspect that
cooking on the hob is the reason. Possibly less liquid evaporates
during the cooking process.
A 30cm / 12im paella pan or large frying pan - see
here for dimensions.
We wash our mushrooms in a bowl of cold water and suggest you do the
same. Some claim this impairs the taste of the mushrooms but take one
look at the water after you have washed the mushrooms and then decide
Chop the mushrooms very roughly (see video or pictures below for an idea
of the size needed).
De-seed and grate the flesh of the tomatoes (see the video below for
Top and tail the garlic then remove the skin and finely chop.
Cut the sweet red peppers in half, remove the seeds and white pith. Cut
the red pepperds into rough 3cm / 1in squares.
Heat the pan on a medium heat with two and a half
teaspoons of the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and a couple of
pinches of salt and stir well.
Cook for five minutes then turn the heat up to medium hot and
cook for two more minutes.
Put the fried mushrooms, with any liquid in the pan, into a bowl for later
Add one and a half tablespoons of olive oil to the
pan on a medium heat and then add the red pepper squares. Cook for
five minutes or so turning the sweet pepper squares frequently.
Place the fried red peppers in a bowl for later use.
With the pan on a medium heat add two
tablespoons of the olive oil. Pour in the tomatoes and garlic
then mix well.
Cook for ten minutes at a simmer.
Add the saffron, rosemary and sweet paprika to the
tomatoes and garlic in the pan. Stir well for a minute or so. Add
the stock to the pan then the rice. Settle the rice evenly to the
bottom of the pan with a spoon. Turn the heat up so that the mixture
is lightly boiling. Add the mushrooms and any mushroom liquid to the
Cook for ten minutes then turn the heat down and
cook for eight minutes more at a a simmer. Add the sweet pepper
squares and then remove the paella from the heat, cover with foil
and allow it to rest for five minutes.
Decorate with the quartered lemon pieces and eat immediately.