Thursday, July 26, 2012

Campfire paella

recipes for campfire cooking paellaThis is a super-easy one-pan dish absolutely incredible on a cold night by the fire. Not only does it work really well cooked on a campfire, the woodsmoke will add to the flavour.
While this version is for carnivores, you could replace the meat with firm tofu cubes; just make sure you pan-fry the tofu in hot oil with the onion, garlic, chilli, extra paprika, saffron and salt and pepper until golden, before adding other ingredients.
Again, you’ll need a good-sized wok for this. Remember, the rice expands as it absorbs the liquid! This recipe will comfortably feed six hungry people.
  • Good quality olive oil
  • Two medium-sized brown onions, diced
  • Six cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • One large red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • One red capsicum, diced
  • Three chorizo sausages, chopped into chunks; cured is absolutely fine
  • Four chicken thighs, chopped into 1cm-thick slices
  • Smoked paprika
  • Two or three strands of saffron
  • Salt and pepper
  • 500g frozen prawns (which we bought before we arrived at the campsite and allowed to thaw in their packaging)
  • Two cups of Arborio rice (…which we couldn’t get, so we used sushi rice instead)
  • Four cups of good quality vegetable stock
  • Water in reserve
1. Drag out your coals close to the fire itself, and make a level spot for your pan. Heat the pan for a few minutes before dropping in a couple of good lugs of the olive oil.
2. When the oil starts to sizzle, throw in the onions and let them sauté for five minutes or so.
3. Once the onions have started to glisten, add the garlic and chilli. Let that sauté for another five to 10 minutes.
4. Add the capsicum, letting it sauté for a couple of minutes.
5. Add the chopped chorizo and chicken thighs; fry until the chicken is browned.
6. Add the spices and salt and pepper, to taste. I use a lot of paprika – a good three tablespoons worth – because I like the smokiness.
7. If you’ve got prawns, throw them in after the spices have had a couple of minutes in the pan. These are a bit of a luxury item when you’re camping…the recipe will work just as well without them, but they’re great to have if you can find a way.
8. Add the Arborio rice and the stock. On a campfire, it’ll take at least half an hour over coals for the rice to absorb the liquid…keep stirring every couple of minutes or so to stop the rice sticking to the hot wok.
9. You want the rice to lose any hardness, and the paella to take on a shiny, sticky consistency. Use the extra water if it turns out the stock isn’t enough to reach this point.
This is great served with a bit of chopped parsley sprinkled over the top – but really, all you need is a bowl, spoon and an appetite.

Thanks to


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