Posted in Recipes

And the winner is……….. Seafood Paella

One of the kids suggested we do a Covid Come Dine with Me, Kiely style, and it was an outrageous success.  Night after night they presented different dishes all cooked to perfection.


The 6 contenders were :

  • Roast Fillet of Beef with a Mushroom Gravy, Mashed Potatoes & Veg
  • Roast Leg of Lamb (rosemary, garlic), Gravy, Roast Potatoes & Veg
  • Country Risotto with asparagus, courgette, peas, (Vegetarian)
  • Seafood Paella
  • Creamy Chicken & Pasta
  • Green Thai Curry (beef) with rice & naan bread

How’s that for a menu?  My husband also cooked on the 7th night so that was a whole week off from cooking for me and it was heavenly.

Seafood Paella

Back to the Seafood Paella.  Top marks for taste and presentation and also for deciphering my Paella notes that I had written on the back of an envelope.  Note: I use arborio rice (risotto rice), not true to Spanish Paella but a good substitute.

Paella ingredients

onion, rice, peppers

finish prawns with lemon juice

steam mussels

Paella in serving platter

For the Rice:
1 onion
1 tbsp olive oil
450g risotto rice (arborio)
3 cloves garlic
1 red, 1 yellow pepper
2 tsp hot paprika, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp thyme
150ml white wine
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 litre chicken stock
For the Seafood:
Garlic or garlic granules
White wine
Half Lemon
To Serve:
Lemon wedges & Chopped fresh parsley

Prepare the veg : finely chop onion, garlic, and chop the peppers.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in v large saucepan / hob proof casserole dish or pan (A paella pan would be amazing if you had one – I don’t)
Soften the chopped onion for 5 minutes over medium heat
Add the risotto rice to the onion and mix around with the onion to absorb oil and flavour (approx 3 mins)
Add the garlic and mix through (approx 1 min)
Add the chopped peppers and herbs/spices and mix well to colour the rice
Add the wine and raise heat until it bubbles then reduce heat to medium again
Add the tinned tomatoes, mix well
With heat at a simmer add two ladles of the chicken stock and mix well then allow to absorb and then add some more stock, stirring intermittently.  Continue until all stock is added, should take around 25 minutes in all
Put the rice on a low heat and prepare the seafood
Heat some oil and butter on a hot frying pan to quickly cook the prawns, add some garlic granules or crushed garlic if you like.  Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice.
Wash the mussels in cold water, tap any that are open and discard any that remain open.
Heat oil and butter in a large saucepan on a high heat, add the washed mussels splash in some white wine and some crushed garlic or garlic granules , then put on a lid to steam the mussels quickly until all are open.  Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice.
Serve the Paella rice topped with the Seafood and some chopped parsley and lemon wedges.


Note: when Eimear made hers she added more wine and stock than I had indicated so you may wish to do the same until you’re happy with the consistency of the rice.
The photographs above are from when I made it last summer and I will leave you with a photograph below of Eimear’s winning Seafood Paella – Covid Come Dine with Me, Kiely Style, 2020.

Eimear Kiely Winner 2020