Goodness of Mushrooms

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Mushroom & Veg Loaded Paella

Serves: 6-8Prep time: 15 MinsCook time: 40 Mins

INGREDIENTS

1 large red bell pepper
1 large yellow bell pepper
1 large brown onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 stalks celery, sliced
250g Denny Portabellini Mushrooms, sliced
2 medium baby marrows, sliced
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
2 cups / ± 420g Bomba or Arborio rice (you want a short grain rice for paella)
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
A good pinch of saffron threads
1 litre vegetable stock, kept warm
 
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil, for cooking
 
Fresh wedges of lemon, for serving
Roughly chopped parsley, for serving

METHOD

Place red and yellow bell pepper directly on a hot braai or over a medium-high gas burner.
Char until the skin blackens all over.
Remove from the heat and place in a bowl and cover with cling film.
Set aside until cool enough to handle.
 
When cool - scrape off the charred skins and cut out the top and the inner seeds.
Slice roasted peppers into thin strips.
 
In a large paella pan or a large cast iron / buffet casserole, heat a little drizzle of olive oil.
Add the onion, garlic and celery and cook until tender.
Turn the heat up and add the Denny Mushrooms, baby marrow and fennel. Season lightly.
Cook until the edges turn golden and the vegetables are barely tender.
 
Add the rice, paprika and saffron. Toast in the pan for 2 minutes.
Pour in the stock and tinned tomato.
Stir once to combine everything, and then do not stir again.
Scatter over the roasted peppers.
 
Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, until all of the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender.
Taste the rice to see if it's cooked, add a bit of extra stock or hot water if it is not done.
 
If you want to develop a socarrat (that delicious crispy layer of rice at the bottom of the pan)
Turn the heat up once all the stock has been absorbed.
Listen carefully and you will hear the rice start to crackle.
Cook for 1-2 minutes to develop a crust on the bottom of the pan.
 
Taste to adjust seasoning and remove from the heat.
 
Squeeze over some fresh lemon juice and scatter with parsley before serving.

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