rice with corn and chorizo
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To be honest, I’ve no idea how this dish came about. Most probably I wanted to do something with rice, and something with corn, and I had some chorizo knocking about the fridge. It was damn tasty – that much I remember.
I usually draw inspiration from food publications, social media groups (hello, Perfect Sourdough), NY Times Cooking newsletter (love those guys) or by browsing competition. Or I just open the fridge and check what needs to go soon.
Chefs and recipe inventors (designers? writers? artists?) must do better than that. Who would think for example to sprinkle rice onto liquid instead of – as surely common sense dictates – pouring water over rice? Interesting to compare the techniques of risotto-making with paella: the former is about laboriously adding the liquid, spoonful by spoonful, stirring and stirring. You’d not think of Italians as patient folk but there you go – happily stirring and singing opera, I imagine. Now the paella party sloshes the stock about, chucks the rice in and stops worrying about the whole endeavour for half an hour. Taking a siesta, most probably, while the rice cooks all on its own.
Anyway – we have a fine dish here, which, if you follow the method, can be varied as you wish. Ditch the bacon and chorizo for a veggie option, and add more peppers. Stir in a few mussels at the very end of cooking. Add chicken. Include tomatoes or leave them out. The world is your rice dish with this recipe.
- 1 large ear of corn, peeled
- 600ml (2/3 quart) chicken stock from cube or fresh
- a few strands of saffron
- 1 tbsp. tomato powder or tomato puree
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 100g (3oz.) diced pancetta or bacon
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
- salt and pepper
- 1 red pepper, cored and roughly chopped
- 100g (3 oz.) sliced chorizo
- 1 tsp smoked hot paprika
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 200g (1 cup) paella rice, Bomba or Calasparra
Cut the kernels off the cobs: place trimmed cob on a chopping board vertically and run a large sharp knife along the cob on all sides.
Heat up the stock or dissolve the cube in boiling water; add the saffron and the tomato powder or puree and stir.
Heat up the oil in the largest pan you have (25cm will be good) and fry the pancetta for a couple of minutes. Add the onion and garlic into the pan and season with salt and pepper. Fry it hard for a couple of minutes, then add the red pepper and the chorizo; cook it together with the onion and garlic for a minute.
Add the corn and stir it in; sprinkle over the smoked paprika and cayenne pepper.
Pour the stock into the pan, all at once and turn up the heat. Let it bubble vigorously for two-three minutes. Sprinkle the rice evenly over the surface of the stock but don’t stir from now on. Cook it for 10 minutes until the rice appears through the liquid. Gently displace any dry grains stuck to the chorizo but do not stir. If it looks too dry too soon, add some water.
Turn the heat down, cover the pan with a lid and simmer for further 10 minutes until the rice has absorbed all the liquid. If you don’t have a lid to fit the pan, cover it with a large baking sheet.
After the 10 minutes take the lid off and turn the heat right up for 1 minute until you can hear the rice start to pop and crackle. Keep it on for 30 seconds and take the pan off the heat. Cover it with a clean dry tea towel to absorb the steam and let it stand like that for 10 minutes.
Serve straight from the pan with plain green salad.