NĂºmero uno Chorizo Paella

Straight from our yearly health check up we went to buy chorizo sausage. Booth of us were in a mood for spicy, strong, heavy flavors because the results had shown that our cholesterol levels are high. My especially high. WTF?! How’s that possible. We are eating healthy. Lots of vegetables, everything is fresh and cooked from scratch, fruits every day. Almost no meat and we eat fish at least once a week. Ok, we drink more than moderately sometimes, and I smoke, but 236 cholesterol level. WTF?! How did that happened? Gym or swimming pool 3 – 4 times a week, and the last cup of Coca Cola (or any similar drink) we drunk 5 years ago. Nuts, fibers, good fat, bla, bla, bla.
I feel healthy and full of energy. And when I look around us to the people who are extremely obese, and here in Manila the numbers of fat people are huge, I ask my self, shit how high is their cholesterol? Every time when we are in supermarket standing at the cashier and look into other peoples carts and see all that processed and canned food I ask my self the same question. I decided to do the test again within a month, in the meantime cut the booze and smoking and see what the results will be.

Until then paella! First attempt to cook this fantastic meal.

1 + 1/2 chorizo sausage (cut into bit size pieces)
2 strips of panceta (cut into bit size pieces)
4 medium size squid (cut into big chunks)
6 large prawns

1 red onion (chopped)
3 cloves garlic (chopped)
2 ripe tomatoes (grated)
flat leaf parsley (chopped)

1 cup arborio rice

4 cups water
1 bay leaf
2 pinch of saffron
1/3 cup white wine
splash of olive oil
1 tbsp. pimenton paprika
salt
pepper

Clean the squid and prawns.
For the prawns stock cook prawns shells and heads in 4 cups of water with 1 bay leaf for about 15 minutes. Add saffron and white wine, bring to a simmer and remove from the heat. Let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes before straining so to allow all the aromas to combine.
Heat heavy bottom pan on medium high heat and fry the bacon on olive oil. Remove bacon from the pan and throw away excess fat. Put the pan back on the heat, add chorizo and fry until crispy. Put bacon back into the pan and add onion and cook until soft. Add garlic and mix well. Season with pimenton paprika and fry for another minute. Add tomatoes and mix well. Add rice to the pan, let it fry until translucent (1 – 2 minutes) then add stock, bring it to the boil and then add squid. Season with pepper. Cook on low heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Probably no salt is needed. Lay the prawns on the top of paella and cook them on each side for about 3 – 4 minutes.
Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

Next time, no bacon, add more squid.