You've probably heard of the Chinese way of starting a conversation: "Have you eaten yet?" or another way of hearing it is, "Have you eaten rice yet?".
It sort of emphasises the Chinese reliance on rice and the feeling that no meal is complete without a bowl or two of rice, preferably plain, boiled rice. In fact, I have relatives who insist on having buckets of hot, fluffy, white rice on hand even at family barbeques, because they know they won't like the food much (overcooked sausages? tough steak? 'just a small piece for me, thanks') and the rice will fill them up.
As a result of this mentality while growing up, I've never really liked white rice. Now that I'm older, I can see when the comfort of a bowl of rice is just the thing - when you're feeling peaky, for example.
And when confronted with an empty frypan at the end of a long day, there's nothing like throwing in a couple of ingredients, some rice and stock and coming up with .... delicious Spanish rice!
Spanish rice with prawns and chorizo
1 tsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 red capsicum (pepper), chargrilled and peeled
1 chorizo, sliced
150g paella rice (or other short grain rice)
pinch of saffron
300ml chicken stock
100g prawns, peeled and cooked
parsley and lemon, to serve
1. Heat the olive oil in a shallow frypan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until the onion softens, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the capsicum and chorizo and cook until the chorizo slices are browned on both sides.
3. Add the rice and stir until coated in the oil.
4. Stir the saffron into the chicken stock then add to the pan and stir well. Cook the rice, covered, for 15 minutes until the rice is tender and the stock is absorbed.
5. Stir in the prawns until heated through.
6. Serve with lemon juice squeezed over and topped with parsley
Recipe adapted from olive magazine
Ingredients, including store-bought chargrilled capsicum
Serve the rice with lemon juice - and maybe some marinated olives
This paella-style dish is very easy to cook and really tastes good.
And it's just as comforting as plain boiled rice.