Monkfish rice with saffron

Also know as: paella de rape con azafrán. Clams or prawns can be added to this rice with great success. Put the prawn shells in the stock for extra flavour.

Serves 6 as a start, 4 as a main
Olive oil 7 tbsp
Monkfish fillets 400g, trimmed and cut into 2-3cm bite-sized pieces
Spanish onions 2 large, finely chopped
Green peppers 2, halved, seeded and finely chopped
Garlic cloves 6, finely chopped
Fennel seeds ½ tsp
Fish stock 800ml
Faffron threads 1 tsp (about 100 threads)
Calasparra (paella) rice 250g
White wine or fino sherry 80ml
Fresh flat-leaf parsley 1 small bunch, roughly chopped
Sweet smoked Spanish paprika ½ tsp
Piquillo peppers 225g, torn in strips
Lemon 1, in wedges
Sea salt and black pepper

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a 30-40cm paella pan or frying pan over a medium high heat. Carefully add the monkfish to the pan and stir-fry until still fractionally undercooked in the centre. Pour the monkfish and any of its juices into a bowl and put to one side. Wipe the pan clean with kitchen paper, and put back on the heat. Add the remaining olive oil and when it is hot, the onions and peppers, and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring every so often. Turn down the heat to medium, add the chopped garlic and fennel seeds, and cook for a further 10 minutes or until the garlic and the onions have some colour and are sweet. Meanwhile bring the stock to the boil and add the saffron to it to infuse for 10 minutes off the heat. Now add the rice to the pan and stir for 1 minute to coat with the vegetables and oil. (Up to now everything can be done in advance, and you need only continue 20 minutes before you wish to eat.)

Put the heat to medium to high and add the white wine or sherry to the pan, followed by the hot stock. At this point, add half the parsley and the paprika and season perfectly with salt and pepper. Do not stir the rice after this as it affects the channels of stock, which allow the rice to cook evenly. Simmer for 10 minutes or until there is just a little liquid above the rice. Spread the monkfish out evenly over the rice along with its juices. Push each piece of monkfish under the stock. Gently shake the pan to prevent sticking and turn the heat down to medium to low. Cook for 5 more minutes or until there is just a little liquid left at the bottom of the rice. Turn off the heat and cover the pan tightly with foil. Let the rice sit for 3-5 minutes before serving. Decorate with strips of piquillo peppers, the rest of the chopped parsley and the lemon. We would serve this paella with a salad.

Recipe from Moro: The Cookbook.