We raise tilapia at our Little Farm – here is a wonderful paella our farm manager Max made for us – yum!

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Tilapia is a very low fat, low calorie fish. When fresh it is truly delightful and even fresh frozen can be good.

We have been raising tilapia for years now – and lately had too many in one hatchery even though they were rather small. They need room to grow so we decided to cull about a dozen and eat them – in a dish like Paella the small size of the fish is not as relevant as when served alone.

Here are the various steps – all managed and prepared by our farm manager Max whose Mexican heritage from Jalisco made a truly delicious dish for our family and his. We were grateful for that since this is labor heavy – lots of skinning, boning and chopping involved!

Ingredients:

  • Tilapia – boned and skinned – about 2 lbs
  • Chicken thighs ( 1) and breasts ( 1) skinned and boned and cut into bite sized pieces
  • Shrimp ( fresh) 1 lb peeled and deveined
  • 1 leek sliced
  • Fresh hulled green peas – 1 cup
  • Elephant Garlic 2 cloves sliced thin
  • Tomatoes ( 1 lb) skinned by roasting briefly over a flame and skinning, and chopped
  • Pepper ( 1 green and 1 red ) chopped
  • Rice – 1 cup
  • 2 cups of chicken stock ( we had just made chicken soup so we added that strained)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Saffron 1/2 tsp
  • Olive oil 8 tbspMax fishing with a net in our hatchery for the tilapia

Paella Ingredients with Little Farm Tilapia Tilapia Max Skinning and Boning

Directions:

  1. Soak the rice in cold water for half hour then drain
  2. Chop all ingredients, clean. skin, bone and prepare the Tilapia and place the oil in a large pan
  3. Heat the oil and break one bay leaf into two and add to the oil
  4. Saute  a few strands of saffron with 1/3 of the garlic and all chicken first until browned slightly
  5. Add the tilapia and saute with the chicken  adding another 1/3 of the garlic.
  6. Add the shrimp and rest of the garlic and saute on medium heat for a few minutes. DO NOT OVERCOOK
  7. Take all of it out of the pan and put into a plate on the side.
  8. Now add to the original pan  the soaked rice (drained). Saute for about 5 minutes.
  9. Add the leeks, and then two cups of chicken stock per cup of rice
  10. Then add the peppers and tomatoes
  11. Add a half teaspoon of saffron
  12. Simmer for 20 minutes until the rice is cooked – remove the two halves of bay leaf
  13. Add the chicken, fish, shrimp mixture on top -very gently place some of the rice on top of some of the mixture but do not mix -season with salt and pepper
  14. Add the peas at the last minute and let them cook from the heat of the combination for 10 minutes .
  15. Cover the pan with cheesecloth to absorb the condensation from the pan cover over the pan, then cover that with the lid.
  16. Turn off the heat – it will keep warm for about 30 minutes – but try to serve pretty quickly after it is done.
  17. We squeezed a few drops of meyer lemon over each serving and served it with a side of sliced ripe avocado.
  18. YUMMYPaella with Peas at end

Wrapping cheesecloth around paella pan before putting on the lidPutting lid onto PaellaPLated paella final

 

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About Grandma

I have reinvented myself many times during my life -teacher, lawyer, business woman, CEO, Entrepreneur, Board member, Professor, Mom, Wife, Farmer, Chef, Musician, Author and now my best role of all - Grandma to multiple grandchildren, grandnephews and nieces worldwide.
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