With so much paella rice at home I needed to find a way to use it up. James served a rice cake on Boxing Day which was good, and I used that as inspiration. I made this baked paella rice dish with mushrooms, peas and tomatoes.
The other day I needed to book a regional return flight. There were two critical factors, timing and cost. I found a flight on a budget airline. You know the one where you pay extra for baggage, food and drinks? The initial price showed as being R1998 which is a bargain. But I need to take luggage with me, so the price went up to R2405. That’s without any extras like a bottle of water or a cup of coffee. My preferred airline is one that offers me air miles and includes drinks and meals. The return ticket worked out slightly more expensive – a total of R111. In terms of what that buys me, it is about 7 single espressos. For that it was totally worth gaining the air miles. When flying alone I also like to select the seat I sit in.
I prefer the window seat in the exit row and this is an extra cost. But for me, this is an expense I don’t mind. I have found that on quiet flights I usually don’t have someone sitting next to me and the extra leg room is welcome. This does not impact on the miles earned sadly. The air miles are key for us at the moment. We wiped out our account so that we can fly business class to London. Dave has never experienced this before so it will be a real treat. But we need more miles for the next UK trip so I am getting them wherever I can. Also key for us has been making meals in advance. We had a few weeks of rolling blackouts and I made batch meals galore. The one that worked really well was this baked paella rice. It was good served both hot and cold.
Click on the links for conversions and notes.
- 60mls olive oil, divided
- 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 100g mushrooms, sliced
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
- 200g paella rice
- 500mls vegetable stock
- 125g frozen peas
- 10g fresh basil, roughly chopped
- 40g breadcrumbs
- 220g mozzarella cheese, grated, divided
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 115g cherry tomatoes, halved
- Paprika for seasoning
- Place 30mls of the oil into a sauté pan that has a lid, over a medium temperature
- Add the onions, season and sauté until soft
- Then add the garlic, mushrooms and thyme, and cook for 5 minutes
- Add the rice, season generously and stir to combine
- Cook for one minute, add the stock and bring to the boil
- Cover with the lid, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes
- Remove from the heat and place into a large bowl, add the peas and leave to cool
- Preheat the oven to 190°Celsius
- Add the basil, breadcrumbs and 120g of the cheese
- Pour the eggs in, season and then mix to combine
- Place into a lined square baking tin, flatten the top as best as you can and put into the oven to bake for 15 minutes
- Remove from the oven, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top, place the tomatoes on top, cut side up and season
- Sprinkle on some paprika and drizzle the remaining olive oil on top before placing back into the oven
- Bake for 30 minutes and then remove from the oven
- Leave to cool slightly then remove from the tin and serve
Inspiration published on Lavender and Lime May 6:
Dave and I get back at work today. I will start replying to comments as soon as I can. You can see what we did in France by taking a look at our holiday blog.