Cauliflower ‘rice’ prawn-and-chicken paella with roasted red peppers
1 red pepper, deseeded
and halved 1 cauliflower 200g sliced chicken breast 2 sliced red onions 2 crushed garlic cloves 2 sliced red chillies 1tspn turmeric Half a teaspoon smoked
paprika 1tbspn tomato paste 500ml chicken stock 200g cooked prawns 150g frozen peas A handful fresh chopped
basil 50ml crème fraîche Zest of 1 lemon and
a squeeze of juice
Preheat your oven to 200˚C/400˚f/gas mark 5. Place the red-pepper halves skin-side up on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and roast for about 35–40 minutes or until the skin is wrinkled. Once they’re cool enough to handle, peel away the skin and slice the peppers thinly.
Chop your cauliflower into even-sized pieces and pulse to a ‘rice’ consistency in a food processor, being careful not to over-pulse to ‘couscous’. You could also do this with a little patience and a sharp knife.
Put a splash of olive oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan and, over a gentle heat, lightly brown the chicken, then set aside on a plate. Next, fry the red onions until softened, then add the garlic and chillies and fry for a further minute. Incorporate the sliced red peppers, turmeric, smoked paprika and tomato paste and mix well.
Return the chicken to the pan and add the chicken stock. Spoon in the cauliflower ‘rice’ until it’s level with the liquid and simmer for about 4 minutes, to cook the cauliflower and reduce a little.
Stir in the prawns, frozen peas and half the basil. Heat for a further few minutes, then stir in the crème fraîche before topping with a grating of lemon zest and a squeeze of juice, plus a scattering of basil. Serve immediately.
The season for cauliflower has come around once again and I’ve been exploring dishes with the vegetable processed to a “rice”. This recipe is delicious and satisfying, although some may enjoy a portion of actual rice on the side’