Pimenton de la Vera. It's the spice that makes Paella so scrumptious. This smoked paprika gives chorizo the flavor that's undeniably Spanish. I found it tucked away in a friend's pantry, while we were looking for chili sauce to spice up some prawns on the barbie (still in Australia!). I was so pleased when he handed it over for me to take back home, you'd think I had just received a Prada bag. OK not really, but pimenton is a rarity here.
I heard a chef on the Asian Food Channel say "find your own style without compromising taste", and decided to get creative and wing it with my pimenton. I had prawns in the fridge (a quickly replaced dinner plan when I realized that my visiting nephew was allergic!), a can of garbanzos, some basque chorizo, stewed tomatoes...here's what I came up with.
Prawn and Garbanzo Stew with Chorizo
8 Garlic cloves, chopped
1 Onion, chopped
1 tablespoon Pimenton de la Vera
1 can Garbanzo Beans
3 whole canned Tomatoes, diced
1 Chorizo, sliced
1 kilo fresh Prawns, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup White Wine
1 Red Bell Pepper, roasted, peeled and sliced
1 bunch Italian Parsley, finely chopped
Zest of 1 Lemon
Salt and Pepper
Saute garlic and onion in olive oil until fragrant. Add the prawns and pimenton, mix well. Add the chorizo and saute briefly. Pour in the wine, diced tomatoes, bell peppers and garbanzo beans. Simmer on medium heat until the beans are tender. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle parsley and lemon peel over stew, and drizzle a good amount of extra virgin olive oil before serving.