With Christmas just around the corner, it is not hard to imagine the throngs of people shopping for last-minute Christmas presents, or lining up at checkout counters at grocery stores.
If you are hosting a dinner party, there’s no need to panic. Spending quality time with loved ones are the priority of such events, and the last thing you want is to slog all day in the kitchen and end up feeling too tired to enjoy the company.
I like to keep my menu simple, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise on presentation and taste. This vibrant-looking Festive Orzo Paella is guaranteed to please your guests this holiday season. Instead of traditional Arborio rice which tends to expand when left to rest, I opt for Orzo pasta instead.
Orzo is a short-grain pasta that resembles the shape of rice. It holds well even when left at room temperature so it is perfect to serve them at dinner parties.
Whenever there’s a recipe that calls for the use of wine, I always choose one I could drink as well. And there’s nothing more festive for this occasion than a bottle of Prosecco. I use Tesco Finest Prosecco Doc as it is a creamy and soft sparkling wine, with expressive flavors of citrus-y notes that pairs well with seafood.
I like to stock up on Tesco frozen products, especially their Wild Alaskan Salmon Fillets and Tesco finest* British Petit Pois (green peas). Even my daughter, who had traditionally avoided peas in general, loved how fresh and sweet these tasted.
And what better way to end a meal than on a sweet note with desserts? Any smart home cook knows that time management is important, and last thing you want is to devote all your energy to making your mains perfect, and still worry about the desserts.
Which is why I turn to Tesco’s range of pre-made frozen desserts. For this meal we paired their Tesco finest* New York Cheesecake with their Tesco finest* Cornish Salted Caramel Ice Cream for a indulgent and luscious way to end the evening.
Everyone thought I made this restaurant-quality dessert myself, I was almost tempted to not tell them it was store bought.
12 large prawns – peeled, deveined with tails intact
1 piece (100 g) Tesco Wild Alaskan Salmon – bake in oven for 20 mins
½ cup (160 g) bay scallops – if using frozen, thawed at room temperature and pat dry
1/3 cup (75 g) Tesco Finest British Petit Pois (Green Peas)
¼ cup (60 g) spicy chorizo – sliced
½ red pepper – diced
1 small yellow onion – diced
3 cloves garlic – minced
1 large pinch of saffron – soak in a little water for 15 mins
1¼ cup (250 g) Tesco Finest Orzo Pasta**
3 tbsp Tesco finest* Organic Rapeseed Oil **
¼ cup (60 ml) Tesco Finest Prosecco Doc
¼ can (100 g) Tesco Finest Cherry Tomatoes
4 cups (1000ml) seafood / chicken stock
1 tsp sugar
1 ½ tsp Tesco Rock Salt Grinder
¼ tsp Tesco Black Peppercorn Grinder Mill
½ tsp Tesco Hot Chilli Grinder
½ tsp Tesco Paprika
½ tsp Tesco Dried Oregano
½ tsp Tesco Dried Parsley
Red pepper slices
** Items unavailable online are available exclusively in Tesco finest* stores within FairPrice Finest
Serves 4 – 5
In a large paella pan or stainless skillet, heat 2 tbsp rapeseed oil.
Season prawns with salt, pepper, hot chilli flakes and sear both sides in hot pan for about 1 min. Remove and set aside.
Add in scallops and cook for about 1 min. Remove and set aside. If the pan is dry, add 1 tbsp rapeseed oil.
Cook the spicy chorizo until crispy and add in diced onion, diced red pepper and garlic.
Sauté over medium low heat until softened.
Turn up heat and pour in prosecco. Stir and allow alcohol to evaporate for about 15 secs.
Toss in orzo pasta and mix well.
Cover mixture with stock and stir well. Add in saffron, paprika, dried oregano. Season with salt, pepper and sugar.
Bring to boil and simmer for 20 – 25 mins until orzo is just cooked, stirring frequently to avoid pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Add in green peas, salmon and the rest of the seafood. Taste for seasoning. Give it a final mix for about 1 min and turn off heat.
Garnish with cooked sliced peppers and parsley.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
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