Brown Rice Paella with Mussels and Bell Peppers
Paella is usually made with specific varieties of polished white rice that cook quickly and create a lovely texture. This brown rice paella retains the traditional flavours of paella while adding more nutrition.
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- 1 kg mussels
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 red onion diced
- 2 large red bell peppers cut into thin stripes
- 4 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 3 cups chicken stock salt-reduced
- 1-1/4 cups short-grain brown rice
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 pinch saffron threads
- 1 cup green peas
- 1 lemon cut into wedges
- to serve fresh parsley chopped
- Scrub the mussels and pull out the beards. Discard any broken mussels, or open ones that don't close when tapped. Rinse well and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a 30-cm paella pan or a large, heavy-based frying pan. Cook the onion over medium heat for 5 minutes, until starting to colour. Add the bell peppers and cook for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, fennel seeds and paprika, and cook over low heat for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, pour the stock into a sauceman and bring to a boil.
- Stir the rice into the onion mixture until well coated. Add the wine, saffron and 2 cups of the hot stock, and bring to a boil.
- Lay the mussels on top of the rice so that their openings are horizontal. As they open, transfer them to a heatproof bowl and set aside. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes and rotating the pan so that the paella cooks evenly. Stir in the remaining stock as needed to keep the mixture just barely wet.
- Continue to cook the paella over low heat, rotating the pan but without any further stirring, until the rice is tender and the remaining liquid has evaporated, up to 30 minutes.
- Scatter the peas over the top of the rice, remove the pan from the heat and tightly cover with a lid or foil. Stand for 10 minutes before adding the mussels and sprinkling with the parsley. Serve with the lemon wedges.
You can replace the wine with extra stock. If preferred, remove some mussels from their shells and add to the paella. Reserve some in their shells for garnish. Discard any mussels that don't open when cooked.
Each serving provides 1591 kJ, 380 kcal, 12g protein, 14g fat (2g saturated fat) 44g carbohydrate (5g sugars), 4g fibre, and 568mg sodium.