As you can see I used a large skillet to make this because I don't have a paella pan but you could also use a wok. Do try to find something with a lid that fits though otherwise you'll end up in a strange double balancing lid situation like I did!
I decided to use mock king prawns and chicken drumsticks in my paella. Nick & I picked them up in Berlin in June & had been struggling to come up with a recipe to use them in, I thought paella would be perfect. I also used vegi bacon, red pepper & peas.
For some reason I could't just pick one recipe & go with it, oh no, that'd be far too simple! I ended up spending the morning researching and I took inspiration from two meat / fish based recipes online, one from Jamie Oliver and one from the BBC website written by Anthony Worrel Thompson. I also looked at Dynise Baclavage's recipe in The Urban Vegan Kitchen, this recipe on the blog What The Hell Does A Vegan Eat Anyway and Liz's review of the Millennium Cookbooks Paella on her blog Cooking The Vegan Books.
The actual paella recipe is very much a work in progress so I'm not going to post it today. I'd like to make some changes so that I'm happy with it first & being the unexperienced recipe writer that I am I'm probably going to need to cook it again before that can happen. Is this usually how this works or are seasoned recipe writers just intuitive enough to sense what needs changing? I probably wouldn't use the mock shrimp or chicken again, I quite liked them (Nick was oddly less impressed given that he usually loves mock meat) but the prawns didn't taste as sea-like as I'd hoped they would meaning that I wished I'd added more nori. Next time I think I'll use canned artichoke hearts, Chorizo Seitan Sausages from Viva Vegan and perhaps some homemade chicken style seitan.
I also don't think I steeped the saffron in the vegetable stock for long enough meaning that the paella didn't quite have it's traditional colour, that is until I remembered I'd brought this back from Mallorca...
...this definitely perked up the colour of the seitan & as far as I can tell it does't have a detectable flavour. I was thinking of using the annato infused oil from Viva Vegan to add the colour next time although I'm sure it would be far from traditional!
Whilst the paella wasn't perfect I think that this was a pretty good first try & I'm definitely looking forward to eating the leftovers tomorrow.