Romance Cooks

Ocean Paella – Misa Buckley


I was going to share something with ‘angel’ in the title for this recipe, then decided against it. Instead, you’re getting one of my favourite things to make. I guess since it’s seafood and my main character adores the sea, that’s kind of a connection?

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Recipe – Ocean Paella

(Feeds 6-8 people)


500g/1lb 2oz squid, cleaned, beaks and outer membrane removed

8 tbsp olive oil

2 red onions, peeled, thinly sliced

4 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed

150g/5oz chorizo, sliced

400g/14oz pearl barley (soaked in a bowl of cold water for six hours, or overnight)

1 red pepper, stalk and seeds removed, thinly sliced

200g/7oz cherry tomatoes, left whole

290g/10oz chargrilled artichokes (from a jar), preserved in oil

1 tsp sweet smoked paprika

650ml/1 pint 3fl oz warm chicken or vegetable stock

1.8kg/4lb white fish (haddock works great), skin removed, cut into pieces

12 large prawns, peeled, heads removed, tails intact

750g/1lb 10oz fresh mussels, rinsed, scrubbed, beards removed

lemon wedges, to serve


If you’ve bought whole fresh squid (I cheat and buy pre-prepped) then before you start cooking, cut each squid down the length of its body and open it out to reveal the inside of the squid body. Score the inside of the squid all over using a sharp knife and cut the squid into pieces. Set aside or chill until needed.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

Heat the oil in a paella pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and fry gently until softened. Add the garlic and fry for a further 2-3 minutes, or until softened. Add the chorizo and fry for 1-2 minutes, or until it starts to brown.

Push the onions, garlic and chorizo to the outside of the paella pan, then drain the soaked pearl barley well and add it to the pan, stirring well to coat it in the oil. Fry the pearl barley for 3-4 minutes, stirring well.

Add the red pepper, cherry tomatoes, artichokes (in their oil) and paprika. Stir until well combined.

Add the warm stock and bring the mixture to the boil.

Arrange the white fish pieces, squid, prawns and mussels on top of the paella. Cover the pan tightly with a double thickness of aluminium foil so that no moisture can escape from the pan.

Bake the paella in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the pearl barley is tender and the seafood is cooked through.

To serve, bring the paella pan to the table and allow guests to help themselves. Garnish each plate with a wedge of lemon.



Patient. Merciful. Protective… One out of three ain’t bad.

Small time crook Gabriel Kemp is just trying to make a living when a hit-and-run leaves him for dead. Waking up in hospital to an angel at his bedside gives him a second chance, but one that comes with a condition.

Fleeing San Francisco doesn’t mean he can evade the deal either – he still manages to meet Abigail Harris, the woman he’s promised to protect. He might not believe in the psychic visions she claims to have, but he knows if there’s even a chance she can identify the serial killer terrorizing downtown L.A. then she’s in danger.

The only way to keep Abby safe is to find and stop the killer. If that means taking on the devil determined to turn the City of Angels into the City of Hell on Earth, then so be it.

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