Cod, prawns and quinoa with saffron sauce

Cod, prawns and quinoa with saffron sauce

Bacalao y gambas al azafran con quinoa

Spanish Made Simple

Every time I use the head and shells of prawns to make a shellfish stock for a dish, I know that the end result is going to have a refined taste, whether it’s a seafood paella or a fish stew.


Quantity Ingredient
16 whole large prawns
olive oil, For frying
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1g saffron threads
1 teaspoon sweet pimenton
1 tablespoon tomato puree
25ml brandy
100ml white wine
200g quinoa, Rinsed
200ml single cream
4 x 150g cod loins
ground white pepper


  1. Peel the prawns and keep the heads and shells for the stock. Set aside the tails. Pour a small drizzle of olive oil into a medium pan over a high heat and fry the heads and shells of the prawns for 5 minutes until golden, stirring constantly so that they cook on all sides, and then pour in 1 litre water. Bring to the boil and cook for 20 minutes, then blend with a hand blender for 20 seconds to squeeze as much flavour from the heads as possible. Pass through a fine sieve and set aside.
  2. Pour 5 tablespoons oil into a large frying pan over a medium heat and sweat the onion and leek for 15 minutes. Add the garlic and fry over a high heat for 3 minutes, then add the saffron, sweet pimentón and tomato purée. Cook for 2 minutes, then flambé with the brandy followed by the white wine. To do this, slowly tilt the pan towards the flame until the brandy catches, or light with a match. Let the flames flare up then die down.
  3. Add the quinoa to the pan, season and pour over the reserved prawn stock. Cook over a low heat for about 20 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender. Add the cream and prawns, stir and bring back to the boil. Cook for 3 minutes, taking care not to overcook the prawns. Meanwhile, pour a little olive oil into a separate pan over a high heat. Season the cod and fry, skin side down, until cooked – 5–10 minutes depending on the thickness. If really thick, carefully turn them over after 5 minutes so that they cook on both sides.
  4. Lay a bed of saffron quinoa on each plate and top with the cod loins.
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