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Monday, August 3, 2009

Paella

In my previous post I had mentioned about going to the Spanish store in search of a caldero – a paella pan – for my paella experiment. Here is the result of this Spanish alchemy.




I was meaning to go for the ‘authentic Paella Valenciana’ recipe which is primarily chicken and rabbit meat, but because a more famous dish ordered in Spanish restaurants include a wonderful array of seafood such as mussels, prawns and clams, I figured it would be disappointing from a guest’s perspective if Sunday Paella didn’t have any crustaceans in it. Hence this recipe was revised a bit to add a couple of prawns and mussels to chicken and rabbit pieces, simmered in chicken stock flavored with saffron.

The recipe was pretty much based on this , with just the addition of the seafood around 15 minutes before the heat was turned off, just thought that since the mussels and prawns were not completely submerged it may take a bit longer to cook them. I also pounded the saffron with salt (I saw it on TV!) before adding it to the mix.

bubbling away

finished product

I used Calasparra rice (a bit expensive but well worth it!) and the pan is an investment and is good for 6 servings.


The paella was pretty tasty and will definitely do more of these to get the hang of the proportions of the water/stock and the rice.

Tips that I picked up from researching prior to making this dish :

- NEVER stir the rice after you've added it in
- Let it sit/rest for around 10 minutes before serving
- It is best to cook it in an open fire rather than an electric stove to ensure better, even heat distribution. Unfortunately this is my constraint. Will probably try it over the bbq next time!
- The perfect paella has a soccarat - from the verb socarrar, which means to toast lightly - a crust of rice that sticks to the bottom of the pan. (tutong in tagalog!)

One thing is for sure - it was tastier the next day!


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