Paella made to perfection!
Paella is flavored rice with all sorts of other goodies such as chicken, peppers, seafood, chorizo and sprinklings of parsley…. or so I thought up till today!I have made paella so many times before and yes has always been delicious and always packed with flavor, but for me to get to that flavor, I had to put in a shopping trolley full of ingredients!
Paella made the proper way, I’ve learned today, requires less ingredients, but a few crucial steps. If you want to learn how to make proper sushi, you would ask a Japanese so if you need an expert’s advise on paella, who better to ask than a Spaniard! When Jose Gomez from Perfect Paella invited me to a cooking demo in the comfort of my own kitchen, I simply could not resist. I wanted to share this hands-on lesson so I invited a few friends and together with Jose we had a lovely morning!
According to Jose, the dish we enjoy here as paella is just rice with stuff. The proper paella needs a few crucial steps and every step adds more flavor to the final dish! It is better for me to explain the steps in the method so read it carefully!
serves 4 – 6
400 grams seafood mix – if you are using frozen, thaw it first
1 red pepper – diced
30 ml olive oil
2 onions – finely chopped
1 tin410 g tin chopped peeled tomatoes
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
250 g Spanish Paella Rice
0.5 g Spanish Saffron
15 m Sweet Paprika
500 ml chicken or fish stock
2 bay leafs
parsley, finely chopped
1. Heat a little 10 ml olive oil in a paella pan and fry the seafood for 1-2 minutes. Remove from the pan. Add 10ml olive oil to the pan and saute the onion and garlic until it starts to caramelize. Remove from the pan and lastly fry the red pepper in the remaining olive oil. Add the onion and garlic to the peppers and then add the tomato, parsley and saffron. Allow to cook for about 3 minutes. Add the seafood and cook for about 1 minute. Now add the rice and some of the stock, always adding stock from the outside outer circle if the pan towards the center. Watch the heat and fill up with more stock if needed. The rice must be al dente and the paella must not become mushy. It is perfect paella if it forms a crust at the bottom of the pan. It is the so-called “socarrat” and highly sought after when making proper paella! Taste and add salt if needed. Serve with a slice of lemon!
I think Jose will have a heart attack looking at all the seafood, but I cook for my family and this is how they like it, sorry Jose! Of course the recipe above is the authentic one!
Answer the question in the comments below and you can win a Spanish Paella pan and 500 g Spanish Paella rice.
What is the crust that forms at the bottom of a proper paella called?
Tomorrow morning just after the 9 o’clock news, I will be back in my seat at RSG studios, sharing this easy recipe with you! Get ready to be amazed! I will also in weeks to come take you into the kitchens of other bloggers, chefs and interesting South Africans this year. So buckle up, it is going to be an awesome ride. Tune in 100-104FM or listen online here!