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Old 02-02-2009, 08:30 AM   #1
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My favourite Spanish dish: Paella

One of my favourites is seafood. I love anything from prawns to mussels and oysters. This time I decided to make something from Spanish cuisine and I stopped on the Paella. The recipe says Paella on the barbecue, but I must say it tastes not bad at all when cooked on the normal gas cooker as well.

Here is what you need:


2 litres vegetable or chicken stock
Good pinch of saffron strands
4 tbsp olive oil
100 g chorizo sausage thinly sliced
450g boneless skinless chicken breasts or tights, cut into cubes
1 onion, peeled and chopped into small dice
3 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
450g ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
200g green beans, trimmed and halved
2 tbsp paprika
450g short grain rice, such as calasparra or arborio
300g large raw prawns in shells
Large handful of flat leaf parsley
roughly chopped lemon wedges, to serve

Bring the stock and saffron to a simmer in a pan. I used large wok for this dish, but you could use any large frying pan. Heat half of the oil and add chorizo and fry until crisp, then transfer to a plate.

Add the remaining oil to the pan. Fry the chicken, stirring, until lightly coloured. Add the onion and garlic and stir for 3-4 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and pepper. Season, stir in the beans and paprika. Stir in the rice until the grains begin to soak up the oil. Add to ladlefuls of hot stock. When it bubbles, stir in more. Continue adding stock and stirring for 15 minutes, or until the rice is just tender.

Return the chorizo to the pan. Add the prawns and until they turn pink (2-3 minutes). Season. Remove from the heat, cover with foil. Let it cool for 5 minutes, stir in the parsley.

All that have left to do now is to enjoy it really! Happy eating!

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Old 02-02-2009, 11:03 AM   #2
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excellent recipe! love the dish too!
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Old 02-02-2009, 11:22 AM   #3
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I love Paella too, but for me it wouldn't be the same without mussels, hard-shell clams, squid, artichoke hearts, green peas, & roasted red peppers in addition to shrimp, chicken, & sausages.
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Old 02-02-2009, 11:23 AM   #4
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I have never eaten Paella, but would love to try it! The recipe reminds me so much of jambalaya, that I think jambalaya must have been a derivative of Paella without the saffron, which wouldn't have been readily available in the new world, and with a different type of sausage.
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Old 02-11-2009, 02:05 PM   #5
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Love Paella also - agree with Breezy - it cries out for mussels, clams, squid, octopus etc.
I like it kind of spicy so I put in jalepenos and cayenne.

There is one curious thing about the cooking technique.
Paella is one of the only rice based dishes which is intended
to cook uncovered.
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Old 02-11-2009, 03:59 PM   #6
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mike, what about risotto?
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Old 02-11-2009, 04:22 PM   #7
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That's the great thing about paella,
You can use any fresh seafood that's available
"You wouldn't know a diamond if you held it in your hand. The things you think are precious I can't understand" STEELY DAN.
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Old 02-11-2009, 05:30 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by mudbug View Post
mike, what about risotto?
Hi Mudbug

Risotto - of course !
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Old 02-12-2009, 09:12 AM   #9
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This recipe was originally published on the BBC Food website: BBC - Food - Recipes - Paella on the barbecue

While it may be very tasty, it isn't even remotely a paella. It's more of a seafood risotto. The difference between a risotto and a paella is comparable to the difference between an omelet and scrambled eggs. The ingredients may be identical and the technique is even somwhat similar, but the final dish is totally different. Whatever other ingredients you add, paella is distinguished from other rice dishes by the texture and flavor of the rice. Once you've eaten a properly prepared paella, you'll never confuse it with something like the dish described in this recipe.

First, it has far too much liquid. Paella rice shouldn't be too moist, and never soupy. The correct ratio of liquid to rice is approximately 2 to 1, adding a little more liquid without stirring, during the cooking process if the rice starts drying out too much. This recipe calls for 450gr of rice (approximately 2 1/2 cups) and 2lt (almost 8 1/2 cups) of liquid.

Secondly, when making a paella the liquid isn't added bit by bit and stirred as it is in making risotto. It's added all at once and isn't stirred at all during the cooking process.

I'm not really criticizing this recipe - it looks like it may be very good. However, it isn't a paella.

If anyone is interested in trying to make authentic Spanish paella, there are resources on the internet. Here are a couple of links:
Paella: Rice at Its Best - Fine Cooking Article
Paella Recipe - An Authentic Spanish Paella Recipe from Madrid

Also, I'll post my own recipe and technique for a mixed seafood paella, "Paella Step by Step", in a separate thread under ethnic foods.
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