Some recent guests staying at the Urban Villa came to us from Valencia – the birthplace of Spain’s most famous dish – the paella!
They very kindly provided us with the most authentic of paella recipes. It’s no five minute meal – but that’s why it tastes so very, very good!
If you want to try to create your own Spanish feast at home, read on:
HOW TO PREPARE A Paella
Valencian Paella RECIPE FOR 6 PEOPLE
– 750 gr. rice (about 125 gr. per person) ideally with designation of origin Valencia
– 900 gr. chopped chicken.
– 700 gr. chopped rabbit.
– 300 grams of flat green beans. In valencia these are called ‘bajoqueta’ or ‘ferraura’. They cut off the tips and split each into 3 or 4 parts
– 250 grams of white ‘Lima Beans’. If the broad beans are not fresh but sold dried we soak them for 36 hours.
– 150 grams of crushed tomatoes – about one and a hlaf tomatoes
– one Red peppers
– Olive oil
– Saffron strands
TOOLS YOU CAN USE:
• 1. Paellera = Paella pan. Approx 1 metre in diameter.
• 1. long wooden spoon or spatula
• 1. Firewood to make fire or cooking gas/ butane.
• 1. Apron.
• 1 kitchen gloves to remove the pan and bring to the table.
• 1 Protection to put hot objects on the table if you choose to eat directly from the pan without serving on plate.
Step 1. Leveling the paella.
To make a good paella a fundamental step is to level the pan. This step should be performed before starting the fire. Levelling is important to avoid one area of rice getting more broth than another. . To level the pan add oil to the pan and adjust the pan until the oil collects in the centre. Now it is level and you can light the fire.
Step 2. Adding salt to the areas not covered in oil and light the fire …
When we light the fire, it often happens that the oil runs back into the centre of the pan. If there is no oil covering the outer edges of the pan it can blacken or even burn that area when we heat it up. To prevent this a very good trick is to rub salt on these areas to prevent all the oil draining back into the center of the paella. What we want to avoid is that any part of the pan stays dry as it will burn.
Tip: My experience tells me that a small fire is better than a lot. It takes time and patience to brown the meat anyway and you don’t want the oil to be too hot it can splash and spit.
Step 3. Fry meat.
I like to fry the meat and slowly turning until well browned. After washing the meat, dry it well to avoid splashing hot oil on your arms.
Very important not to set very high heat (keep it at minimum) to avoid burning the paella.
Step 4. Fry vegetables.
PHASE 1 Fry GREEN BEAN and Lima Bean for about 3 minutes turning in the center of the paella ..
PHASE 2 Move the meat and vegetables to the outside of the pan and leave a hollow in the middle for the oil to drain back into.
Pour TOMATO in the centre and fry for about 2 minutes. (If you have any blackened patches int he pan, move the tomato over them – it’s amazing how the acid in the tomato will dissolve these burnt-on bits)
PHASE 3 Move the meat and vegetables and tomato to the outside of the pan and leave a hole in the middle to regroup again the oil in the center of the paella.
We add 2 tablespoons SWEET RED PEPPERS and fry no more than 30 seconds,then add the water. If we fry the peppers any longer they will burn, giving the paella a bitter taste which will burn it.
Step 4. Add water and boil for stock
For 1 kilo of rice use about 2 liters of water. I would advise to put 2.2 liters of water because the water will be boiling for 25 to 35 minutes and some will be lost to evaporation.
The Fijaros far covers the water when we touch the bottom of the pan with the palette. This is the amount of water that must have the paeela before proceeding to the boil Add 2 sprigs of rosemary also to give flavor to the broth.
Tip: If you are at home and can heat water in a separate container and cast him to the pan as close to the boiling point, you will help avoid 2 things:
1st. The meat shrinks and becomes hard (effect occurring with cold water hit the hot meat)
2nd you will save yourself the time it takes to start boiling the water. Practically nothing put water starts boiling
Step 5. Add saffron broth and seasoning.
When we’re 24 minutes into the boil, quietly cast saffron threads until the point we want to have color broth and threw salt until the broth we transmit that feeling that the stock is not dull. .
Tip: When a paella is done, the person who made the salt and broth test to check when a pinch of salt, there must be eaten potatoes, salted almonds, etc.. because if you think there is not always the sweet broth is passed and then pouring salt comes out salty paella
Step 6. Add the rice.
Before adding the rice put a tablespoon of conventional size vertically to check the height of the broth. Correct height would be one that reaches halfway up the spoon (without measuring the clear handle is)
In this step we remove the sprigs of rosemary
Add the rice to the pan and spread as uniformly as possible. If we see grains of rice over the meat pieces in the palette to help paella and turn the pieces of meat for those grains of rice dipping.
Step 7. Leave the paella.
If the height of the stock exceeds the average level of the bucket water may disappear later in more than 20 minutes and the rice could be overcooked and soft. My experience tells me that a full warranty rice holds a maximum 22 minutes without getting soft and from there it is not advisable to spend.
Tip: If we had with water: if we arrived 22 minutes leftover broth, take a spoon and hastily make the broth leftover paella for example in a bowl. Can we save our paella very decently and will continue being rich.
If the water does not exceed the average level of the bucket water could disappear in too little time and rice would be hard. My experience tells me that a full warranty rice remains hard if we cook in less than 15 minutes.
Tip: If we fall short with water: We turn off the heat and quickly we cover the pan with foil and let rest for 10 minutes. When we remove the foil will see that it is full of water vapor that has continued to evolve but that steam paella unable to leave the paella rice finishes cooking and saves us the ballot.
It is recommended that once the paella let it sit a few minutes to lose heat more enjoyable to eat, plus we transmit all the flavor.
Step 9.? Serve on a plate or eat in the pan?
That depends on each. But the feeling of being served a paella in the middle of the table and eat with wooden spoon directly without you serve it on a plate is indescribable.
AND NOW, TO ACCOMPANY THE END WITH YOUR FAVORITE DRINK Paella, GOOD WINE, GOOD BEER OR JUST WATER.