Cooking Pan Perfect Paella Every Time

Cooking Pan Perfect Paella Every Time

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Paella is a traditional Spanish recipe that has seen many different various evolve, all of them equally as delectable! You can make paella with seafood in the real traditional sense or with chicken, rabbit, or a vegetarian version. The one ingredient that remains the same for any type of paella dish however is the rice.

The Right Paella Rice

A long-cooking short grained rice is the right kind of rice for a paella recipe, no matter what other ingredients are included. You can use whole-grain or wild rice for a healthier various over plain, white rice. The key is that it is not instant and that when cooking it over time it is able to absorb the liquids used to make the dish. When you get enough stock to absorb without letting the rice get too limp or dry, then you have made it right.

Paella can become an impressive meal even if you are caught off guard with a sudden house full of guests. You can use lots of rice to make the dish spread further and ration out the more scarce ingredients.

Flexible and Plentiful

What can you put in the paella? Just about anything you have on hand. Once you have the right kind of rice you next need to have a good flavoured stock. The stock is what gives this dish its proper flavour and its mouth-watering colouring. Saffron, also called azafran, is what gives the food its light yellow hue. This is what makes it recognizable as paella.

Sample the Perfect Seafood Paella Recipe

The ingredients you will need for your paella include about 4 cups rice
8 cups fish stock
8 king-sized langoustines or prawns
8 mussles
½ pound shrimp
8 ounces fresh or frozen peas
2 tomatoes, first skinned and then chopped. (Tip: skin the tomatoes by dipping them in boiling water for a few seconds then running them under cold water. The skin will peel right off.)
2 cloves of garlic sliced very thinly
3 strands of saffron crumbled by hand.

You will also need good virgin olive oil for frying the seafood.

Start by sautéing the garlic in a paella pan. Add tomatoes, peas, shrimp and saffron. Let this cook just until the garlic is tender, but don’t let it burn. It will ruin the entire dish. Add the uncooked rice and stock. Let this simmer for about 20 minutes so the rice can absorb the stock and plump up. You will want to cover the dish so the liquid does not evaporate too quickly. Poach the rest of the seafood in boiling water for just a few minutes.

It’s All About Presentation

Paella is even more delicious when it is presented in the traditional manner. A large flat platter is the perfect dish to layout the rice mixture then top with the individual seafood in a decorative way. You can garnish your creation with some lemon wedges and serve some extra lemon in another dish to compliment the seafood.

In other variations of paella, you would begin the same way. Instead of stirring in the shrimp, however, you would sauté the chicken or other meat until it is about ¾ way cooked. You can top with other cooked meats at the presentation time and garnish with lemon as well.

This signature dish of Spain is gaining popularity worldwide. Special paella pans can be purchased online and at retailers around the world. The tell-tale shape of a large flat pan, almost like a frying pan but a bit deeper is often adorned with gold or stainless steel handles. The lid is a must, since a properly fitting lid is needed to regulate how fast the liquid soaks up.

By Rob Carlton

Robert Carlton writes for www.alicante-spain.com , an online publication with topics around spanish culture . You can learn about his publications on paella over at www.alicante-spain.com.

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