Originating in Valencia, in the east coast region of Spain, paella is the quintessential Spanish dish. Think an array of colors much like the Spanish flag; the base is the saffron-spiced rice packed with layers of flavours and then adorned with a variety of vegetables, your favorite meat or compilation of seafood all in one pot. Paella is typically served at lunchtime in Spain and is a wonderful meal to share with friends and family. Preparing a paella may seem like a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few tips to ensure that making the perfect paella is easy to pull off.
In making a paella, one of the first things to consider is the rice. While recipes and instructions vary, there is one tip that is consistent: you must have the perfect rice. The perfect rice can be found in the form of the Spanish rice called ‘Bomba’ meaning bomb. This is a short, round rice that is capable of absorbing three times its own volume and doesn’t fall apart during cooking. Since the flavor of the paella comes from the stock, vegetables and meat absorbed into the rice; it is important to use the correct rice.
Another thing to take into consideration is the stock to be used. What gives flavour to your paella is the stock that you will use to cook the rice and other ingredients. During cooking, the stock is absorbed by the rice and this is what makes the paella delicious. It is important to choose your stock wisely. A good stock will turn a good paella into great paella.
To achieve the perfect paella the pan used for cooking the dish is incredibly important. For this, use the aptly named Paella pan. These pans are thin so they heat up quickly and combined with its extra-large surface area; the stock evaporates quickly. Additionally, their large size, shallow depth guarantees the even cooking of the paella. With paella pans, cooking is easier as the nature of the pan ensures that as much rice as possible makes contact with the bottom of the pan to give the dish that desired dry and crispy texture. Remember this is the dish to serve your paella in as well. Just set it in the centre of the table and serve!
Another important element in your paella preparation is the method of cooking to be used. Paella is best prepared over an open fire. The reason for this is so that the heat is evenly distributed and because the heat should gradually decrease during cooking. If you plan on preparing paellas often, you may want to invest in a Paella Grill with Burner. This grill uses wood, propane or charcoal and the grill can be removed to prepare other vegetables and side dishes. But, you can also use a standard gas or charcoal BBQ as well.
Paella is a flexible dish and there are more varieties of recipes than one can count. If you are a meat fan, try Valencian Chicken and Rabbit Paella. A vegetarian, how about this Spanish Vegan Paella? A seafood lover? Try this seafood paella. Or even try them all! Whatever your appetite, there is a paella recipe that will work for you.