My Paella Adventure!
I’m always looking for some new recipes, and what better way to find one than looking in a cookbook I had sitting right on my shelf!
I was inspired by this great cookbook we bought after our trip to Spain:
Bravo to Penelope Casas for the great historical perspective on this “national” dish of Spain.
Using Penelope’s cookbook as my guide, it was time to make some Spanish Paella at home!
Paella is a traditional Spanish dish from Valencia. It is a rice dish that can have meat, fish, seafood, and vegetables and is characterized by its use of saffron to give it a yellow color and unique flavor.
Now, it’s time for me to make one at home!
It’s a two-part process…first, prep the ingredients like onion, garlic, bell pepper so they are ready to cook, then put together all of your proteins:
Yes, the centerpiece of this Paella is going to be these beautiful Langoustines…and thanks to the terrific food emporium Eataly here in Century City for supplying these gorgeous fellows…as well as fresh Clams, Mussels, Chicken Thighs and Chicken Chorizo!
First step is to pre-cook the Chicken thighs and Chicken Chorizo…note, that was all I had access to that day, but it tasted great!
And how do they look when cooking? Here you go!
It smelled as good as it sounded!
Once those items were pre-cooked, they were set aside…next up, pre-cook some of the seafood!
I chose to pre-cook my seafood…simmered in boiling, salted water for a few minutes – covered to steam them open…you can use that broth later if you want, but either way, most of my protein was precooked with one big exception…
Next up, time to cook the onions, garlic and bell pepper (just for Alex, this is a separate dish for me without the bell pepper – sorry,, not a fan).
I used the same pan I cooked the chicken and chorizo in, first giving it a splash of white wine to allow me to scrape the little tasty bits off the bottom, then I added my ingredients, including my Paprika and Saffron, and let it cook…
Don’t worry, the whole recipe with portions is at the end of this!
Now the fun stuff: add broth – I used Chicken Stock, put the chicken and chorizo back in and let it simmer away, bringing together all of the flavors…
As I mentioned, I made two different recipes: Alex got bell peppers plus I also used Cauliflower Rice for hers…it works well, but I went with the traditional rice, which was pre-cooked at added now, along with some fire-roasted tomatoes:
Now comes the fun part: putting the Clams and Mussels back into the pan, and top it all with those Langoustines!
Put a lid on and let the Langoustines steam in the mixture for 7=8 minutes, then take the lid off and let the liquid cook away…and it will sound like this:
Once you take the lid off and let it simmer, the rice absorbs the liquid and the final dish takes shape!
I plated the dish is a large shallow bowl and topped it with fresh parsley – which led me to this final presentation:
And it was a delicious success!
I mentioned earlier that I wasn’t going to get “in the weeds” with the portion information, choosing to leave it here along with some really terrific history of this incredible dish.
Back to the terrific Paella Cookbook bye Penelope Casas – here is the recipe I followed – loosely – to create our Paella at home – after she explains the importance of this dish to that Country:
Of course, nothing will ever match the real thing from Spain.
I was lucky enough to taste it on Spain’s “Wild Coast”:
Here’s a look at the incredible dish we got in Costa Brava, part of our adventure along Spain’s “Wild Coast!”
Click here for more:
If you get the chance to go to Costa Brava, make sure to take a day to ride a big through the three medieval villages!
They are close enough to bike to all three, and so we did!
Click here to see our entire route:
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