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  Topic Review (Newest First)
05-02-2014 10:45 AM
Re: Paella recipes

use pre cooked rice...par boiled short grain if you want to save a few bucks, if not go all out with bomba, calasparra etc...

my advice is get the basics down first then use the real stuff on a really special paella...
05-02-2014 10:33 AM
Re: Paella recipes

I'm not that great of a cook but looking over this thread, it looks like I might give some of this a try.

Originally Posted by ardoin View Post
Clams are essential in the dish. Chicken, shrimp (with heads), lots of herbs and every now and then with squid/squid ink. Yum. Short grain rice is also a requirement, don't do it with basimati or other long grain rice. Use a really thick metal skillet - thin sided pans will not work as well.
Thanks for the info on the rice. I've been using basmati for a while and like it but I guess I'd have to find a different kind.

Everything on this thread looks so good. It's still morning and I'm already getting hungry.
05-02-2014 09:29 AM
Re: Paella recipes

thought you guys might like a simple AIOLI recipe too:

1 whole room temp egg, preferrably one that hasnt been refrigerated before
2 cloves small garlic or one big elephant one(softer taste)
big pinch of kosher or sea salt
half a squeeze of lime
a dash of olive oil and half a cup of veggie oil(canola works great)

Break the whole egg into a hand blender cup, make sure the yolk doesnt break chop the garlic into the egg close to the yolk, add other ingredients slowly with the lime juice over the yolk as well as the salt(this helps emulsify quickly)

put hand blender right over yolk and garlic it must cover the whole yolk...

start it up...after it has emulsified a bit slowly raise the blender a couple of times, have extra oil ready to add to the mix so you can make a bit more

after it has gotten thick stop, dont go more as it will get bitter

if needed thin down with another splash of lime juice, adjust salt and if needed a splash of water...

this is the base for any aioli pretty much and is the standard for fish, aioli potatoes, aioli for seafood paellas etc...

I also use this base to add to a nice fish stew or spanish bouillabase...!


05-02-2014 09:20 AM
Re: Paella recipes

Thought Id post a couple of pics of our last paella we had amongst friends down here since it has been a while...

it was a lobster and seafood paella with aioli! mmmmmmmmmmmmm!

and a close up:

I had just put in the lobster in after 10 min with the burners at max(lobster and clams where cooked off in the oil first a bit to add falvor to the base of the sofrito) after this you turn it down to a simmering heat enough to finish if the last 15 minutes or so...

this recipe had lobster, robalo, clams, squid, and shrimp...I made the stock with a type of catfish used down here for fish soup, lobster heads which I later cut in half and placed in the paella to release more flavor, and aromatics...

it was delicious!

03-26-2014 07:41 PM
Re: Paella recipes

Clams are essential in the dish. Chicken, shrimp (with heads), lots of herbs and every now and then with squid/squid ink. Yum. Short grain rice is also a requirement, don't do it with basimati or other long grain rice. Use a really thick metal skillet - thin sided pans will not work as well.
03-26-2014 04:44 PM
Re: Paella recipes

I see you have the caribean sofrito touch...

oregano and all those spices are inevitable in latin america so that is why I make latin style paellas and traditional

in any case this has made me hungry now! mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

03-26-2014 04:18 PM
Re: Paella recipes

so for paella use what you use as sofrito for the stock

peppers, tomatoes and a bit of onion...lots of garlic, a little bay leaf.
Agree Christian... I actually have 'steps' to making my sofrito as in; olive oil heated in pan, add minced garlic, sweet peppers, green peppers, onions, fresh cilantro, and stir it into the oil until it's cooked through, then add black pepper, bay leaves, oregano (small amount to liven the flavor) saffron, crushed tomatoes and a small amount of tomato paste... let it cook down and add some Spanish wine of choice to loosen everything up off the pan then add the rice mixture and seafood broth with Spanish chorizo... cook it down... add the cooked seafood later when it's almost done... 5 minutes to heat everything up... presentation is 50% of the dish... laying out the shrimp, clams, mussels, lobster, etc. is what makes the dish appealing along with it being a 'communal' dish... many large self serving spoons helps when everyone is savoring this dish!
03-26-2014 03:25 PM
Re: Paella recipes

Originally Posted by T37Chef View Post
About the shrimp...

I think most know cooking shrimp with the shell and head on add the most flavor to the dish, hence steaming shrimp with the head/shell on.

But like many, I don't like to to work to much when eating, and being a chef who cooked for fine dining establishments, having the guest peel their shrimp at the table is not ideal.

I advocate you buy the head on shrimp whenever ever possible, usually Asian markets sells them, most typical grocery stores (at least around here) do not.

Peel the shrimp leaving the head on, then prior to making your dish make a quick shrimp stock to use instead of water or bouillon. You get the shrimp flavor without the hassle of peeling while your eating it. Reason for leaving the head on while you cook is because the fat is in the head and has tremendous flavor. If you cant do the head on, then at least throw the heads in the stock with the shells. The stock will only take 30-45 minutes with a bit of mirepoix, this could be made ahead of time and frozen as well.

Just a couple of thoughts on shrimp anyway

I do not have a recipe for Paella, as I often say here...its not about recipes its about using good technique and learning a method and what the key point of making that dish are. Many of those things have already been mentioned here. The type of pan (to be authentic but a saute pan work just fine), the rice, the stock, saffron, the cooking time and when to add certain items. Otherwise you put in it what you like to eat. Don't like calamari, skip it and add mussels, don't like mussels, add clams, don't like seafood use chicken. Just the other day I used pork and lobster and it turn out great.

couple of things and I only say this cause I was born in spain and specialized my cooking there

if you recomended mirepoix in a stock for paella in spain you would lose your job in seconds...

and the simple reason is the stock must emulate the paella

mirepoix does not exist in spain...

no paella has either carrots, nor celery and definetly no aromatics the french commonly use for stock...

you wouldnt beleive how much celery affects flavor of a stock(well im sure you do youre a chef)!!!

one of the big differences in cuisines from around the world is how you make stocks...

so for paella use what you use as sofrito for the stock

peppers, tomatoes and a bit of onion...lots of garlic, a little bay leaf.

now for vegetable paella you can go all crazy with tons of peas, calabacines which are a type of squash, tomatoes, greens etc...

I love veggie paellas with garbanzos btw

paellas do have rules and its one of those things I often see broken a lot in many places

one thing you never do is saute ingredients and add them towards the end of he cooking process...

you can brown meats, or in lobster paellas and seafood paellas you do precook them but to get depth of flavor and color, not sautee...ever...

what ends up happening there is you end up with what looks like a stirfry with the stuff on top

you want the ingredients with the exception of a few things like mussels and or shrimp to be a part of the rice

for example fish...thats why I recomend meaty fish like grouper and halibut, they maintain their consistency and dont fall apart plus they remain juicy and chunky

one last tip is to not cut up stuff into small peices

for a chicken paella it goes without saying that everyting goes with BONE....

rabbot paella too

breasts cut in half or if breaking down a whole chicken do so and just leave the neck, feet and gizzards for broth

the whole point of cooking meats in paella is big peices and bone in, they release flavor and thicken the stock while its cooking...and this way remains juicy

I always chuckle a bit when people in the states or elsewhere complain about bone in food when they eat wings and pirme rib and the like all the time, but all of a sudden a chicken breast with the bone is the worst heresy and complicated food to eat...or paellas with whole shrimp or a whole fried fish

I know its cultural but just get over it...

I hate to say it but paella will never be a fine dining meal and if you try to make it so with the exception of a few that dont have bones like paella negra or senorito paella you will invariably make it less flavorfull, les appealing and you lose the comunal and friendly nature that paella is intended to be as a group meal...

at the restaurant btw I often make creamy black rice with aioli, and top it off with a shrimp a la plancha...always full shelled...there is a beatiful contrast of color with the birght red orange shrimp, white aioli and dark black rice

its easy to eat too! excpet for those damn complicated shells JAJAJAJAAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJA

03-26-2014 02:01 PM
Re: Paella recipes

Love paella and make it every chance I can. Actually paella is originally a dish made by using leftovers... according to it's background paella was made by using all leftovers from royal banquets to make the dish...

Inland Valencian's paella where it originated uses white rice, green vegetables, meat; rabbit, chicken, duck, and snails, whereas seafood paella was originated in in the seafaring areas of Valencia... where this dish originated, the mixed paellas (land based meats and seafood) came from outside the Valencia area and is how we have paella today. There is also a Paella Negro... which is black rice due to the calamari/squid ink which is what Cubans and Puerto Ricans make as the squid/calamari ink enhances the flavor from an already tasty dish.

I agree with Chef regarding making the shrimp (I also put in lobster, clams, mussels, scallops, and calamari) broth and using it to make the rice, Spanish chorizo, vegetables, seasonings (GOYA with saffron), etc. and cook through until almost done... adding the seafood about the time the rice is almost complete. and serve, add some Tempranillo wine and we're set... after that some tembleque or Spanish Flan (egg custard) for dessert... Yumm!
03-26-2014 11:21 AM
Re: Paella recipes

Chef, thanks for your comments. I really agree that it is about technique and every time I cook, I learn something about the dish I'm preparing for future improvements. That is how I got to good bread. Fine dining gives one beautifully prepared and presented and tasty dishes. By the same token, I really enjoyed watching my friends pick up those little rabbit bones and suck every morsel out of them. It was a first experience with rabbit
for them. Too bad it is so expensive here - it was the meat of my youth that we hunted in the green fields of the imperial valley in California.
We are what we eat. Keep cooking, and sailing.
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