Showing posts with label Paella. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paella. Show all posts

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Oven-Roasted Shrimp and Sausage Paella

The genuine article as seen in Spain
Paella is, hands down, the dish most associated with Spain.  Prior to the emergence of tapas on tables everywhere and Ferran Adria’s molecular gastronomy, I’d venture to say, it was the only food most people thought of when they thought of Spanish cooking. However, in that country, it’s a dish associated with one province: Valencia on the East Coast.  Valencian cooks regard it as one of the identifying symbols of their province.   It’s one of those dishes that has so many variations, it’s possible to call any dish made with short-grained Spanish rice a Paella.  This is particularly true since the word “Paella” actually refers to the pan the dish is cooked in.  From there, it gets even more complicated because Valencians use the word “Paella” for all pans, including the specialized shallow one used for cooking Paellas. Plus, there’s no master recipe for Paella. Every cook seems to have their own version and sticks rigidly to their family recipe as the only way to cook paella. Recently, we were having a dinner party for more guests than usual. Because of all I'd read about Paella, I felt I had permission to go with something of my own creation. I liberally borrowed from several recipes to end up with what made the dish popular in the first place:  Because it makes for a great party.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Chicken Paella with Sugar Snap Peas in about an hour!

        When I came home on Sunday, Andrew had been dog-earing the latest Bon Appetit magazine which features ‘Fresh and Easy Dinners’. Tops on their list, and on their cover,  was a recipe for a ‘quick’ paella. If you’re ever had a paella in Spain, you know it is hardly ‘quick’ and involves a special paella pan. 

I distinctly remember being in Spain with my elderly parents when we ordered Paella for lunch in the Andulusian countryside.   The paella took an interminable amount of time to get to the table.  In the meantime, almonds and a enormous quantity of Sherry were served first and this proved to be a mistake.   A good hour passed of drinking the sherry and nibbling on the almonds.  Despite its gentile reputation, Sherry is high in alcohol at about 20%.  Compare that to a glass of Chardonnay at 13%.    By the time the paella appeared, both my parents had literally nodded off at the table.  I remember having to apologize profusely as I tucked into the paella solo.