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paella

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This vegetarian paella is filled with mediterranean vegetables; zucchinis, onion, garlic, bell pepper and the famous smokey paprika from Spain (pimentón de la Vera). Paella is a great dish, you can make it with whatever you feel like, the base though usually stays the same, the sofrito, which is fried onion in olive oil and garlic and the pulp from a tomato, you let it reduce and this is the main base for any paella. In Spain, they say 1 out of 100 paellas are made with saffron… because of it’s price, instead they use paprika, coloring powder or the paste of dried capsicums (ñora, choricero and piquillo). Those four dried peppers are the base to the famous paprika (pimentón), the ñora and choricero are sweet and quite similar in taste, the Mediterranean coast uses more the ñora, which is rounder, while the west uses the choricero, a long and sweet pepper. The Piquillo is a mildly spicy one, and…

Paella de marisco (seafood paella) is a dish, I’ve studied quite a lot, since I live in Spain. Also, it’s “the meal” every guests that comes visit is looking forward to try… I had to make it quite a few times. The beauty in seafood paella is that you can use whatever “seafood” you prefer, although the usual crawfishes (cigalas) and/or prawns (langostinos) are an important topping element. Also typically, you’ll find whether mussels or clams in the seafood paella, the rest is all up to you. So for this version, I’ve simply used crawfish as a topping and in the paella are a few clams and shrimp tails. But you could also use other types of seafood like, calamari, lobster, prawns, etc. What gives the color to a seafood paella, if you do it the real way (no colorant) is the paprika and saffron. Often omitted, the saffron gives this great…

Asparagus, peas and bacon paella isn’t quite a classic paella. Although originally, paellas were a rice with all the ingredients from under the nose of those making it on the rice fields would use; like mini eels, snails, rabbit, etc. So I do exactly the same, I add a few leftovers of bacon bits to finish and also a 3 days old bunch of asparagus, and finish it up with my rest of frozen peas. I mean, yes… it is a leftover meal, but it still all works together in the end, I don’t just throw all my fridge leftovers for the sake of finishing the food. Paellas are a great way to use your leftovers, also it’s a fairly easy and tasty meal. The secret of a good paella lays in the broth you add to it, which usually contains a little wine. The paellas, as opposed to risotto, should not move during…

A famous dish in Spain, is the famous “arroz negro” made with the fresh ink of cuttlefish. I don’t know why they call it “black rice” instead of “black paella” since it’s done exactly like a paella and it usually comes in the paella pan… Nonetheless, this dark paella is my personal favorite of them all! I know it can be challenging for some, even for me at first, the color and the fact that you eat the cuttlefish ink… but if you are courageous enough to take the first bite. Oh my! You will discover another world! The ink actually is a mouthful of sea aromas, salty, it’s really a flavour of it’s own. But if you want to be submerged into that meal… you’ll have to be brave enough to take the first bite and then it will become one of those printed memories you always dream of going back to. I’m not kidding……

A new hybrid recipe here: the “Risolla”… a mix between a risotto and a paella; Italy vs Spain. It’s a bit of both techniques, the light frying of the rice at first just like in the risotto and paella, then adding the broth and let sit with the spinach on top so they shrink down into the rice, without moving the rice until the end; that’s more typical of paella. The risotto factor is mainly in the ingredients, a good white wine and cheese to finish. So this isn’t a paella, nor a risotto; it’s a “Risolla”. The end result is less creamy than a traditional risotto because of the lack of moving the rice. But the taste is quite similar. I, often, do those hybrid meals, no disrespect to traditions, they are important and most people stick to them and it’s fine… it’s just “my tradition” is to experiment!…

Spain: land of paella, land of chorizo and land of good olive oil… this meal brings you there! If you can get to a good butcher, you should be able to find those paprika flavored fresh sausages, and if you’re lucky, maybe you’ll find an export from Spain. Chorizo in Spain varies: some are dried, others are fresh and some are spicy, smoky or sweet, depending on the paprika (pimenton) which is used. The sausage comes in all kind of forms, large, thin, in “U” shape etc. It is often served as a tapa into little clay pots. Sometimes it’s cooked in wine or cider or even flamed in cognac, however in this recipe I simply use a tiny bit of red wine. Paella is a great dish created by the rice farmers from the Valencia region. Back in the day, farmers used to take any available ingredients they could easily find around them such as green beans, eels and snails, with some luck…

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