Paella, The Most Famous Spanish Dish

First of all, paella is not exactly the dish but the recipient this typical plate is cooked in. We all have seen the paella pan before when visiting Spain or browsing the net for paella recipes

The typical paella a la valenciana was "invented" in a small village called El Perell? close to the city of Valencia. The unique situation of the village between a natural lake with sweet water and the sea provided to the habitants of the area all they needed to make a complete dish with many of the most important vitamins and minerals in a balanced combination.

With farmlands at hand where they grew rice and beans, the sea for shellfish and the lake for ducks together with their chickens gave the people of the area all they needed to make 2 different versions of the paella a la valenciana.

The first one is the paella made of meat. This paella is a combination of chicken and duck together with rice, lemon, olive oil, beans and saffron. But nowadays the duck is most of the times substituted by rabbit which is a lot easier to get and cheaper.

This type of paella is still very popular amongst the people of Valencia and it is very common to hear people say: "Sunday I am going to eat paella with my parents".

In the old days the paella was served in the paella pan and all who joined in at the table ate from the same pan with wooden spoons. Today most people prefer to have their portion on a plate.

Another typical paella was the one made of seafood, Paella de marisco. This paella is made of rice and seafood. The used ingredients are: sepia, calamares, lobster, mejill?n o clotxina, garlic, lemon, rice, saffron, olive oil and beans ( octopus, squid and mussel) Clotxina is a smaller variation of the regular mussel.

The Recipe of the paella Valenciana

The quantities are /person

? Chicken (150 grs.)
? Rabit (150 grs.)
? Red paprika powder.
? Saffron
? 3 table spoons of natural tomato
? Green beans (70 grs.).
? Garrof?n (a type of bean typical to Valencia (25 grs.)
? Haricot bean (25 grs.).
? water
? Olive oil (5 table spoons).
? Rice (125 grs.)
? Salt
? If you like it: half artichoke

Preparing the ingredients and the paella pan

The traditional way to prepare a paella is on a campfire but this is difficult to achieve at home so there is a very good alternative for this which is the double gas ring on a tripod with a bottle of gas.

The most important points according my mother in law when preparing the paella are: the fire below the paella pan must be the same on every part of the pan, you must be able to adjust the fire in 2 rings an outer and an inner ring and the paella must be completely in balance so that when you add water the level should be the same everywhere on the paella pan.

Preparing the paella Valenciana

Step one: 12 hours before starting to prepare the paella put the garrof?n (a type of bean typical to Valencia) in water.

Step 2: Put the olive oil in the pan and when the oil is hot put in the chicken and rabbit and fry them until they have this golden look. We should try to distribute the pieces of meat evenly in the paella pan.

Step 3: Now we put in the different beans and the garrof?n and fry them. If we want to add alcachofa (artichoke) we can add it now also. Make sure the fire is not very intense but neither to low.

Step 4: Add to the paella the red paprika powder and the natural tomato and mix them with the other ingredients.

Step 5: After a few minutes we add water to the paella. This is another crucial step in preparing a tasteful paella. If we add to much water, the paella will be to weak and if we add to little the rice will not be boiled sufficiently. But there is a small insiders trick to know what the right level is. On the outside of the paella pan there are 2 grips attached. They are attached to the pan with rivets who are clearly visible on the inside of the pan. This is the level of the water that must be added. Don't add more or less water it will ruin your paella.

Step 6: Put the fire intensity on high but not to high. We leave the paella now boiling for 3 ? 5 minutes and then we lower the intensity of the fire to medium. Try the paella and if needed add salt to it. Leave the paella this way for about 13 ? 17 minutes depending on the type of rice you used.

Step 7: A step that is forgotten by most people, turn out the fire and cover the paella with kitchen paper and leave the paella alone for another 5 - 10 minutes.

In the meanwhile cut a lemon in 4 and when the 5 or 10 minutes have passed you can put the lemon on the outside of the paella.

Serve separately with onion (my father in law and myself like to eat the paella with raw onion in one hand and the spoon in the other)

Preferred drink to go with the paella : a red wine from Valencia especially from the area of Utiel / Requena. (other Spanish wines will do also of course).

Enjoy this typical plate of Valencia

Peter Vermeeren lives and works in Valencia. His personal website is all about Valencia. Married to a Valencian lady gives him a priviliged insight in all aspects of life in Valencia. His site provides visitors and people who want to start living in Valencia with expert information. visit his site here: Valencia|Paella|Playa

Straight Talk from a Comfort Foodie - Moms Remedy for the Blues

As puberty crept up and I became a passive passenger on the roller coaster of... Read More

Low Fat Salmon Recipes

Finding delicious low fat salmon recipes has just become easier since you found our website.... Read More

Spinach Salad with Mango and Papaya

This is a great summer salad, leaving you refreshed even on the hottest days. For... Read More

Fortunate Lemon Chicken

A delicious chicken meal for you to prepare at home. The lemon sauce is fresh... Read More

Sauted Family Bean Curd

Family bean curd is Sichuan's famous characteristic dish. Its main ingredient is bean curd.Bean curd... Read More

Low Carb Barbeque Sauce

Is there such a thing as low carb bbq sauce recipes? The answer is yes!... Read More

Planning Help: Meal Two

One meal planning challenge for me has been to `lighten up' for my family's and... Read More

Oatmeal-Apple-Raisin Muffins

These muffins are not only tasty, but they're also a good source of fiber. In... Read More

How to Prepare the Perfect Garlic Lemon Chicken

If you want to prepare the perfect garlic lemon chicken then you should try this... Read More

Digging Up Earthnuts (Conopodium Majus)

The custom of grubbing for Earthnuts, or Pignuts is as ancient as mankind itself. Although... Read More

Blue Cheese Omnivorous

IngredientsRomaine Lettuce (head $1.29) 1 pound of steak ($10 per pound) 1 box of colorful... Read More

In Grandmas Kitchen (Part I)

One of my fondest childhood memories is being in the kitchen with my Hungarian grandmother.... Read More

How to Bake Quick Bread: Apricot-Orange Nut

We love moist, fruity quick breads--and this is one of our favorites. It's nutty, flavorful,... Read More

Apples of Love

If the Spanish conquistadors had known what they were onto when they brought tomatoes to... Read More

5-Minute Strawberry Jam

Nothing tastes better than fresh picked strawberries. For many people, making homemade jams and jellies... Read More

Summer Salads

Green vegetables are the food most missing in modern diets. Nutritionally, greens are very high... Read More

Weight Loss Recipe: Turkey Tomato Wrap

Are you struggling to lose or maintain your weight? Then this recipe can help you... Read More

Cooking Roast Prime Rib on the Grill

Love the taste of prime rib? Love the taste of barbecue? You can combine them... Read More

Tantalizing Turkey

You too can make a spectacular turkey dinner!TT has what you need to help you... Read More

Chicken Wings with Oyster Sauce

Chicken wings with oyster sauce Servings: 3-4Ingredients: 12 chicken wings? lb. Chinese broccoli1 green onion... Read More

Crockpot Cooking - Advantages and Disadvantages

In my 'un-biased' opinion, the crockpot / slow cooker is one of the most convenient... Read More

Weird Foods Of The World - Chinese

I have eaten some weird and wonderful dishes around the world but some of the... Read More

Wonderful Holiday Recipe Ideas

The Holiday Season is upon us and soon we will be frantically searching for yummy... Read More

Dining With The Romans

Numerius was a slave and ate one meal a day consisting of gruel made with... Read More

Steamed Bread: Apricot-Date Nut Bread with Caramel Sauce

Steamed breads are so versatile. We love the outdoors and are always looking for interesting... Read More

Easy, Tasty Chicken Wing Recipes

You can serve chicken wings hot or cold, for a meal, or for snacks. They're... Read More

Mrs. Butters? Secret Key Lime Pie Recipe

"Frozen Key Lime Pie recipe?" Fern Butters asked. "Child, I'll take that secret with me... Read More

Whats So Great About Slow Cooking Anyway?

As I walked through the grocery store aisles a few weeks ago, I noticed the... Read More

Grandmas Peach Canning Recipe

Grandma loved to bake peach pies or top pancakes with peaches instead of syrup. During... Read More

Rice Noodles with Tomatoes and Tuna -A Savoury Gluten-free Alternative to Pasta

Ok. I never thought that the day would come when I would sing the praises... Read More

Easy Gourmet Recipes You and I can do!

So, you don't think you can find easy gourmet recipes? Yes, you can! While most... Read More

Low-Carb Pastry Pizzazz

This delicious treat adds only 1.9 grams of carb for a Superb Roll of any... Read More

Burmese Shrimp Cake Recipe

Little pounded shrimp balls seasoned and fried till lightly brown. This dish is quite popular... Read More

Light Veal Recipes to Barbeque or to Broil

With everyone watching their weight and seeking out recipes that are low in fat and... Read More

Mays Featured Holidays and Recipes

There are three great days in the month of May that I would like to... Read More

School Lunches the Frugal Way!

It seems that school starts earlier every year. So it's time to start thinking about... Read More

Cucumbers with Yogurt & Mint

Almost every day I eat with my energy in mind, but I don't let that... Read More

Spanish Recipes - Tempting Tapas Dishes

Spain is famous for its tapas and, whichever Spanish bar you frequent, in whichever area... Read More

Texas Pecan Treats

Come August, there is nowhere I'd rather NOT be than in Texas. Steamy, sultry, and... Read More

Cinco de Mayo Recipe

My ex reminded me last week that the holiday that "my people" celebrate was coming... Read More

My Grandmothers Heritage Recipe

The whole thing started when my sister-in-law called to say that she needed a special... Read More

Frugal Outdoor Cooking

Firing up the grill is a great way to cook in the summer! Here are... Read More

Kalasan Fried Chicken (Indonesian Sweet Fried Chicken)

Ingredients:4 pcs Big Red Chili (omit the seeds) 100 cc of coconut water 1 pc... Read More

The World According To Penne

Penne pasta is a product of Naples, Italy. The pasta was created to remind the... Read More

Spanish Food - How To Prepare Boquerones

Whilst on your travels in Spain and pausing to take a breath from site-seeing, you... Read More

Fast Food at Home

Kids have to eat. Three meals a day, every day. All moms know how important... Read More

Looking for a Great Italian Meatball Recipe?

Looking for a great Italian meatball recipe? Wrap your lips around this one.The Best Meatball... Read More

Asparagus Quiche

? lb. Asparagus spears (top part of asparagus with the floret) 2 shallots ... Read More

Holiday Leftover Ideas

The holidays are a time for friends and family and good old-fashioned home cooking. Who... Read More

Ma Po Tou Tu (Bean Curd with Chili Sauce)

Ma Po Tou Fu is Sichuan's well known characteristic dish. Tradition has it that during... Read More