Spanish folks - your top tips for Paella please

Rick330man

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i'm not sure cuban paella is something you wanna go for.

now speaking as half cuban/half gallego, the cuban caldo gallego is just as good, if not better, than the gallegos. cuban empanadas are not as good as argentine, but they absolutely destroy whatever the spanish or the gallegos call an empanada. the first time i ate an empanada in spain i was appalled at how crappy it was by comparison.

but yeah other "spanish" stuff, idk man, if it's from latin america, avoid. stuff in cuban food that is similar to non-latino-but-carribean (like "rice and peas" or oxtail in jamaican cuisine) food is what you wanna go for as far as cuban (or PR, or dominican) dishes. the absorption of west african cuisine into carribean food is where they excel.
I've had plenty of really good Cuban paellas in Miami. Keep in mind that many, many Cubans are basically Spaniards removed from Spain by a generation or two, so they just carried on with the old country's recipes.

I heard Cuban caldo gallego referred to as "chardo gallego", but I frankly couldn't taste the difference. Again, close cultural ties.

Oxtail...like "rabo encendido"?

You left out Panna Cotta. But Crema Catalana? Cuban flan? You have my attention, sir... 😋
What's a diabetic to do?

Reggarding ingredients and other things like display
I love 'Paella Valenciana', 'Arroz Senyoret', 'Arroz Negro', 'Arroz a banda', etc etc.
Are all of them Paella?, well... idk
Careful, Juan, you're getting into dangerous territory. My paternal grandmother's family was Catalan. I had my share of "arros negre" and have clear memories of someone getting chewed out for referring to it as "paella catalana". ¡PELIGRO!
 

Oxidao

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Careful, Juan, you're getting into dangerous territory. My paternal grandmother's family was Catalan. I had my share of "arros negre" and have clear memories of someone getting chewed out for referring to it as "paella catalana". ¡PELIGRO!
Yeah, I think I was close... hmmm
Ok, here I go:

Every rice cooked 'al estilo español' on a Paellera, is a Paella.

What really defines what a Paella Valenciana is, are their ingredients (rabbit, chicken, green bean, garrofón...)

There is non other region in Spain than Valencia, naming that dish.

The 'Paella Valenciana' may be the most traditional, and it is good, but the bests for me are with fish and or seafood.
 

rze99

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Be sure to use Arborial rice. Make sure your pan will fit in the oven...mine didn't.
I used something sold as "Paella rice". Packet is now gone so I can't say that it was Arborial.

Didn't use the oven, just all stove top. Why is the oven required?

Have just returned from a short holiday on the South coast in England and had a "Paella" in a restaurant. There was..... Chorizo.... and it was delicious. No Rabbit. Mussels and Prawn. (Sorry @El Marin .. the Brits just can't save themselves, as you well know!).
 

oldunc

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Be sure to use Arborial rice. Make sure your pan will fit in the oven...mine didn't.
Arborio rice, an Italian rice favored for risotto, is a good substitute, but there are Spanish varieties (bomba is most common in the US) that have different properties and are better choices. Paella is traditionally made over an open fire; there are some pretty good recipes using an oven (though some would question that they're paella), but stovetop is really more to the point.
 

loopfinding

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I've had plenty of really good Cuban paellas in Miami. Keep in mind that many, many Cubans are basically Spaniards removed from Spain by a generation or two, so they just carried on with the old country's recipes.

I heard Cuban caldo gallego referred to as "chardo gallego", but I frankly couldn't taste the difference. Again, close cultural ties.

Oxtail...like "rabo encendido"?

Yeah I know. Mama's grandparents are Gallegos. But she is Cuban to the bone despite only a few gens removed.

Idk what you mean by “chardo gallego.” Caldo in the tri state was often just as good as my Gallega gma made it.

But yeah, rabo. You got it. That and some kind of bean pottage is the deal. *chef's kiss*
 
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El Marin

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Didn't use the oven, just all stove top. Why is the oven required?

Have just returned from a short holiday on the South coast in England and had a "Paella" in a restaurant. There was..... Chorizo.... and it was delicious. No Rabbit. Mussels and Prawn. (Sorry @El Marin .. the Brits just can't save themselves, as you well know!).

No oven is required. FIRE, use fire

I know, after five years living in London that Brits cook on their own way
 

AJBaker

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I used something sold as "Paella rice". Packet is now gone so I can't say that it was Arborial.

Didn't use the oven, just all stove top. Why is the oven required?

Have just returned from a short holiday on the South coast in England and had a "Paella" in a restaurant. There was..... Chorizo.... and it was delicious. No Rabbit. Mussels and Prawn. (Sorry @El Marin .. the Brits just can't save themselves, as you well know!).
I wouldn't place too much stock on a UK version of any recipe. I've for example seen carbonara made with mushrooms, peas and cream over there!
(The sauce should ONLY have eggs, cheese, and cured porc).
 

oldunc

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NONE of them. That's utterly false, sorry.
Well, most of my cookbooks are in storage- only Spanish one out is Penelope Casas, a widely recognized expert but born in America, uses chorizo in her Paella a la Valenciana, not in her "traditional" Valencian recipe. You might look into Ana Vega's article in El Pais (14 Oct. 2016) titled "La Paella Si Lllevaba Chorizo".
 

El Marin

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Well, most of my cookbooks are in storage- only Spanish one out is Penelope Casas, a widely recognized expert but born in America, uses chorizo in her Paella a la Valenciana, not in her "traditional" Valencian recipe. You might look into Ana Vega's article in El Pais (14 Oct. 2016) titled "La Paella Si Lllevaba Chorizo".

Sorry but NO.

Nobody knows in Spain that Penelope Casas who happens to be Greek origins, not Spaniard. I would not truth her not even cooking a toast with mermelade. She may had introduced tapas in the USA, but if she adds chorizo to the paella, that is not paella, period.

Also in El País, you can see ALL SPAING laughting pout loud of Jaime Olivier because he added chorizo to the paella. Really, chorizo in the paella is a British thing, not from Spain


Really, there is an official recepee of paella, and no chorizo. As I said many times, no spaniard would add chorizo. Penelope Casas is not spaniard... Ana Vega says that in the XVII century they added longaniza and even sucling pig feets... but nowadays? not at all
 

oldunc

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Sorry but NO.

Nobody knows in Spain that Penelope Casas who happens to be Greek origins, not Spaniard. I would not truth her not even cooking a toast with mermelade. She may had introduced tapas in the USA, but if she adds chorizo to the paella, that is not paella, period.

Also in El País, you can see ALL SPAING laughting pout loud of Jaime Olivier because he added chorizo to the paella. Really, chorizo in the paella is a British thing, not from Spain


Really, there is an official recepee of paella, and no chorizo. As I said many times, no spaniard would add chorizo. Penelope Casas is not spaniard... Ana Vega says that in the XVII century they added longaniza and even sucling pig feets... but nowadays? not at all
What chance do facts have in the face of Higher Truth? Personally, I'll take Ms. Casas, who may not have been born in Spain but is an expert cook and has done extensive research, over random internet guy. Hell, I'll take the Spanish Tables suggested basic recipe.
By "official" recipe for paella, I suppose you're referring to Valencia's local government declaring paella an Asset of Intangible Cultural Interest, though even they acknowledge the use of different ingredients and preparation methods. Apparently they are seeking TSG (traditional specialty guaranteed) status which has some legal force for commercial uses of the name within the ECM. This is the status for Margherita pizza, for instance, but even its administrator, the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana, doesn't attempt to claim that it's the only way to make pizza.
 

AJBaker

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I found some excerpts from Penelope Casa's book on Google, and it seems to me that she says that Valencians don't mix meat and fish in one paella, and that chorizo definitely doesn't go into it. If she happens to have a version with chorizo, then I might call that an American innovation (like shrimp alfredo in Italian-American cuisine, which is as appealing to an Italian as a ketchup flavoured gelato).


I'm not an expert on Spanish cuisine, but it seems to me that it follows many of the rules of Italian cuisine, which I do know quite a bit about.

To me, as I understand it, mixing meat and fish in the same dish makes no sense. Both flavours are strong, and don't complement each other at all, so adding any kind of sausage to a seafood paella can be ruled out.

Next, chorizo in a meat paella:
This makes a little more sense, but I still don't see the point. Chorizo is a cured sausage, and doesn't benefit from being cooked. It's like cooking salami, or Parma prosciutto, it's just silly.
Furthermore, Chorizo has a lot of fat and a strong flavour. If you cook it with the rice, all that fat is going to render out, and the strong flavour of the chorizo will dominate the whole dish.
Again, I'm more of an expert on Italian cuisine rather than Spanish cuisine, but this just doesn't seem right to me.


More generally, I think there can be misunderstanding between American and European/Mediterranean ideas about food. I've noticed that Americans often like combining loads of ingredients to make a dish, and will try just about every combination imaginable.
In Italian cuisine on the other hand, each dish usually focuses on a particular flavour profile, and will try to keep things separate. There are a few things that just don't ever mix: seafood will NEVER have parmesan or almost any other kind of cheese, and a meat based dish will NEVER contain seafood (except for maybe an anchovy or two).
Things like a cheese based sauce on seafood is enough to make an Italian gag.

Also, the individual flavour of the ingredient is important, so things are usually kept simple. It's also why Italians don't use much garlic in their dishes (unlike in the Italian-American versions).

Also, they tend to keep starchy foods and protein based foods separate. That's why a plate of pasta won't contain large amounts of meat, but only small little bits, like in a carbonara or bolognese sauce. On the other hand, a meat dish like meatballs will be served without any pasta (which is why Italians don't do American style spaghetti and meatballs).


All in all, what our Spanish friend is telling us about not adding chorizo to paella makes perfect sense to me.
 

AJBaker

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So, this thread inspired me to try a paella for the first time!

I boiled some vongole (small clams) and shrimp in a pot, and in a big iron frying pan I cooked some onions, garlic, and then some tomato. I added some san andrea risotto rice, then poured the cooking water from the seafood plus some saffron onto the rice. I let it cook without stirring, and towards the end I added the seafood, plus some parsley and lemon juice.

Not quite all the ingredients, the seafood was frozen (just a fact of living far away from the sea), and I probably could have turned up the heat a bit more to get the crust, but all in all it was a tasty dish!
20220528_200314.jpg
 

Papanate

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I'm making Paella tonight. First time for me. I have a few recipes I'm looking at but thought I'd ask for any experienced Spanish culture people what your top tips are. I've got a new Paella pan. this is for 4 big people.

I am using shrimp, chicken and chorizo. I have a well stocked larder for herbs spices and fresh stuff.
I've never had it with Chorizo:

1/4 cup Extra virgin olive Oil
1 Onion , diced
1 Red/Green bell pepper , diced
4 Garlic Cloves
3 Roma tomatoes very finely diced
2 Bay leaf
1 Tsp Smoked Paprika
1 Pinch Saffron Thread (more if needed)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup white wine
4 Boneless/Skinless Chicken Thighs Chopped
1/4 Cup Parsley Chopped
2 cups Spanish Rice
4 1/2 cups Chicken Broth
1/2 cup Frozen Peas
1/2 lb Jumbo Shrimp
1/2 lb Mussels (about 10-12), cleaned properly (beards off)
1/2 lb Calamari Rings
Lemon Slices and Chopped Parsley for Garnish.

1. Add olive oil to a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, bell peppers and garlic and cook until onion is translucent. Add chopped tomato, bay leaf, paprika, saffron salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 5 minutes. Add white wine and cook for 10 minutes. Taste and add salt if needed.

2. Add chicken pieces, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley and rice to the pot

3. Pour the broth slowly all around the pan and jiggle the pan to get the rice into an even layer. (Do not stir the mixture going forward!).

4.Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low. Give the pan a gentle shake back and forth just once or twice during cooking.

5.Cook for about 15-18 minutes (uncovered), then nestle the shrimp, mussels and calamari into the mixture, sprinkle peas on top and continue to cook for 5 more minutes. Watch for most of the liquid to be absorbed and the rice at the top nearly tender.

6.Remove pan from heat and cover pan with a lid or tinfoil. Place a kitchen towel over the lid and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

7. Garnish with fresh parsley and lemon slices.
 

El Marin

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What chance do facts have in the face of Higher Truth?

Well... I would trust an experiended Spaniard over a Greek/USA girl no matter homw many books has she wrote. Just for the sake of it I learned to cook paella from the chef of a restaurant in Bayet at El Perellonet... he had national prizes for that...


I found some excerpts from Penelope Casa's book on Google, and it seems to me that she says that Valencians don't mix meat and fish in one paella, and that chorizo definitely doesn't go into it. If she happens to have a version with chorizo, then I might call that an American innovation (like shrimp alfredo in Italian-American cuisine, which is as appealing to an Italian as a ketchup flavoured gelato).

Really, I respect that whoman... but trusting a Greek/USA person talking about paella with chorizo is like trusting a Spaniard like me talking about Lakota Indian recepees and arguing if Lakotas used Tamarindos in their cooks


I boiled some vongole (small clams) and shrimp in a pot
Well... seeing you "paella" or "rice with things" (no offense)... I would say that maybe you added too much water


An other thing: clams are never boiled before being added to the rice and fumet. You make the fumet with the shrimps heads and crust and add to the rice only the inner body meat... some places don't do it that way, is up to you. But definitely clams are just drop in the water, as they boil they will open. If a clam doesn't open, discard it.

sprinkle peas

Valencia people laught a Madrid because they don't add peas. In Madrid, some people add peas
 

oldunc

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Well... I would trust an experiended Spaniard over a Greek/USA girl no matter homw many books has she wrote. Just for the sake of it I learned to cook paella from the chef of a restaurant in Bayet at El Perellonet... he had national prizes for that...




Really, I respect that whoman... but trusting a Greek/USA person talking about paella with chorizo is like trusting a Spaniard like me talking about Lakota Indian recepees and arguing if Lakotas used Tamarindos in their cooks



Well... seeing you "paella" or "rice with things" (no offense)... I would say that maybe you added too much water


An other thing: clams are never boiled before being added to the rice and fumet. You make the fumet with the shrimps heads and crust and add to the rice only the inner body meat... some places don't do it that way, is up to you. But definitely clams are just drop in the water, as they boil they will open. If a clam doesn't open, discard it.



Valencia people laught a Madrid because they don't add peas. In Madrid, some people add peas
I don't suppose you'd trust a guy like Domenikos Theotokopoulos, an Italian Greek, to paint Toledo, either, but he did a nice job. I really don't care enough to go dig out more cookbooks. There are something like 50 million people in Spain (one of whom, by the way, Mrs. Casas was married to); most of them, of course, can't cook at all- those who can don't all cook the same.
 
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AJBaker

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Well... I would trust an experiended Spaniard over a Greek/USA girl no matter homw many books has she wrote. Just for the sake of it I learned to cook paella from the chef of a restaurant in Bayet at El Perellonet... he had national prizes for that...

Really, I respect that whoman... but trusting a Greek/USA person talking about paella with chorizo is like trusting a Spaniard like me talking about Lakota Indian recepees and arguing if Lakotas used Tamarindos in their cooks

Please reread what I wrote.
First of all, I don't know Penelope Casa, I had never heard of her (I'm not American, I live on the Swiss/Italian border). I'm not defending or supporting anything she wrote. I just tried to look up if she actually says that chorizo is supposed to go into paella. In the excerpt I found, she says that Valencians do NOT put chorizo in paella (and that they don't mix meat and fish in the same paella).
That's also what you said, no?

Next, I said that IF she says that chorizo goes into paella (I don't know if she does), then that should be considered an American innovation. Perhaps it wasn't clear in what I wrote, but I'm not a big fan of most American innovations of European food (I mentioned shrimp alfredo, which I think is an abomination).

If you reread what I wrote, I think you'll find I'm agreeing with you.



As for my paella, thanks for the tips. It wasn't as wet as it looks in the picture, and I could actually tip it 45 degrees without anything slipping out.
Did I make any mistakes serious enough to call it arroz con cosas instead of paella? I tried to treat the ingredients with respect, and bring out the individual flavours (like I do with Italian cooking).

Here's what I did:
For the sofritto, I used onion, garlic, olive oil, and then once those where translucent, I added some tomato (I didn't have any bell peppers).

I didn't have any ready made fumet, so I put the clams and shrimps in a pot of water and quickly cooked them. Then, after a few minutes, I removed everything, put back the shrimp shells and many of the empty clam shells and let them keep cooking to get more flavour out of them. I also added some stems of parsley.

When the sofritto was done, I added the rice, waited a minute, then added my 'fumet' and some saffron. Temperature up, and a quick stir and shake to make everything is flat, and I let it cook about 15 minutes without touching. I noticed that I needed a bit more fumet at that point, so I poured some on top and let it cook another few minutes. At this point I added the seafood on top, as well as some parsley and lemon juice.


Personally, I think I added a bit too much tomato, and I think I should have cooked it a bit hotter to get more crust on the bottom, but I'd like to hope this dish was in the spirit of a real paella de marisco.
 




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