My first taste of paella was at my friend Veronica’s house on New Year’s Eve. Her father is a Spainard and for special occasions, he would bring out the family paella pan, brought back from Spain and big enough to feed a small village. Paella was his domain and on this New Year’s Eve it was no different.
Veronica’s dad was very adament that everything be cooked at the same time on the grill. Cooking the rice ahead of time and then adding the rest of the ingredients wasn’t true paella because the flavors weren’t mingling during the cooking process.
Fast forward to July 2007. A recent dinner at Photogirl’s house where the after dinner conversation ultimately turns to food, specifically paella. Not being a fan of fish, Photogirl tells me of a paella recipe with chicken and chorizo. My appetite for paelle is been whetted.
A few days later during a conversation with my brother and as plans to cook paella start firm up, he insists on not using chorizo or for god’s sake, Polish sausage, but a Spanish sausage.
Research on the internet differ widely as well. The hugely popular, Epicurious site has 24 results for paella from quick paella to paella with rabbit and artichokes. Ultimately, I settle on one recipe that seems more traditional and very much like the one had at Veronica’s. But even the recipe selected has adjustment to fit my taste.
The bacon is substituted for linguiça, a Portugese sausage. And true to Veronica’s dad, it was all cooked on an outdoor grill and not in the oven as stated in the recipe.
Once everything has been prepped: the shrimps have been cleaned and deveined, the mussels scrubbed, the red peppers and onions chopped and the saffron soaked in clam juice and chicken broth has been poured it is all a matter of waiting.
When the rice has become tender and soaked up the liquid, a simple garnish is a lemon. I think Veronica’s dad would approve.
Original recipe from Epicurious without my adjustments can be found here.
Looks like it needs a fish head to center the presentation.
Steve Adamek–See? Even you have an opinion about paella!
My head is like a busy airport with opinions circling, waiting to land and take off. I think seafood shoudn't be so mixed together in such quantities, unless it is still alive –then it can be mixed together in the ocean.
Hey darlene!! My friend Liz has a great non-animal paella that is really good…http://speedvegan.com/?p=195
Hey D, Tell your bro that Chorizo IS Spanish sausage. Mexicans call the soft pork sausage that is scrambled with eggs chorizo too. Spanish chorizo is a cured sausage in the tradition of pepperoni. He can find it here: http://tienda.com/food/chorizo.htm .. They also have a variety of Paella recipes available on the site.I'm so proud of you for trying Paella! So many people are intimidated by it. Now, even not personally caring for the, ahem, seafood, the photos look amazing!
Great photos! Earlier this week I made fried rice using Chinese sausage, shrimp and mixed veggies.Hey "Anonymous"!!! How are you?
Hi Photogirl–Good to know that chorizo is spanish. Thanks for the link. I'll look for some at the grocery store next time I grocery shop.The paella was so incredibly easy. Now that I've invested in a paella pan, I know that I'll be making it often.Hi Mrs. Wong–Fried rice… mmmm… I think I'll make that today. It makes fantastic leftovers.