Spanish inspired food - Paella
Paella Pan from HOT WOK:
Paella is originally a Spanish rice dish which has become popular all over the world.
The dish varies from place to place, as it is also a dish which is very versatile. This makes it easy to change to your taste – or what you already have in the kitchen. If you want to know more about this exciting Spanish rice dish and get a recipe, keep reading this post.
Valencia in the eastern Spain is where the original Paella originated. It is also the most important region for production of rice in Spain. Paella was originally a very humble dish as it was a dish for farmers and their workers.
The dish was made for lunch over fire on a Paella pan with ingredients from the nearby area. This was often onions, tomatoes, and snails, together with some beans to add extra taste and texture to the dish.
Duck and rabbit was also often added – and chicken and a bit of saffron for special occasions. The ingredients for the dish were very reliant on what was available on the farm. When the dish was done, it was eaten straight of the pan, where every person used their own wooden spoon.
Paella is actually not the name of the dish but is the name of the pan the dish is made in. The name most likely comes from the Latin name for pan: patella.
What is so special about the Paella Pan for this dish?
First, the Paella pan is a fusion between a pot and a pan. This means that it has the diameter of a pan and the higher sides of a pot. Second, the pan is an all-in-one. You combine all the ingredients in the pan, one by one. Thereby, you do not need to use multiple pots and pans for your dish. As mentioned, the Paella pan was originally used on the field, which meant it had to be as easy as possible.
Nowadays, Paella is still used as a social meal in Spain. Families still gathers in restaurants to eat Paella together. Paella is also often a dish made at home in the weekend – thereby, it is still a social dish even though it is not eaten on the field anymore.
Nowadays, Paella is often made with shellfish as this fits the dish perfectly. Therefore, you get a delicious recipe on Paella as it is mostly made – with shellfish and chicken.
Paella with shellfish and chicken:
- 400 g. risotto rice
- 600 g. chicken
- 300 g. tiger prawns
- 300 g. mixed shellfish (for instance mussels, calamary)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 red pepper
- 3 tomatoes
- 4 artichoke hearts
- 150 g. peas
- ½ vegetable bouillon cube
- 3-4 strings of saffron
- Sea salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley
- Extra virgin olive oil
All the ingredients should be cleansed and chopped to desired pieces – if you are using fresh mussels, these should be steamed first as well.
Put the Paella pan on medium heat and add some olive oil. If you are using raw tiger prawns, these should be cooked first and then removed from the pan. Brown the chicken pieces with the garlic and add red pepper and tomatoes. Let this simmer for a few minutes. Add about 1 liter of water, the bouillon cube and the saffron. When it is at a boil, you add the rice and let the dish simmer for about 10-12 minutes. Remember to stir the dish a couple of times. Add all your shellfish, peas, and artichoke hearts to the dish and heat it for about 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
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