Quick Recipes and Easy

How to Make Paella

The best known Spanish dish is Paella. It originated in the Valencia region of Spain, but has since spread and become well loved throughout the world. As a basic peasant dish, it used whatever meats, vegetables and seafood were around, and so there are many variations of this dish.
If you want to make an authentic Paella, you should use a Paella pan, which is a large, round, shallow pan. These can be found in any kitchen store and most department stores. Originally it was cooked on an open flame, but of course today we use the stove top.

Despite the variations, paella cannot be considered paella without the three main ingredients: rice, olive oil and saffron. As long as those three are included, you can add whatever kinds of meat, vegetables and seafood you want.

The meat and vegetables are sauteed in olive oil in the paella pan, and then the rice is added. Liquid stock is then poured in and the whole mixture is brought to a boil. When the rice is soft and flaky, the pan is taken off the heat and let to stand so all of the liquid is absorbed.

When this traditional dish was developed in Valencia, it mostly consisted of meat, whichever kind of meat was available such as beef, rabbit or duck. In the coast areas, seafood was added because that was most abundant. The only constant ingredients that make it Valencia Paella is rice, oil and saffron. Paella has become a traditional Sunday dinner to be shared with friends and family.

From Valencia, paella traveled to areas settled by the Spanish such as the Philippines and the Americas. Visitors to Spain also brought this recipe home if they loved on a vacation there. The more the dish spread, the more variations were invented. It also started to become a fancy dish instead of holding its peasant roots.

Throughout Spain, you will find fascinating variations. Shellfish is a frequent ingredient as you get closer to the coast, but you will find lobster, mussels as well as meats such as rabbit in paella.
If a Spanish family was going to make paella for a crowd, they would use a gigantic paella pan. This would typically happen at a festival or party, and the large pan would be placed over an open flame outdoors. Valencians take their paella seriously and compete with the recipes. Once the paella is cooked over the open flame, it is placed so that all of the guests can take their share. Red or white wine accompanies this dish, depending on whether it is a meat or seafood paella. The best thing about paella is the leftovers! When the tastes of the many ingredients meld together, the dish gets even better.

If you are going to travel in Spain, be sure to taste the paellas of different regions and get the recipe for your favorite one.

The magazine writer Robert Carlton is very excited about news dealing with Spain and cooking. With his detailed writings on alicante-spain.com/spain-tips/paella.html Spain and paella the author improved his knowledge in the field.

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