Quick Recipes and Easy

Paella, the Queen of Spanish Dishes

Paella is a traditional recipe of Spain, but there are nearly as many variations as there are regions in Spain. And one is more tasty than the next. Paella is made with either seafood, chicken or rabbit, and there is even a vegetarian version. The one unchanging, underlying ingredient is rice.

It is vital to make the right rice for Paella. Small grained rice that is cooked slowly is the traditional basic for Paella. The other ingredients can be a combination of all sorts of things, but the rice must be the same. Whole grain or wild rice may be used, but the key is that it cannot be quick cook or minute rice, since the rice must cook slowly to absorb all of the flavors of the dish. When cooking Paella, you know it is done when the stock is all absorbed, but the rice is neither soggy nor dry.

Paella is the perfect dish for a large crowd, even if you have unexpected guests. You can increase the dish by increasing the rice, and nearly any ingredients you obtain will work to make a excellent Paella.

That is part of the magic of Paella: it can be made with any fascinating variety of ingredients, as long as you have the right kind of rice and excellent stock. The stock, imbued with saffron (azafran in Spanish), gives the dish its unique flavor and coloring that is the signature of excellent Paella.

Here is a recipe for the traditional seafood Paella: Ingredients: 4 cups of rice, 8 cups of fish stock, 8 large langoustino, 8 mussels, 1/2 lb. shrimp, 8 oz. peas (fresh or frozen), 2 skinned and chopped tomatoes, 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced, and 3 strands of crumbled saffron, and olive oil for sauteing. (If you want to make it simple on yourself to peel the tomatoes, dip them in boiling water for seconds, then run cold water over them. The skin will come off the tomatoes easily.

Saute the garlic in olive oil; add tomatoes, peas, shrimp and saffron. Cook until the garlic is just golden but be careful not to burn it. (That can happen quickly, so stir and watch.) Add the rice and the stock and let the dish simmer for 20 minutes or until rice has absorbed liquid and is a moist but not soggy consistency. Quickly poach the seafood ingredients and add to the dish just before serving.

Being passionate about Spain, Jack Blacksmith edited various detailed articles on the subject. With his works like alicante-spain.com alicante-spain.com, the author showed his experience on

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