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Paella--Cook-Off 31


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That's a lovely looking paella. How did you cook it? Any problem with overcooked shrimp?

I cooked on the stove top till the rice was almos done and the liquid had big syrupy looking bubbles. Then into a 400F oven for 10 min. Then cover with foil and rest 10 min. following the instructions inPenelope Casas. But I have to admit that I cooked the shrimp on their own. I was worried about the timing and I don't like over cooked shrimp.

Thanks for the kind words.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'll be doing a paella for 10 people this Memorial Day weekend. We'll be on the beach, pacific side, and use some neutral wood for the fire. I'll take pics and report back.

Question: is it traditional to serve with an Aioli?

Taco Truck or Per Se - No matter as long as passion drives the food

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Question: is it traditional to serve with an Aioli?

It is traditional on the seafood paellas, ie, arroz a banda or arroz negro (cuttle fish black rice with squid ink). Not on the meat or vegetable ones.

Rogelio Enríquez aka "Rogelio"
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Our oldest daughter just graduated two weeks ago with a MFA from Cal Arts so in celebration of her fine accomplishment , we gave a party for family and friends at our house. With a guest list approaching 75 we decided to cook two 32”” paellas, with me making my own Caldo (fish stock) prep took a couple of days. I am sorry if the photos are not quite as nice as I wanted but with cooking two huge paellas and a vegetarian pasta dish as well, things got a little hectic,

1: Both 32" pans

2: Chicken cooking

3 Squid and Scallops cooking

4: A few steps later-Onions, Garlic, Tomatoes, Rice, Stock, Clams and Mussels

5: cooking with chicken, squid, scallops,lima beans and peas

6: added shrimp and peppers

7: finished

8: closeup









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Our oldest daughter just graduated two weeks ago with a MFA from Cal Arts so in celebration of her fine accomplishment , we gave a party for family and friends at our house. With a guest list approaching 75 we decided to cook two 32”” paellas, with me making my own Caldo (fish stock) prep took a couple of days. I am sorry if the photos are not quite as nice as I wanted but with cooking two huge paellas and a vegetarian pasta dish as well, things got a little hectic,...

Welcome to the forum Landshark.

What a fantastic first post. The photos are great, making me want to try this dish.

Do you think you could scale your recipe down to serve four and post it here?

BTW, congratulation on your daughter's graduation.

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Here is our basic mixed Paella recipe

The paella recipe is for a 13- or 14-inch paella pan. To modify the recipes for larger pans, do the following:

* For a 16-inch pan, multiply the recipe amounts by 1 1/4

* For an 18-inch pan, multiply the recipe amounts by 1 1/2

* For a 22-inch pan, multiply the recipe amounts by 2

* For a 26-inch pan, multiply the recipe amounts by 3

* For a 32-inch pan, multiply the recipe amounts by 5

Mixed Paella

Serves four (ideal for a 13- or 14-inch paella pan).

4 cups chicken stock; or fish stock more if necessary

Pinch of saffron threads, toasted and steeped in 1/2-cup hot stock

Salt to taste

` 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 Piquillo Peppers cut in 1-inch wide strips

6 medium garlic cloves, peeled

3 oz. lima beans

3 oz peas

3 ox artichoke hearts

1/2 medium onion, chopped fine

1 ripe skinned tomato, grated on the largest holes of a box grater

2 cups medium grain rice

4 skinless chicken thighs, chopped in halves and seasoned with salt and pepper

1/3 lb. shrimp, either peeled or not

1/3 lb. Bay scallops

1/3 lb calamari cut into rings and tentacles

8 small mussels scrubbed

8 small to medium clams

In a saucepan, bring the stock to a boil; lower to a simmer. Add the saffron-infused liquid. Remove from heat until ready to add to the rice.

Set a paella pan (14-inch diameter) over medium high heat with the olive oil, noticing if the pan sits level. If not, choose another burner or try to create a level surface. When the oil is hot, sauté the chicken pieces until golden and cooked through, 10 to 15 min. Transfer the chicken to a platter and set a side. Meanwhile, pat dry the shrimp, scallops and calamari. Sauté the shrimp and scallops until almost cooked through, about 2 min. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium and sauté the onion and garlic until the onion softens, about 5 min. Add the tomato, season with salt, and sauté until the mixture, called the sofrito, has darkened and is a thick purée, 10 to 15 min.

Meanwhile, bring the stock back to a simmer. When the tomato-onion sofrito is ready, add the rice to the pan. Sauté until the rice loses its opaqueness, about 1 min. Increase the heat to medium-high. Pour in 3 cups of the simmering broth (reserving the remaining 1/2 cup) and stir or shake the pan to evenly distribute the rice in the pan. As the liquid comes to a boil, arrange the mussels or clams in the pan, submerging them as much as possible below the level of the liquid. From this point on, do not stir the rice.

Cook the paella on medium-high. When the rice begins to appear above the liquid, after 8 to 10 min., reduce the heat to medium low. Continue to simmer, rotating the pan as necessary, until the liquid has been absorbed, about 10 min. more. Taste a grain of rice just below the top layer; it should be al dente. (If the rice is not done but all the liquid has been absorbed, sprinkle a bit of hot broth to the pan and cook a few minutes more.) Arrange the chicken, scallops and calamari in the pan. Add the beans, peas and artichoke hearts. Now add the shrimp and peppers.

Cover the pan with aluminum foil and cook gently for another 2 min. to help ensure that the top layer of rice is evenly cooked. With the foil still in place, increase the heat to medium-high and, rotating the pan, cook for about 2 min., until the bottom layer of rice starts to caramelize, creating the socarrat. The rice may crackle somewhat, but if it starts burning, remove the pan from the heat immediately.

Let the paella rest off the heat, still covered, for 5 min.

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We had our Memorial Day paella party on the beach in Northern California. We used local oak wood for the fire and rigged up a simple grate over our family firepit. We mixed meat and seafood because of the crowd. We also had some leftover abalone, picked that morning.

We weren't prepared for taking pictures, but here they are:


The soffrito and chorizo blending with the Bomba rice.


Tending the pan over the firepit. Note the dogs waiting patiently and the ocean behind the house. I hear that the sea air makes a difference, as well as the smoke from the fire.


Bubbling away. We added a sprig of rosemary from a plant started by my great-grandfather.


Some of the finishing ingredients: pre-seared chicken thighs, clams and mussels from Hog Island, prawns from Mexico abalone from Noyo, and peas from the freezer...


The finished product with two glasses of a rose cava I picked up at The Spanish Table in Berkeley.

It turned out great, and the family loved it. We opened up many bottles of Jumilla and sat on the deck, watching the sunset.

This is my fifth attempt at paella, but the first over an oak fire and near the ocean.

Taco Truck or Per Se - No matter as long as passion drives the food

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Narcissus, did you find that the oak fire gave a discernibly different taste to the paella compared to the ones you made before? Cooking it outdoors like that with the ocean nearby certainly looks more appetising.

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Narcissus, did you find that the oak fire gave a discernibly different taste to the paella compared to the ones you made before? Cooking it outdoors like that with the ocean nearby certainly looks more appetising.

Yes, I think it changed the flavor quite a bit. The smoke flavor was subtle, but definitely present.

I just want to say I cooked it that way once in my life. The kids didn't appreciate it, but the adults did.

Taco Truck or Per Se - No matter as long as passion drives the food

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  • 6 months later...
  • 4 months later...

I'll come back with a photo report later this year, but for the moment I have to admit that the name of this thread makes me extremely uneasy.

Rogelio's initial post is a pitch perfect demonstration of one of the thousands of rice dishes a Valencian will accept and acknowledge as Paella.

The problem is that even though there are thousands of permutations, the parameters for paella seem very narrow to those from outside the region. Adding onion or chorizo, or mixing meat and fish catapults a dish right outside the boundaries. And as a word 'paella' is already horribly, horribly misunderstood and misrepresented. The worst part about it is that too many people sincerely believe they are making authentic paella dishes when what they are really making Spanish inspired rice dishes - I can't help but wonder if this thread just perpetuates that delusion even though it has had a faultless start. (And I commend Rogelio for his wonderful introduction, plenty of his fellow countrymen also misunderstand this dish).

The word I'd like to see here to describe these recipes is 'Arrozes'. There are some marvellous and delicious looking arrozes already contributed to this thread.

To get my point across, it's like a thread being called 'Champagne' with most of the contributors describing Cavas, Proseccos and Crémants. Of course there's nothing wrong with Cava, and a review of a Cava certainly has a place in a Champagne thread... just so long as the Cava described isn't actually called Champagne.


I'm sorry if anyone feels put out by this, but I have strong Alicantinian (part of Valencia) roots.

Here's a link to a post giving an idea of how important this dish is to me:



And how do you pronounce paella?

Rogelio was right to break it down as pa-el-ya, just as it's right to say pa-ey-ya. The 'll' sound in paella doesn't quite translate to an English 'y' sound - there's a hard edge to it... it's the 'y' sound 'cooked al dente'. One could also break it down into pa-edj-ya or pa-ej-ya. The trick is to trip lightly through the l/dj/j consonant, like stepping on an eggshell without breaking it. This can take some practice, so pa-ey-ya is absolutely fine! :smile:

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  • 4 weeks later...

I will be making my first paella tomorrow. I have a 22" carbon pan that fits perfectly over a Weber grill with no grates, the handles supended it perfectly. My question is how much flame should be touching the pan, and could I use a combination of charcoal and wood? Also, when purchasing my pan I was told it would hold enough for 16 - 19 people, however a recipe I'm using states a 22" pan will make enough for eight? Any ideas?

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I just happened to make a paella yesterday, for the first time.

It seems to me that the difference between a good paella and a great one is the socorrat. And that the essential skill you need to master is timing the finish of the rice with the caramlization of the crust. Everything else is negotiable.

Regrettably, most recipes seem to mention the socorrat only in passing. Even books dedicated to Paella will only have a page or two on the technique of achieving the crust. But from what I can tell, there are two different ways to do it:

1. Just have your amounts and timing perfect. If you put exactly the right amount of stock:rice on, and cook at exactly the right temperature, you can walk away from the paella, take it off in 20 minutes, and it all happens perfectly.

2. Turn up the heat at the end, wait for the smell or sound of crackling rice, and take it off just before it burns.

Is that correct? Is the second method acceptable, or is that a lazy and dangerous way of getting your result? Any advice on getting the perfect crust is appreciated.

Another question. The best paella I ever had was in a restaurant in Madrid. It was run by a Murcian lady. Her paella had about 1/8th the amount of rice of every other paella I've ever seen: the rice was spread out in essentially just one layer, so the entire dish was nothing but socorrat. You couldn't pick up rice with your fork - you had to scrape everything. The stock had been reduced to the point that it was almost like a sticky demi-glace. Also, because of tiny amount of rice used, a 20" pan was just barely enough for two people. It was absolutely delicious - and nobody I've spoken to has heard of paella served in this manner. Anyone had or cooked paella in this manner? What's it all about?

Edited by RossyW (log)
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  • 1 month later...
  • 6 years later...

Outraged, indeed. Well - not really.  I have been working on making a good paella for quite some time now.  It's tough. Sometimes what appear to be the simplest of dishes turn out to be the most difficult.


But, after trying and trying, and experiment after experiment, I've gotten to where I can serve my paella to guests and not feel bad. Yes, there's often chorizo in it - I like chorizo, so fuck the Wall St. Journal. And -  I blogged a bit about the trails and tribulations of making paella...


Paella - It's Only Rice, Right?

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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Nice blog weinoo. I have also read most of the posts in the thread and some of the posts brought a smile to my face. My experience in visiting different villages and regions of Spain over the years is that the dish is so varied from village to village and region to region. There is no one correct recipe although, within a village, each family thinks their paella recipe is the only way it is made and everybody else in the village is wrong and the village paella idiot. The ingredients change, at time quite dramatically, from region to region, depending on what is easily obtainable in the area. However, the method of cooking is basically the same and so is the type of rice, stock and spice used in the dish. And I have often found chorizo in my paella!

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Chorizo, peas, olives, a thick layer of rice instead of a very thin one with "socarrat", and a surface so crowded of ingredients that do not allow to see the rice (which should be the actual star of the show) are the worst sins when making paellas  :biggrin:  :biggrin: 


That's a good article, PopsicleToze.

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