Jamie Oliver

forum: Food & Drink

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#1 Tue 06 Feb 07 10:24pm

Pit Boss

Member
Occupation Caterer, Specializing in Barbecue, Southern & Country Food
From Whistler, BC, Canada
Member since Sun 17 Sep 06

Paella

Looking for opinions and recipes about authentic Paella.
I cook mine outside, over charcoal, on my BBQ. I use a carbon steel paella pan.
My 2 versions are "rabbit, snails and chorizio" with lima beans, artichokes, roasted red peppers, sofrito (grated tomato pulp, onions & garlic), chicken stock and saffron. I occasionally embellish with asparagus, chicken (if my kids are watching and I can't use rabbit) and I sometimes add prawns, clams and mussels when entertaining and I want to be festive and not a purist.
My other version is the seafood one, as above, but no snails, rabbit or chicken stock. Just sausage and lots of seafood and good fish stock and occasionally chicken pieces if I need to stretch it out.
I have not made the squid ink version, as I can't find fresh or frozen squid ink that I trust.
For either version or hybrid, I toast my saffron before grinding and adding to the stock and use only parsley for garnish. I also swear by Iranian Saffron over Spanish. I know, I know, don't howl too loud. I really believe the Iranian is better (& cheaper). I believe that the Spanish only export their crappy Saffron and hoard all the good stuff for themselves.
What do you think?

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#2 Mon 12 Feb 07 6:26pm

billybear

Member
Occupation Semi retired now running a cave house holiday lettings.
From Spain
Member since Thu 01 Feb 07

Re: Paella

Hi Pit Boss,
Billy Bear from sunny Spain yes they do keep all the good stuff for themselves and it's cheaper here than back in uk. They also keep all the good wine as well. That's why we're here try adding some red chillies to your Paella .Otherwise you seem to have covered all the angles .We live in the Valencian area of Spain home of the Paella.

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#3 Mon 12 Feb 07 7:53pm

Pit Boss

Member
Occupation Caterer, Specializing in Barbecue, Southern & Country Food
From Whistler, BC, Canada
Member since Sun 17 Sep 06

Re: Paella

Thanks BillyBear
I do add strips of roasted red pepper but no hot chilies. I use a few tbsp of good Spanish Paprika, it's labeled Pimenton Dulce (Murcia Mild Paprika). It has a gorgeous orange colour and an intense aroma.
My question is about beans.
I add Lima beans (here in Canada that is what we call the young, tender favas). My research tells me I should be adding long green beans and cooked white beans like the White Italian or Great Northern beans as well.
What can you tell me about that.
I'm having trouble with the socarrat (or is it soccarat?). It's really a timing  and coal issue. I must have the perfect fire so that the heat will fry all my meat, veg & sofrito, yet cool down enough to avoid burning the rice before it is fully cooked. I usually remove the paella from the heat 5 mins early, seal it in foil to let it rest, but that softens up the crust.
Any suggestions?
Pit Boss

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#4 Thu 15 Feb 07 9:51pm

ellboy

Member
From ell's kitchen
Member since Mon 11 Apr 05

Re: Paella

hi pit boss,

like the sound of your paella, its not the sort of thing people associate with bbq's but that is actually the most authentic way of doing it.

i also live in the valencia region of spain, home of the paella, hi howya doin billybear.

the first version you mention is a very authentic valencian paella, except for the chorizo. the first paellas were made by farmers and country folk and were made pretty exactly the way you say, often with hardy mountain herbs like rosemary. the chorizo is a definite no-no, as is any sausage. personally i really like chorizo but ive used it myself and told spanish friends and they went ballistic!

i love fresh green asparragus in paella too but i cant comment on the authenticity.

usually when using rice i use chicken or rabbit or both with a couple of rosemary branches that i remove before serving, chickpeas are good as an alternative to beans and i go for green peppers over red cos i think it gives it that 'country' feel.

but whenever i want a seafood paella i make a valencian 'fideua', pronnounced: fidd-eh-wah

its made in the same way as paella but uses only seafood and pasta instead of rice. the pasta is a thin tube-shape like mini maccaroni (the hole thru the middle is about the size of spaghetti), give it a try, as i say the method is the same but use fish stock instead of chicken stock and only seafood, no veg.
squid is imperative (some fideuas have nothing but squid) and although its not authentic i like to add red peppers.

i can only really pass on what ive heard or been told, so i hope its correct, but one thing ive learned living in spain and meeting spanish people is that they are very regionalistic, so much so that you could even break that down into towns. every town has its own traditions, its own festivals, and its own recipes and ask anyone and they will tell you that their way is the best. i mention this because it obviously means that a paella can change drastically from place to place, add to that the tourist factor, which means restaurants will tailor recipes to cheapen or simplify them and all in all it makes it very difficult to say what 'right' or not. nevertheless it sounds as tho youve got a good thing going, maybe you could pass me a few bar-b tips some day...

oh and i had that same heat problem when i cooked paella on a bar-b, i fried the meat etc, then when i was ready to cook the rice i removed the pan, allowed the coals to cool, then returned to the heat to cook the rice thru. i know you dont want lukewarm food sitting around but i just spread the coals out a little and they cooled in a few minutes.

cheers.

el.

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#5 Fri 16 Feb 07 6:50pm

billybear

Member
Occupation Semi retired now running a cave house holiday lettings.
From Spain
Member since Thu 01 Feb 07

Re: Paella

Hi Pit boss Billy Bear again try broad beans they love them here in Spain or I use French beans.

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