The Spanish Kitchen: Paella

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Lets get the kitchen warmed up again with our Spanish Kitchen series! Have you perfected the recipe for Tortilla de Patatas from our last issue? This time, we’re experimenting with something a little more complicated with just as much diversity – Paella!

Paella is probably one of the most renowned Spanish dishes in the world. You will find it in every traditional tapas bar, tourist restaurant and Spanish supermarket almost everywhere you go. There is always controversy about what traditional Paella is and where the best place in the country to eat it is. So lets set the record straight!

This famous dish (like many) came from the creative minds of the lower class people in Arab Spain. Some think, that Pealla comes from the Arab word “baqiyah” which means leftovers. Servants of the Moorish Kings and high class families would collect the leftovers from the many banquets and simply mix it with rice! This method, along with the tools to make it, where improved to its best potential in Valencia – Giving birth to the famous Paella Valenciana. Since then, each region of Spain has cutsomized the recipes by adding different ingredients like rabbit (Conejo), Chicken (Pollo), Shrimp (Gambas), Pork (Cerdo), Beef (Carne), Clams (Almejas) and many more! These many variations have been generally named: Valenciana, De Carne, Marisco, Verduras and Mixta.

Make it Yourself

To honour the traditional dish, we will feature the recipe for Paella Valenciana – you can replace all of these ingredients with the ones you desire!

  • Heat the Paella pan on medium with oil and garlic – if you don’t have one, use the biggest saucepan you have.
  • When the oil is hot, throw in the rabbit and chicken. Once the meat is brown, add tomatoes, beans and peas. Season with Paprika. Stir well.
  • Fill the pan with water until it is almost full. Wait for it to boil and don’t forget to stir!
  • Once the water is boiling, add 4 cups of rice (rice amount depends on the size of the pan). Add salt and let it cook for 20 minutes.
  • Season the mix with Saffron, Thyme and Rosemary.
  • Reduce heat to a low heat, cover and let the flavours soak into the rice for 20 more minutes.
  • Top with lemon juice and enjoy 🙂

paella-valencianaDo you want to learn more secrets of the Spanish kitchen? Do you need a little more of a hands on lesson? If so, check out our jam packed activities calendar for our upcoming Meet & Cook classes!

Your friendly neighbourhood travel guide,

– Leah

 

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Leah has been living in and exploring Madrid since 2013 when she moved to the city for a simple summer abroad. After falling in love with Madrid, she started the Citylife Blog in 2014 with the goal to share everything there is to know about her favourite place on earth! In her spare time you will find Leah at some of Madrid's many museums and cultural exhibitions.

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