We had a great holiday in Spain in November. On my list for Have To Do in Spain was buying a paella pan or a Paellera and Cazuelas, those gorgeous terracotta bowls that the Spanish cook and serve their tapas in. I did a bit of research on the net before we left. Our last stop was Barcelona so I was looking for places there. One recommendation was El Corte Inglés, a department store, which I never managed to get to. They apparently have a really good kitchen section. The other suggestion which I got a off a thread on Chowhound (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/732319) was to go to a Ferreteria or an ironmonger where the locals shop. I had an address with me and the server at a restaurant we ate also recommended the same store.
It was 3:30 and we had to wait 1/2 an hour for the shop to open after siesta. It was worth the wait. Lots of lovely pots and pans, nuts and bolts and paelleras and cazuelas. Also giant paelleras as you can see from the photograph of the outside. I went a bit mad. Thankfully the cazuelas survived the trip back.
I finally got around to trying out a paella recipe – today’s Sunday lunch. I adapted a recipe by Gino D’Acampo off the itv website. According to everything I’ve read this isn’t the genuine Valencian Paella. Seeing what we ate and enjoyed in Spain was Paella Turista, so it tasted right to us and was yum.
Olive oil, for frying
4 chicken breasts, cut into pieces
200 g prawns
6-8 slices of chorizo
1 red pepper, sliced
1 onion, sliced
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
A pinch of chilli flakes
2 tsp smoked paprika
A large pinch of saffron
2 cups paella rice (I used a short grain Indian rice – Kollam)
3 cups hot fresh chicken stock
125 ml white wine
1/2 tin chopped tomatoes
1 small bunch of parsley, chopped
The zest of 1 lime
Heat up a generous splash of olive oil in a paella pan and add the chicken. Once the chicken has started to brown, stir in the chorizo, pepper, onion, garlic and chilli. Cook until the vegetables have softened, before adding the smoked paprika.
Mix the saffron into the hot stock.
Stir in the rice and allow to toast for a few minutes, followed by the wine. Allow to boil to remove the alcohol then add the stock and chopped tomatoes. Season with a little salt, stir once, cover and leave for about 15 minutes.
Add the prawns. Cover loosely with some foil and cook over a very low heat for another 5 minutes or until the rice is cooked.
Scatter the lime zest and the parsley over the cooked paella.
Squeeze some lime over your paella and enjoy.
(There were mussels in the original recipe and I couldn’t get any, also peas and I’m not crazy about them)
The Origins of Paella
The Moors from North Africa, Arabs and Berbers, conquered Spain and introduced rice. From this mix of cultural influences a dish known as paella was born in Valencia. There are differing opinions of where the word originated. One is that it has a common etymological root with pilaf and pulao. The other opinion is that the word came from the name of the pan in which it is cooked, also called the paella, which came from the Latin patella. It would be nice if the Latin word has a connection with the Indian cooking pot, patila 🙂
The address where I bought my paellera and cazuelas-
Pla del Palau, S-G
C 9003, Barcelona
+ 34 93 3199 241