Friday, 26 April 2013

Authentic Paella Valenciana Recipe

PAELLA VALENCIANA- By Chef Sabrina Rongstad de Bravo

Here's an authentic Paella Valenciana recipe that I developed through time by practicing
and using other people's recipe, and then practicing some more, experimenting here, experimenting there. Through time, I developed my own style and just learned to make my own version based on my own intuition and taste. There are also simpler versions of Paella on this blog if your new to making Paella, go there first.

This is the Paella Recipe I used when I taught the Paella Valenciana class on March 28th at 
Whole Foods, Third and Fairfax location it is the first class in three part series for Taste of Spain classes this Spring 2013.

Serving: 4-6 People ; Time: 2 hrs and 3o minutes
·       4 Cups of Bomba Rice. Calasparra or Short Grain Rice

·       1 pounds of Medium Frozen Shrimps
·       1  Dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
·       1 Dozen  mussels, scrubbed

·       1- 3  pound Frying Chicken – cut into pieces
·       2 Spanish Chorizos, casings removed.

·       ½  cups frozen peas
·       ½  pound French Green Beans; trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
·       1 onion, chopped
·       4 Garlic Cloves- crushed
·        2 large tomatoes- 1- (150z) Can of Whole tomatoes, drained and crushed.
·       1/2 Jar of Piquillio Peppers or 1 Red Peppers julienned

·       1 tablespoons saffron or generous pinch
·       3  tablespoons of pimentón paprika (Smoked Paprika)
·       1/2  Teaspoon Oregano
·       ½ Teaspoon Rosemary
·       1 Teaspoon Thyme
·       Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
·       1 sprig  of Fresh Parsley

·       ¼ cup olive oil
·       * Bomba Rice  NEEDS MORE STOCK- 12  cups ( 3 Quarts) of homemade or store-bought chicken stock
·       * If using Short Grain Rice = 8 Cups ( 2 Quarts ) of homemade or store bought chicken stock.
·       ¼  cup white wine
·       1 lemon – cut in wedges

1.     Place cut up chicken chunks in a large bowl and add 4 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle chicken with Paprika, Rosemary, Oregano and Thyme and 1 teaspoon salt; turn chicken to coat. Cover chicken and let marinate, refrigerated, at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
2.     Pour Chicken Broth in a bowl, crush saffron between your fingers and add to broth. Doing this allows the broth to be infused with the saffron giving the paella a very fragrant flavor.
3.     Place a 20-inch paella pan with 3-inch sides over desired heat source. Once the oil is hot sear the chorizo . Remove and Reserve.
4.     Sear Chicken until well caramelized, about 4 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the pan and reserve.
5.     Take out the Chicken and Chorizo and place aside, leaving the frond of the Chicken and chorizo in the pan.
6.     In the same pan, leaving the frond of the chicken and chorizo, sauté the sofrito. Making a sofrito- Spanish mire poix ( onions, tomato and garlic) , add onions sauté until they are translucent, then, add half of the garlic and then the tomatoes sweat until they are caramelized. Sweat the sofrito for 5- 10 minutes, until the flavors meld together in a jelly like consistency.
7.      Add the rice making a cross in the Paella pan,  fold in the rice with the sofrito making sure that the sofrito coats the rice and the flavors of the sofrito meld together.
8.     Add the  stock along with the white wine to rice mixture. Turn up the heat until it boils, rotating the pan for even cooking, without stirring, as the stock begins to simmer and the rice begins to absorb the stock. Continue cooking, rotating the pan often, as the rice swells and absorbs the stock. Cook until the rice is almost tender. Do not mix the rice too much. *If using Bomba rice or Short Grain Rice add the stock to the mixture gradually as you would if you were making a risotto.
9.     Add haricort verts or French Green Beans cut in half
10.  Give the Paella a good shake, do not stir rice. When you see that the rice is cooked al dente, put the chicken and chorizo back in the pan, tucking the chicken pieces and chorizo neatly inside the rice, give it a bit of swirl with a spoon, but not too much.
11.   When the rice starts to fill up the pan, Add the clams and Mussels. Fold into Paella. Arrange mussels around outside edge of pan, pointing up. Mussels are done with they open. If they don’t open discard.
12.  Add the shrimps, fold into the Paella, they will cook in 8 minutes, they are done when they are pink.
13.  Add the frozen peas for about 5 minutes more fold in as Garnish. Scatter peas on top of paella. (If the liquid evaporates before the rice is tender, add more hot stock.) Cook without stirring, allowing rice to absorb all of the liquid
14.   Remove pan from fire and let it sit. Put aluminum foil or tea towels on the Paella, let it sit for 5 minutes.
15.   Unfold aluminum; add piquillo peppers as a garnish. If you can’t find piquillio peppers, use julienne strips of red pepper is a nice substitute. Smoke red peppers on a grill with a high flame, when they have black on them they are smoky, take them off put them on a plate or directly put onto Paella like a wheel.
16.  Garnish with parsley and  lemon wedges.

Voila you have yourself a wonderful Paella that will taste better the next day !

Bueno Provecho !

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Taste of Spain Class at Whole Foods-- Paella Valenciana !

PAELLA VALENCIANA- By Chef Sabrina Rongstad de Bravo

I am very happy to announce that I am getting myself out there with Sabrina's Latin Kitchen.  I taught Authentic Paella Valenciana class on March 28th at Whole Foods, Third and Fairfax location .  This was the first class in a Culinary Series, Taste of Spain, there will be more classes to follow. So Watch this space !

Here are some of the highlights of that class, it was a lot of fun with a lot of student interaction and many people asking a lot of questions. I gave everyone a chance to look at saffron and to smell it. I called in for class participation and we had a few enthusiastic volunteers.

Cathy Quien, pitching in and giving everyone an aromatic whiff of the sea food smelling saffron.

The Taste of Spain Class watching the Paella simmering slowly.

I highly recommend using Bomba rice as this is rice dish, Bomba Rice or Short Grain rice absorbs the flavor of the liquid better than most rices since it absorbs three times the amount of liquid. Paella has a long history that originated in the country side in Spain with the peasant people of Spain, just like Flamenco dance, later both of these iconic art forms became modernized and popularized by the masses, but if you look deeper they started with the common ordinary people. Flamenco with the outcast gypsies and Paella with the peasants.

For me, I was introduced to Paella from my Cuban boyfriend's Mother. Later, at celebrations and family get togethers we would often dine at El Cid in Los Angeles,
there Paella isn't the best, but it was my Mother's attempt to introduce us to Spanish culture, the Flamenco there is phenomenal, and I highly recommed going there with your friends. I often taking my Spanish students there. Here is an authentic Paella Valenciana dish, it's really fun to make but you will need some patience because there are a lot of steps, but once you do it 2-3 times, you should be able to do it with your eyes closed and then make your own Paella. After all, Paella is made with whatever is in your house, and it's common Arabic-myth that Paella was made with baqiyah, ( Arabic Script ) which means left overs. 

 Whatever you do, don't skimp on the saffron or the rice. If you can't afford Bomba rice, use Short grain rice ( also highly absorbent), and if you can't find Short Grain Rice, use Long Grain. Remember to add salt to the saffron infusion but do it in 1/4 teaspoon increments.

An Authentic Paella Recipe made in about 1 and half hours. The process of making Paella is enjoyable : Rice, Saffron, Chicken, Pork, Shrimp, Mussels, Haricort Verts and Peas, garnished with Piquillo peppers and lemon.  A delight to the senses and the spirit ! Ole ! 

Paella is a great dish for parties, big or small and it's fun to make with a group of people.  Sangria makes a great accompaniment. Both taste better the next day ! See for yourself !

Ole and Buen Provecho ! :)

To Read More about The History of Flamenco !