giovedì 6 giugno 2013

Pummaroo'&Friend: Paella with Rosana!

This is the first post about a new page, Pummaroò Friend! Here friends share the recipes of their Country, childhood or just their favorite ones.
Today with us...Rosana, a smart woman from Andalusia!
    A big thanks to her and to Maribel, her mom.
Hello everybody!

I am Rosana and I come from Spain. I’m very happy and proud to have been invited by Elvira to share a Spanish recipe with you. I will give you my mom’s recipe (the most delicious ever). It’s juicier than your regular dry paella, and includes a lot of seafood, as is the style in Andalousia.

Quantities are intuitive, unless otherwise indicated. This will serve around 4 hungry people or 6 people who claim to only want a “tapa”:

- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 peppers (1 green, 1 red)
- 2-3 tomatoes (depending on their size)
- Peas (to taste)
- Sweet paprika
- Saffran (a few threads)
- Yellow spice/coloring. The only one we have always used (since the times of my grandma) is Aeroplano, which has been around since the 1920's! You can purchase it online here:
- A bite of white wine
- Green beans
- Artichokes
- Any other veggie you fancy!
- Chicken breast cut into dice
- Prawns, calamari/squid, mussels, and whatever seafood strikes your fancy, to taste (around 500 gr should do. But of course, the more and better seafood you put in, the better your paella will be...this is no rocket science).
- Round rice, NEVER the long grain/basmati type. You should count 1 handful of rice per person, plus a little extra handful.

1   El Sofrito, Stir fry (on a mid-heat) with EVO (of course) in this order:
-       First the garlic cloves (peeled and chopped) until they’re golden.
-       Second, the peppers (cut into stripes).
-       Third, when the peppers are barely stiff, add the tomatoes (you have to peel the skin off and take the seeds out).
It is important to follow this order, due to the different cooking time of each ingredient. Softly stir fry them until they caramelise and acquire a sauce-like texture. Take this pan out of the heat, but leave its contents inside.
Now, still out of the heat, add 2/3 teaspoonfuls of sweet paprika. Please, only add this when the veggies are already cooked and out of the heat. If you add the paprika before, it will become bitter!
2   The Chicken
In another pan stir fry the chicken. Leave it quite on the uncooked side, since it will be receiving more heat later and it might go dry if you overcook it now.
3   The Veggies
In a pot boil 750ml of water. When it boils, and only when it boils, add the green beans for 10 minutes and not more. They should be cooked but al dente, and they should be emerald green. Also prepare the peas in the same water (add them before or after the beans, depending on whether the peas are frozen or fresh). Take the veggies out of the pot and cool them down with a splash of cold water so that the cooking process stops, but don't throw the used boiling water away! Like Elvira recommended with the Vellutata, why use plain water when you can use flavoured one which is also full of vitamins and minerals from the veggies?
Of course if you are using other veggies, follow logic and cook them in the most appropriate manner for them. Just remember: leave them slightly undercooked.
4   The Seafood
Boil another 750 ml of water and prepare the seafood as necessary. Again, leave them slightly uncooked, since they will receive more heat later on. Take them out of the water so that the cooking process stops, but don't throw the water away!
5   Boiling
Now take the pan that still has the peppers, etc. inside and add the chicken and about half the boiling water from the veggies and seafood that you had kept aside. If you are using calamari/squid add it now, but do not add the rest of the more tender seafood yet. Make this all boil for around 15 min. Then add the saffron, the wine, a bit of salt to taste. Let it boil (over a high flame) for a few more minutes.
6   The Rice
Add more of the leftover boiling water from the veggies and seafood that you had kept aside, and incorporate the rice and the yellow spice. For the next 15 minutes you will start by boiling on a high flame and then you will gradually reduce the fire, little by little, to a low simmer. All this time make sure to stir up constantly - otherwise the rice will stick to the rest of the pan and burn. Keep on adding leftover boiling water when needed.
Remember the song “Bootylicious”? “Read my lips carefully if you like it juicy…”
7   The Final Touch
After these 15 minutes are over, take the pan out of the fire, add the beans, the peas and the seafood and cover up the pan. Leave it to rest for around 5 minutes.
Eat it now! If you leave it laying around the rice will suck up the water and you will get a mushy, dry paella. Eating it just out of the fire is the best.

Some people ask me whether you need a huge flat pan (“paellera”) to cook this. That would be ideal. However, I have not had any problems cooking paella in an ordinary big frying pan (when I’ve cooked for several people I have used 2 frying pans).

Have fun cooking and let us know how it goes!

Hugs from Málaga, Ciudad del Paraíso.

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