We recently purchased a paella pan from Kitchen Window. The sales associate wanted to sell us all the ingredients, too, but we balked at paying $15 for a kilo of rice. We ended up finding the same rice (Matiz) at Clancy's meat market in Linden Hills for $10, but I was wondering if anyone knows of any other source for this type of rice.
Also, does anyone have experience with making paella? Is it critical to have paella rice from Valencia? Some recipes insist that it is, while others say you can use other types of rice.
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I use bomba rice (from Surdyks) - this is the best. other short grain rices work too but the rice (in contrast to an earlier poster) is in fact the critical ingredient in this.
Technique is everything here. brown your ingredients well. use a good stock (or f you want water) - let a good crust form on the bottom as the water evaporates. Taste for salt . It's always such a treat to make and eat paella. Enjoy.
In her book, "The Foods and Wines of Spain" (which was a cookbook of the month on the home cooking board of Chowhound last fall), Penelope Casas says it's imperative to use only short-grain rice, but that it doesn't matter whether it's imported from Valencia or Italy, or is short-grain pearl rice grown in CA (either Spanish or Japanese style).
When Casas' Spanish books were COTM, I had good luck buying bulk grains from the bins at the Wedge, though I don't recall specific prices or whether the rices were imported. I just thought both quality and selection were good. On the other hand, she insists that the saffron you use (should your paella call for it) should be imported from Spain. I also got my saffron from the Wedge, although, I don't recall if it was Spanish or not. They've got Spanish olive oils, too, and Manchego cheese.
Here's a link to Casas month on the home cooking board if you're interested: I know people tried the paella recipe (I did not, alas) http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/524513