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Paella

Does anyone have an awesome Paella recipe??? I want to make it for Fathers Day. I have some lobster tails in the freezer that I would like to incorporte into it.
Thaks Guys!!1

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  1. guess-

    i don't have a recipe, i hardly ever use them. Paellas are fantastic for crowd pleasing and parties. The most important things that you need are the proper pan, and a good, hot heat source, and for me at least, beer. th e pan i use is an ancient steel fry pan from a logging camp, about 18" across and 3" deep, and generally use my turkey fryer burner, but charcoal works just fine. just make sure you get enough heat, it takes a surprising amount of heat to cook all this.

    i start with a good coating of pam in the pan, add some olive oil and hot Italian sausages. brown them up on all sides, toss in chicken pieces- thighs or wings are best, they don't dry out, add delicious fat and are good sized for serving- and give them a few mins. (the beer depends on the season- hearty ales for winter, cold lagers for summer) next, generous chunky-cut onion, and red, yellow, green, ornage peppers, the more color, the better. when the onion starts to look translucent, a handful of whole garlic cloves (easy for non-fans of garlic to pick out), just for a minute or so to slightly cook the garlic, and release its flavor. then add however much rice you need. i use white basmati, i know, i know, some insist on arborio or other short grain varieties, but i like what i like, and have never had a complaint. stir the mixture well, coating the rice well with the fat in the pan. then add chicken stock, suficient to be absorbed by the rice, a generous 2:1 ration, as you aren't covering it tightly, as some of the moisture will be lost. now for the essential-the saffron. i don't know how much, a very generous pinch, i've never used too much, tho i suppose that it is possible.(the last paella that i made was Memorial Day, and had misplaced my saffron, and it turned out a delicious rice dish) when the caldron is bubbling, add whatever seafood- your (thawed) lobster tails would be greta, I've used crab claws, crawdads, steamer clams, spot prawns. you might put a piece of foil on top, loosely, to help things cook evenly, and not lose too much of your moisture. cook until all the stock has been absorbed, and the rice is really done. the best part of the dish is the scorched-looking crust on the bottom of the pan- with all the concentrated flavors. it's not to die for, but to kill for.

    i hope that this was some help. good luck, and !buen provecho!

    d.d

    1 Reply
    1. re: doradodave

      yum, thank you - I have always wanted to make paella!

    2. Check out the recipe for Chicken Mar i Muntanya in Thomas Keller's ad hoc at home. You could easily add lobster to it. I've made it 3 times now and we love it. If you don't have the book, search the web - the recipe is out there. And just like Thoams Keller - it rocks.

      Cheers,
      Ladyberd
      http://ladyberds-kitchen.blogspot.com

      1 Reply
      1. re: ladyberd

        Mmm... yes. I made this a few weeks ago. It was amazing!

      2. fine cooking has a couple versions that I like.

        1. Sine paella is more about technique than recipe, don't count on making an awesome dish the first time around. Initially it will be more like a rice pilaf with lots of extras. This is especially true if you don't have large enough pan (and appropriate heat source).

          How big of a crowd?

          1. Alton Brown recently put out a great paella episode. He uses a charcoal grill. I have bought the pan, ordered the rice/saffron, and made the chicken stock... We are going to try his recipe out Friday. It will be my first paella.

            1. Seconding Becca, I've made paella several times and I can recommend Alton Brown's approach:

              http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/al...

              There are lots of other recipes on foodtv.com.

              But be careful concerning the pan size question: Brown's proportions are for a certain size of pan (16"?). A pan that big or bigger is only better if you have a crowd. Crowd's are often the case with paella, of course, a traditional party dish.

              If you're making paella for only 4 or fewer people, you could easily do it inside in a large nonreactive skillet or sautoir. An Argentine friend of mine once made a great paella in a wok on the grill, also of course that approach compromises the amount of crust you can savor from the bottom of the pan.

              I recommend that you seek out Valencia or Bomba rice, although I'd use Arborio before going mail order (esp.. on short notice).

              Good luck!

              2 Replies
              1. re: Bada Bing

                The pan Alton uses is 15" wide. You can that pick that exact same size up at Bed Bath & Beyond for $20. Found that and real saffron today when shopping for my first Paella. Everything's falling in place so far! Going to try it on the gas grill.

                1. re: Rob_E

                  So how did it turn out ?

              2. Here is a link to a previous discussion:

                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6449...

                If you have the opportunity between now and Father's Day, I also recommend a run through beforehand. Timing is everything because you are cooking the dish in one pan. If you are including mussels and clams, you can "cheat" a bit and steam them separately until they just open, then them to the dish when you are midway through the cooking process. I would also incorporate the shellfish liquid to the dish overall while the rice is cooking.

                I tend to overcrowd my paella with "extras", but I bring this to our annual neighborhood block party and no one ever complains.

                1. I too was thinking Paella for father's day. I've made it a few times over the years, always just for 2 people and on the stove top.

                  I'd like to do it outside on the gas grill...what do you think? I could go by a paella pan, but I'd rather not. If I put my large LC "buffet casserole" on the grates of the gas grill....would that work? It's my favorite piece of cookware, I don't want to f it up.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: danna

                    How tall is your SC buffet casserole? Paella pans relatively shallow, no deeper than a couple of inches for the larger (32" diameter) pans. If you don't want to buy a paella pan, you would be better off with a skillet, imho.

                    1. re: AntarcticWidow

                      2 1/2 " deep, 13 1/2 wide.

                      http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO...

                      Too deep? come to think of it, I have LC skillets too....guess that would be better. I went to the restaurant supply place and the woman there had never heard the word "paella" before. no luck.

                      1. re: danna

                        Depth of the pan isn't an issue; depth of the rice does matter. On this Spanish Table page pans are sized by servings and diameter
                        http://www.spanishtable.com/mm5/merch...
                        e.g. 4 servings, 12" diameter (across the top)
                        6, 13.5
                        The idea is that the correct amount of rice for this many people (1/4" per person, I think), spread over the pan area will cook to the right depth. If you cook for more people in a given size pan there results won't be disastrous, just not ideal.

                        But in the long run, paella is more a matter of technique than recipe.

                        1. re: paulj

                          For 1 c of rice (feeds two), I use a 16" paella. This creates a very thin layer of rice and results in perfectly cooked rice on top and the crunchy soccaret on the bottom. For 2 c, I use a 20" paella. Because of the size of the paella, I cook these outside. The pan size coupled with the amount of rice really changes the outcome of the dish. I used to use smaller paellas with more rice which resulted in a dish that was still good, but did not have the dual-texture that I prefer. I learned of these ratios in Alberto Herraiz's book, Paella.

                    2. re: danna

                      What makes paella different, at least in the traditional Spanish sense, is cooking the rice in a thin layer (about half inch deep). Hence the use of a wide shallow pan. To do that properly you need a matching heat source. In the Spanish country side that would have been a fire of twigs and vine clippings. So for you a wide pan on the gas grill might be the closest you'll come. You don't need high heat, especially once you've added the liquid to the rice.

                      Spanish do cook rice in deeper pans, even with the same additions of meat, vegetable and seasonings. They just don't call it paella, or expect quite the same texture. In fact some of their rice dishes are 'caldoso' - soupy.

                    3. http://www.spanish-food-and-recipes.c...

                      Scroll down to #3. It's Penelope Casas's recipe, one i make at least once a year, always to rave reviews. I've tweaked the recipe over the years: I use only 1 chicken, not two; and I like squid in my paella so I add it. I've also reordered her instructions somewhat making it much easier to prepare most of the paella in the morning and just assemble and bake it just before my guests arrive.

                      And here's another link to a previous discussion.

                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/527453

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: JoanN

                        Thanks for the recipes. I made #3 on Sunday for father's day. It worked out nicely, although I made a few adjustments and had some challenges. I altered the proteins to be 5 chick thighs, 1 link of lamb merquez, 2 lbs of shrimp and 12 clams. Everything else apprx the same except I used red and green peppers instead of piquillos.

                        The challenges were:

                        #1. Discovered I was out of propane when I started the grill. Kind husband went to get more, but I don't think he realized I needed a good hour to cook the stuff and by the time he returned, I was under the gun with guests arriving soon....and

                        #2 I was also under a serious downpour. In fact there were tornados spotted a 20 miles to the south. I started the dish with an umbrella over me and the grill and all the ingredients i had so carefully arranged outside to have at my fingertips.

                        I like to think without the challenges I would have noticed that 3 cups of rice was too much for both the amount of other ingredients I had assembled, and the size of the pan. I definitely had the rice too deep. ( i used a GORGEOUS vintage enameled cast iron paella pan a friend loaned me, about 15") I came close to getting soccaret, anyway, but not quite. It was just hinting at starting to brown and attained the barest hint of crisp at the bottom.

                        I also forgot to salt it in the mad, soaking wet rush, but the clams opened up and did that for me! At the time, I thought it was great that the clams excuded quite a bit of water, because I thought the paella might get too dry, but I don't really know.

                        The only thing I think was the fault of the recipe and not my own inexperience with this dish, was the overcooking of the shrimp. When I read the recipe, I thought "that's too long to cook shrimp", but I followed it anyway. Shrimp is done when it's pink ,if I had this to do again, I would leave the shrimp on a plate for most of the 25 minutes the paella bakes (i did this on low flame on the grill). I will say that 25 min. was EXACTLY how long it took my clams to open.

                        Anyway, it was a success, and looked beautiful coming to the dinner table. I'll post a pic soon. Thanks!

                        1. re: danna

                          Glad to hear that everything, except for the weather, worked for you.

                          This is one of those recipes that you can keep adjusting to your taste, your timing, and your method of preparation. Since I don't have access to a grill, I've never been able to try to cook it that way and I'm sure that the timing on a grill would differ from the timing in an oven. For example, my shrimp never overcook in the 20 minutes the recipe calls for it to be in the oven, perhaps because I'm adding so many other ingredients at the same time that it lowers the temperature of both the rice and the broth. And my clams and mussels never open in that amount of time without my giving them a quick head start in the microwave. In fact, my recipe in the book became so covered with handwritten notes that I just started over and typed out the recipe with all my changes to it--and I keep adding notes to that!

                          Good for you on being well on your way to achieving a soccarat. That's something that's very difficult, if not impossible, to obtain when cooking the paella in an oven.

                        2. re: JoanN

                          Penelope Casas's paella recipes - yes! Love the one you mention, but have recently discovered many others, especially the vegetable paella with spicy garlic sauce - to die for! I just taught a bunch of college kids how to make paella and they were so excited - we improvised an outdoor setup and used fresh herbs, wild mushrooms, some pieces of cured ham, asparagus... success! I do prefer Bomba rice, but in a pinch any decent short-grain rice will do.

                        3. Chow recipe on doing paella on the grill
                          http://www.chow.com/recipes/29656-gri...

                          1. A presentation suggestion (if you can get live mussels): The prettiest paella I've ever been served had a ring of half-shell mussels around the outer edge of the pan with the pointed ends of the shells towards the center.

                            1. So long as it has squid and rabbit, I'm pretty much open to anything else edible going in. It should be a cheap dish using whatever ingredients are seasonal and easily available.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: Harters

                                So leaving out rabbit would be hare-brained ? :)

                                One problem I have with paella is that I end up treating it like risotto (adding broth) as there is so much evaporation. It turms out great though (get soccarat) and tastes good too. I usually use shrimp, chicken, and chorizo as the proteins.

                                Cooking it over gas may be a problem, but it's an even bigger problem over an electric stove. I use two burners and have to keep rotating the paella pan.

                                1. re: souschef

                                  Rabbit's cheap here - you can get two for sick squid.

                                  When the brother in law makes it in Mallorca, he usually goes foraging for snails. Have to say, I'm not that keen on snails.

                                  1. re: Harters

                                    Rabbit is relatively rare here. That Bugs me !

                                    What's the problem with snails? Do you hate shucking slimy snails?

                                    1. re: souschef

                                      Just not fond of the taste (which isnt much) or texture. I'll eat them if they're there and they're not as vile as the pig lung that used to appear in his mother's frit de matanza.

                                  2. re: souschef

                                    Adding broth as needed is fine. There's a lot of evaporation going on. The big difference is that paella is not stirred. The goal is to absorb a lot of flavor but without releasing much starch.

                                2. There is a great recipe on www.paellapans.com I have a 14", 24" and a 36". I have pretty much used that recipe for years. Here is a picture of one I did for a party called Bovinova and it was briefly mentioned in the Wall Street Journal.

                                  9 Replies
                                  1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                    I saw the WSJ article and my mouth dropped open! Congrats. Did you put cow in the paella?

                                    Here are my pics

                                     
                                     
                                    1. re: danna

                                      You really need a better pan. They are very cheap'

                                      1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                        What do you mean by 'better pan'? Something Spanish? The rice layer on Danna's photos might be a little too thick, but I don't think that grill would hold a much larger diameter pan.

                                        1. re: paulj

                                          A real paella pan is best IMO. A steel one is cheap and multipurpose. I have tried faking it in other pans and it is just not as good.

                                          1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                            What makes the difference? And what kind stove are you cooking on?

                                            1. re: paulj

                                              How fast the pan responds to heat is the main reason. I cook on gas and electric stoves, propane burners and on open fire. I think the real pans are carbon steel.

                                              1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                                In the case of classic paella pans, speed of response has more to do with them being thin (compared to cast iron), than the responsiveness of the material (steel). Making them from carbon steel has more to do with manufacturing practicality than anything else. That material is strong, ductile and inexpensive, making pans of almost any diameter practical.

                                                Aluminum would be more responsive; copper even better. It would hard to make cast iron in the larger sizes. Looks like Danna's pan is enamel castiron. My paella pans (2 in the 12" size) are enamel steel.

                                          2. re: paulj

                                            Actually, this pan was purchased in Spain in the 70's.

                                            Although the discussion of it is acedemic anyway, because i have to give it back !

                                            1. re: danna

                                              I have a dutch (or rather 'french') oven that is Spanish, Copco brand. And it's actually enamel on steel.

                                              And for just the 2 of us, I prefer a 10" cast aluminum dutch oven for paella. I think pan area relative to serving size is more important than pan material.

                                    2. Sorry I forgot to post pic.

                                       
                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                        Paella is a big tradition in my family.  My father makes it outside over a charcoal fire in a huge paella pan that my great grandfather brought home from Spain more than fifty years ago.  My father just made one for memorial day.  Pictures can be found here.  I don't know how to post them directly on here or if I can, because I'm on an iPhone:

                                        Share this album with anyone by sending them this public link:
                                        http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?se...

                                        I tried to scale down his ingredients because when he makes it, the pan is so big, he is using 4.5 pounds of rice!

                                        1½ pounds Center cut pork loin 
                                        2 Chicken breasts; 4 halves, boneless and skinless 
                                        ½ pounds Chorizo sausage; 1/4" slices 
                                        1 pounds Sliced leg of veal pound thin 
                                        Olive oil 
                                        3 large Garlic cloves; minced 
                                        1 large Spanish onion; minced 
                                        ¼-1/2 teaspoon Saffron powder 
                                        ½ teaspoon Oregano 
                                        2 cups rice 
                                        5 cups chicken stock, low sodium organic 
                                        2 Sweet red peppers, chopped 
                                        2 Sweet green peppers, chopped
                                        1 pounds Raw fresh shrimp; shelled & deveined
                                        ½ pounds Fresh mushrooms; sliced thinly 
                                        ½ pound scallops 
                                        2 dozen clams, scrubbed and cleaned well
                                        10 ounce bag frozen peas 
                                        Salt and ground pepper

                                        Cut the pork into 1 inch squares, 1/4 inch thick. Cut the chicken crosswise into 1" chunks. Cut veal into 1" squares. Cut the peppers into 1/2" squares, discarding stems, seeds and membranes.  Heat paella pan; add 1/2 cup oil; add pork and saute until it is a deep brown; remove from pan. Add chicken, chorizo, veal and saute until light brown; remove from pan. Add a little more oil if necessary and in the meat drippings over low heat; add garlic, onion, saffron, oregano and rice. Stir well. Saute, stirring constantly, 5 minutes. Add chicken stock, pork, chicken, chorizo, veal, peppers, shrimp, mushrooms, and scallops. Nestle in clams hinged side down.  Bring to a boil. If chicken stock is unseasoned, add 1 to 2 tsp salt. Reduce heat; simmer 25minutes. Add peas and simmer 5 minutes longer stirring gently, but as only as needed to keep ingredients from sticking to the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

                                      2. For complicated reasons I once approximated a paella using the oven and it worked out to be such a convenient party dish that I've done it ever since---this works for a large quantity. The day before, brown in olive oil hunks of chicken, seafood, sausage, ham, whatever meat you are using. Remove the meat then use the same pan to saute onions, peppers, and mushrooms. Arrange these and the meat/seafood in huge baking dish with maybe some stuffed olives. Wash raw rice and strew it amongst the stuff in the baking dish. Dissolve saffron in chicken stock and pour over, covering rice. Cover tightly with foil and/or cover. Bake about an hour until rice is done but the grains haven't split. You can decorate the top with strips of canned pimento, black olives, whatever.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Querencia

                                          A half sheet baking pan should work in the oven. Its depth should be adequate. Presentation wouldn't be quite as nice as with a Spanish pan. It might also be hard to get the desired crust in the oven, but that can be tricky on a stove top as well.

                                        2. Addendum to previous: Sorry, I forgot, add a bag of frozen peas to the rice.

                                          1. wow, reading all of these replies has my mouth watering, and I see the original post was over a year ago! I toss whatever chicken (usually bone-in thighs) in smoked paprika, dried Mexican oregano, S&P and let it sit for about 20 minutes before I brown it. I also use chicken chorizo. Seafood always varies, but I also gotta have peas and artichokes in mine.

                                            1. Obviously too late for Father's Day, but this is the recipe we use as a "starter" -- from The Spanish Table -- and then spin it in different directions from there . . .

                                              http://www.spanishtable.com/mm5/recet...

                                              They also carry a MUCH BETTER range of Spanish (and Portuguese) cooking utensils, like paella pans, and ingredients than a place like Sur la Table and Williams-Sonoma . . . three locations (Seattle, Berkeley, and Santa Fe), but I've only been to the Berkeley location. FWIW, nice selection of Iberian wines, too.

                                              Cheers,
                                              Jason

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: zin1953

                                                I am a www.paellapans.com person myself at least for the pans but I really do like the Spanish table

                                              2. Just a note for those of you wanting to make paella but not interested in investing in a paella pan, a carbon-steel wok makes a terrific substitute (it's what I use), & has infinitely more additional uses than a paella pan. :)

                                                I also own & use a large terra cotta Spanish cazuelas that is also infinitely more useful than a paella pan. (I use it to make our annual New Year's Day French Cassoulet, along with other similar braises/casseroles.)