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January 01, 2011

Paella from Valencia to my Kitchen

The paella is a regional dish from Valencia popular throughout Spain and around the world. This colorful delicacy is prepared in many ways  but the mainstay ingredient is saffron and rice.  Many non-Spaniards regard this as Spain's national dish really. A great favorite is the mixed one with chicken, seafood and vegetables. This is the one I chose too for you which I am sure you will like. This is home made and no exact measured ingredients I must add, just the same amount of rice as the broth to cook the whole paella.
For me, the garnish is as important. In Spain they do squeeze a bit of lemon juice on their plate of paella for more flavor and make decorative lemon wedges to place in the center and around the paellera.
Here's how. With a 20 inch diameter paella pan, sautee in extra virgin olive oil onions and diced bell peppers of all colors or just  red if the others are not available. The amount really depends on the size of the pan or taste. Stir in the sizzling pan until wilt and translucent.
At this point add chicken pieces slightly browned previously and sliced chorizos. Stir all around the pan to mix the flavor of each ingredient and  rotating the pan often for even cooking. For this size pan you really need two burners going.
Now add the rest of the vegetables such as French beans, green peas or even artichokes if available.
4 cups of arborio rice is just right for this size pan. Stir to coat every grain of rice with the flavorful mixture.

Grind the precious saffron and stir into the 4 cups of boiling clam juice and chicken broth to pour into the pan.

The broth would have already been seasoned properly with salt before mixing.

Add your seafood and arrange them the way you see nicely. You can put as many or as little as you like.
Let it boil until most of the liquid has evaporated and always rotating making sure that no spot burns in  the pan.
The rice is almost cooked at this point and to finish the cooking cover the pan with a fitting lid or aluminum foil if you don't have a huge one like this. Again rotating the pan in very low heat this time. It might take 15 minutes or less without opening it to have a perfectly cooked rice.
Garnish with strips of red bell pepper previously cooked and lemon wedges. You can arrange them in any way you like. Spain is really blest with a wide variety of crustacean that makes their paella immeasurably more attractive and all so inviting, even reflecting the colors of the Spanish flag, many have observed.
Serve the the paella from the stove to the table. You could even tie red napkins on both handles if you wish. Enjoy!

34 comments:

  1. Deliciosa, una pinta estupenda, lo bueno de la paella es ke le puedes poner los ingredientes ke kieras, normalmente, lleva el refrito de tomates, pimiento verde y rojo, mucho ajito, y ya pescado, carne o las dos...Lo de las aceitunas nunca lo habia visto : D

    Besosssssss

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  2. Menuda paella, te ha quedado fantastica. Dan ganas de coger un tenedor y empezar a comerla.
    Bessos y Feliz año nuevo.

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  3. Those lemons are beautiful, as is the paella!

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  4. Your Paella looks and sounds wonderful. I specially love the lemon! Will you show us how to make it? As always, gorgeous work!

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  5. Te ha quedado una paella fantástica!!
    Feliz 2011!!
    Besos

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  6. Excelente paso a paso, de un plato no tan facil, pero exquisito !!
    Lo mejor para 2011 !!!

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  7. Que paella más preciosa!!! te ha quedado de cine, yo suelo hacerla siempre los sábados y nunca le pongo cebolla, aunque lo de las aceitunas tampoco lo había visto antes.
    Por cierto, no te puedo explicar la ilusión que me ha hecho tu visita, ven más a menudo. Yo ya me quedo aquí contigo. Besos y felicidades por tu blog, es muy completo.

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  8. This paella looks delicious. I love that lemon awesome artwork.

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  9. My mouth is just watering, it looks and sounds fantastic. I thought my recipe was pretty good but this looks so much better. I will be trying this out and I just love the lemon. Diane

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  10. Hi Renata, I am always glad to see you drop by. Just happy to give you some tips the best i know how.
    The lemon half is cut after I score thick strips all around still attached. Then I braid or tuck them in many different ways. I use a homemade zester like tool with only one eye. You can have someone make a similar one with a pointed bendable paring knife. Making a small U shape at the tip. With this you can make juliennes of vegetables or make designs on fruits like apples and oranges. Ask that the sharp edge of the knife be filed blunt leaving only the bent tip sharp for safe handling. Just take care using it until you are comfortable handling it easily like an ordinary peeler. Have fun doing it and tell me about the results. Cheers!

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  11. Hola Vanessa y Rocio, gracias de mi corazon por los consejos y comentarios valiosos! Como me encantan tanto las aceitunas rellenas he las puesto secretamente. Ayer no tenia tomates y muchas cosas mas por quedar en casa a caso de las lluvias. Conejos y caracoles o pulpos en su tinta me encantan tambien pero que pena que los de aqui no las comen.
    Feliz 2011 a todos!!!

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  12. Note to self: Must learn to garnish. Or must find professional "garnisher." Be still my heart - your paella is a thing of glory. A recipe to warm hearts and minds.

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  13. Wonderful to see you Claudia! I have to say that you cook like a Mediterranean and speak like one from Stratford Upon Avon! You warm the hearts and mind of your readers!
    Happy New year to you and loved ones!!!!

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  14. Everytime I see your post.. I just can not say a thing more than, beautiful, awesome, wonderful and scrumptious at same time... hhhh... look at those lemon art! vay..vay..vay... Which hotel/ resto do U run? ^_^
    Always enjoy ur cooking art

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  15. Hi Diane, hope your keeping warm and safe from all the snow there. It is not so pleasant here either with the persistent rain. I just go to the warmest place, my kitchen and keep busy cooking. I made the paella with only the ingredients I have in the house and the manner i know how. I have just been advised about an extra ingredient that is not suppose to be there. Olives! But this dish is so diverse that one can really put individual favorite ingredients. Your paella is just perfect the way you like it! Keep cooking and discover more layers of flavors to share! Cheers!!!

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  16. Fit for an artist to eat! How inventive & creative with your styling, I bet it tastes great to

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  17. I have never been able to take a good photograph of my paella! This is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen - but of course! :)

    Happy New Year!

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  18. Your paella is delectably gorgeous but what I'm really in love with is your paella pan! I can't find anything suitable here in Italy so please, pretty please, can you tell us where you got yours?

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  19. Once again not only beautiful but delicious too!!

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  20. Oh my, this paella is absolutely spectacular...and I expected no less from you, my brilliant friend! And what did you do with the lemons? I've never seen them carved that way, and I'm speechless with awe! Please, please give us a tutorial on how you did the lemon garnish!

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  21. A great new year with beautiful lemons and delicious paella! Happy new year to you and your family!

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  22. i've never knew what paella is until now. The dish looks so colourful, at first i thought you cook this in a chinese wok until i read about the paella pan and i think the good thing about the pan is that you can decorate all your stuff in the pan while cooking and just serve them right from the pan!

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  23. That is one amazing, beautiful and delicious looking paella :)
    Have a great n prosperous 2011!!


    US Masala

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  24. Your paella's rainbow of colors screams to come on over and look but don't touch. LOL

    Paella is one of those dishes that can go terribly wrong or incredibly right. I get the feeling yours must certainly be in the amazing camp.

    You mesmerized me with that lemon. I can only wonder how many hours you spend in that kitchen of yours ;o))

    Flavourful wishes,
    Claudia

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  25. Your paella looks fantastic.....and is yummy too.....your lemons....AMAZING!!.....lo mejor de lo mejor en este 2011 y siempre!!......Abrazotes, Marcela

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  26. Delicioso, la paella es uno de esos platos que me asustan, me dio animo tu descripci´øn. Gracias!

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  27. Wow..it is so nice and yummy..

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  28. Vaya paella de lujo que te has marcado, tiene un aspecto envidiable. Y los limones quedan geniales, es una lástima exprimirlos

    Abrazos y feliz año

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  29. The paella looks gorgeous but that garnish is the bomb! I'm really impressed. I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

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  30. Plus que de la cuisine, tes réalisations, Michel-Ange, sont des œuvres d'art.
    Te rendre visite est toujours un moment de grand plaisir visuel.
    See soon.

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  31. Benvenuto nella mia cucina! Amo tantissimo i colori nei piatti e le loro presentazioni! Ti seguirò ! la tua paella è meravigliosa! ciao a presto...

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  32. I love a good paella! I'm sure this one is as delicious as it looks. Amazing what you did with the lemons.

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  33. Arthur,has hecho la paella como un verdadero especialista, está completa y muy bien hecha,me gusta mucho; es la receta ideal para compartir con un grupo de amigos. Saludos Marimi

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  34. Muy bien echa esa paella,ademas de bien explicada. saludos

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