The making of paella

I have made paella many times using this same recipe for about 30 years.  It came from a now closed restaurant in Los Angeles called La Masía.  And this time I decided to document so that I could share the process.  Rather than write out the recipe because, after all, you can find the basic recipe online and there are many variations, I’ll just show the basic steps.  The thing I love about paella is that you can pick and choose what you want in it. For example, the recipe I use calls for lobster tails and crab legs.  I’ve never put lobster tails nor crab legs in my paella but I certainly  could add one or both if I so desire.  It’s truly up to the cook.

First, assemble your ingredients which means cutting up the meat and chopping up the veggies and garlic:

Heat olive oil in your paella pan.  Next, fry the meat.  My recipe tells you to fry the meats one at a time then remove them.  But a video that I just watched (linked below) shows the meats being cooked all together and the meat does not leave the pan until the dish is served.  Again, just variations on a theme:

Next, cook the onions and peppers until tender:

The red bowl next to the stove contains the meat I just fried.  Add the chopped tomato and garlic to the pan. Next add the rice and stir until grains are translucent, just a few minutes:

Then add chicken broth and spices.  Put the fried meats back into the pan, add your desired seafood:

Now the next step in my recipe says to cover and simmer for 30 minutes.  But last night’s paella was the first time since I’ve been making this that the rice was not fully cooked? And so I googled and discovered that you do not have to cover the pan?? One thing to keep in mind is to not stir once the seafood is placed on top.  It will disturb the rice.  Add peas at the end, cover loosely with foil and let sit for about 10 minutes.  Garnish with lemon and serve.

The last time I made the dish I used paella rice which apparently absorbs better than “regular” rice. We’ve decided that we’re going to purchase this rice for next time.  It comes from Valencia Spain.  The paella was good but was not my best creation.  Live and learn I guess.

I thought I would also share the link to the video that I just watched.  This paella has a few more ingredients that I don’t use but now I’m considering using for future paellas, paprika and white wine.  Oh yum!

How to make the perfect paella

And another entry I found with some good information about paella.

¡Buen provecho!

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22 Comments

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22 responses to “The making of paella

  1. I always admire but never make, Tobyo. The best I’ve had was in a restaurant in Albufeira (not my regular choice of resorts but credit where it’s due). It had saffron rice and some very delicious spices too.

    • it’s just a tad time consuming. it’s about 1.5 hours from start to finish including prep time. usually comes out great! but guess I had to learn a little bit this go round. the last two times we went to Spain we didn’t “really” have paella. There was a small plate of it served as a tapa at a bar we frequented which was fine but I’m hoping next trip to find a restaurant with a good paella :)

  2. Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat.Com™ and commented:
    YummY recipe for Paella.

  3. Susan

    Looks yummy! I’m glad you didn’t do the kind where the shrimp eyes glare out at you as you eat it…

  4. perfect tribute for the now closed restaurant!

    • yea, I’m not sure when it closed but perhaps when the economy went sour over 10 years ago? I first went to it over 30 years ago and then I found the recipe in the paper shortly afterwards. thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  5. Yummy!!! Typical Spanish dish ….. grew up with it!!! :-)
    Reblog: http://hrexach.wordpress.com/

  6. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Yummy!!! It’s a very tasteful and typical Spanish dish!!! Mmmm …..

  7. I had paella in Spain too, so I was able to compare it with my paella recipe ( we cook it all the time at home )…. it’s a Philippine version without saffron, because saffron is expensive here in the US and in the Philippines. We also call it Arroz a la Valencia. The Philippine version is… we use the liquid in which the the mussles have been cooked , instead of plain water.

    • I used the last of the saffron I purchased in Spain 3 years ago, where it isn’t as expensive. but the paella didn’t turn yellow. perhaps it was too old? so, do you cover and simmer at the end? What an interesting variation you do. I like it!

      • My Mom bought saffron here in the US…. one small package ( about 4 tbsps? ) was like, $12.oo We haven’t used it yet. But do you know what we use to color the rice? Tomato sauce. yes , we add it to the liquid ( mussel liquid ) . Of course, the paella is now reddish, not yellow, lol ! I hope you can try this version and let me know if you like it. Cheers !

      • I’ve also seen that you can use egg yolk to color the paella yellow. but saffron has a certain flavor too that I like. and the version in the video I linked uses paprika? which would turn it red too. that intrigues me too! so many choices :) Hey, thanks for the follow. I will have to check out your blog too. Nice to meet you!

  8. Thanks for the step-by-step process, and pictures (!), for making paella. I’ll have to try it sometime to bring back memories of my trip to Spain! :-)

  9. Looks delicious! I love paella, such a great dish.

  10. Pingback: My second blogoversary | travels with toby

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