Learn how to cook Paella
A student visiting or staying in Spain to undertake a course to learn Spanish, cannot get back to his country without trying one of Spanish’ most typical and representative dishes of the Spanish gastronomy on an international level: the paella.
There are several variants of this dish within the national territory, but the paella we recommend to all who come to study Spanish is the paella from Valencia.
To learn how to cook this dish is one of the students’ most practiced activities in Spanish schools. The paella is not easy to prepare, as you need to know the steps to follow to prepare it and have great care while preparing it, but with a little practice, any Spanish student will be able to cook a paella and be proud of it.
The dish is prepared in a pan called paella or paellera, from there comes the name of the Spanish cuisine’s most famous dish. The paella is a pan from which the long handle was removed and replaced with two small handles.
To be able to cook this dish a series of fundamental paella ingredients are needed which all can buy in any supermarket: rice (round grain), chicken, rabbit, green beans, tomatoes, olive oil, paprika powder, salt, rosemary sprig, and saffron. Although these are the typical ingredients for the paella, you can find different ones, such as the seafood one, vegetable paella, the lobster, the shrimp paella and many others.
It takes approximately 60 minutes to prepare, you can, therefore, make the most of your time practicing what you just learned in class while you prepare one. First, we need to level the paella so that the rice is well distributed and everything boils equally. To do so, we need to pour a little olive oil and try to keep it in the middle of the paella. When it is well leveled we light the fire and wait for the oil to get very hot to start frying the rabbit and chicken (well cut into pieces and skinned). When the meat is golden, push it towards the sides, leaving the paella’s center empty.
Next, we add the beans and, like the meet, we let it fry being careful not to burn them. Next, we add the tomato and let it fry well. When all previous ingredients are well cooked we mix them and let them fry all together, we add the paprika and immediately after that, water (as a reference, we will add double the water to the rice until the pan is almost entirely covered). We salt the water, add the saffron and leave it to cook on medium heat for 30 to 40 minutes.
Before adding the rice we have to check if the stock is well seasoned if so we add the rice and extend it over the whole paella. Let cook for 6-8 minutes on high heat, another 10 minutes on low heat and insert a sprig of rosemary 5 minutes before the end of the minimum heat. Finally, leave to rest between 5 and 8 minutes.
You can eat the paella on a plate, but if you want to follow tradition it is best to eat directly from the paella.
If you are interested in more Spanish dishes, check the Spanish Omelet and Sangria recipes.
And remember, nothing is better than learning Spanish in Spain while eating one of the best Spanish dishes.