Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Since I was still on a Spanish or Hispanic (from #2) dish experimental journey, I tried my hand at Paella. I Googled for Paella and found this recipe.

It looked simple enough and I did have a Paella pan which I had not broken into yet.

To break into the Paella pan, I first washed with soapy water and then dried it. Heated it over medium fire. After that I poured in some oil and rubbed it in. Heated it through for about 5-7 minutes and allowed it to cool down, then washed off the oil with warm soapy water. Ta-da! Paella pan ready for use.

Saute-ing the onions.

In went the red and green peppers.

The chicken cubes with salt and pepper.

In went the rice and liquids.

Added the prawns and crab meat (I improvised a little).

Okay truth be told, it wasn't as great as it should have been. Being first time doing this I thought that I had to cook it the way I cook our local 'one pot rice' and so I ended up with a little burnt bottom. tasted pretty good or so from the feedback from my husband and #2. #1 wasn't very excited about it and opted to eat the optional white rice I cooked for 'just in case'.

Next time round I won't worry about 'cooking down' the liquids! I would also add more seafood and meats because my paella pan had 2 cups of rice and had a wee bit too little seafood and meats. One more thing, I like my peppers with a little crunch, perhaps they should also go into the pan later and with less saute-ing time. Till the next attempt...Buen provecho! (Bon Apetite!)


terri@adailyobsession said...

hi! a good paella is really not easy to cook. i've done paella many times and thot they were good until i ate an awesome paella in spain a few weeks ago n realized:

1)don't put too much ingredients like meat n seafood

2) they peppers are cooked so soft you don't see them but taste them

3) most importantly, the rice is wet with broth but not soft. this is the hardest thing to obtain. i just did a paella two nights ago n still can't get the rice right.

4) the seafood esp prawns (shells on) shd be fried in olive oil first to make it more fragrant

5) a slightly burnt bottom is highly desirable!

kat said...

I learnt to cook paella from a Spanish lady and although it appears easy to cook from the various online recipes, they have specific steps that make their food authentic (not unlike our sambal belacan where the pounding on the mortar and pestle makes the difference!)

1. As Terri said, the peppers must be cooked really soft. Together with the onions, over a slow fire. My teacher actually put the onions to saute first thing before she starts to prepare the other ingredients. They end up really soft and sweet with no burnt/brown bits.

2. Use prawn stock made from prawn shells to cook the rice. Very similar to how we make prawn stock for Har mee. Fry the shells/head until fragrant and then boil with water for about 1/2 hr. You can grind the shells for better flavor before sieving the stock. Try using a coffee filter for a finer sieve.

3. Fry the prawns lightly first and put aside. Use the flavored oil to saute the onions and peppers.

4. You can adjust the amount of stock to use as the rice cooks. Add more if it gets dry but rice is still hard. Cook until al dente, and although it may still be wet, serve immediately. According to my teacher, this is of utmost importance! Your last pix with the prawns looks about right.

My teacher's recipes uses pork ribs and fresh pork sausages, in addition to prawn and squid. Oh, and don't forget the saffron! I will blog about one day, and let you know. :)

Bento Pet said...

terri: Thank you Terri for the tips. Will take note the next time I try this. Makes sense about the peppers.

Bento Pet said...

kat: Hey long time never hear from you! Thanks for the tips, really need to try this again with the additional info!!


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