The best Valencian paella recipe to relish on. The history of the popular dish, proper techniques and ingredients and how it came to be a delicious cuisine staple.
Those who love cooking at home know that the success of any dish relies on using the right ingredients. Indeed the proper cooking techniques are also relevant, particularly if you want to replicate a popular dish.
It is very satisfying to offer a delicious home made food preparation, just following a recipe. Whether you are a beginner cook or an expert chef, you can always find a recipe that fits your cooking abilities.
The proper techniques and ingredients
Regardless of the recipe you decide to follow; attention must be paid to the instructions to obtain a perfect specialty.
When you want to go further and try international flavors, one of the most used ingredients is rice. Rice is a grain and a popular staple food all over the world. Since centuries ago, people have managed to pair it with their local flavors for cooking iconic dishes.
You can see popular rice dishes in every country, for example, Risotto from Italy, Jollof rice from West Africa, Tahdig from Iran, Jambalaya from Louisiana in the US, and the famous Paella from Spain.
Paella: origins and variations
Let’s focus on one of the most flavorsome and famous rice dishes: The Paella. It is a colorful and tasty meal that includes a mix of meat and vegetables, seasoned with saffron.
Since its origin, Paella has been made with rabbit or duck, chicken and seafood like clams, mussels, and shrimp, and even smoky chorizo. The usual added vegetables are onions, garlic, fresh peas or beans, artichoke, and red bell peppers. In addition to the saffron that gives its characteristic color, powder garlic and smoked paprika can be added.
There are many versions of Paella: Chicken Paella, Vegetarian Paella, Shrimp Paella, and Spanish Seafood Paella. All of them are always based on the original one: La Paella Valenciana.
The history of Paella dates back 1200 years in Valencia, a port city in Spain, when farmers cooked rice with several ingredients for lunch. They usually used vegetables from the fields where they worked, along with rabbit, chicken, or snails. It was cooked in a big pan over an open flame.
Indeed, this pan was said to be the origin of the name paella. There is a Latin word that refers to a pan called Patella. And this is the one used by the workers to cook this rice preparation. It is a flat round pan with two handles.
Over time, this delicious dish was started to be cooked by coastal people who started to include seafood in the main preparation, leading to the worldwide known Valencian Paella.
A feast of tradition and flavor
If you love making international meals and surprising your guests in your celebrations, you have to try this delightful dish. You can make an authentic Valencian Paella at home just following this original paella recipe. This Valencian paella requires rice, red pepper, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, sweet paprika, fish, mussels, calamari rings, prawns, seafood broth, salt, and strands of saffron.
Cooking Paella is a whole celebration itself . The planning, the shopping, the mise en place, and the cooking are just the beginning of your dinner party. It is an enjoyable culinary experience, which ends by eating one of the world’s most renowned foods.
Remember that a successful dish depends on choosing the right ingredients. You must use high-quality rice, for example, parboiled medium grain rice. Fortunately this variety is easily found in stores; even some brands produce rice specially made for cooking paella.
Paella is a full meal, but if you want to add some side food, green salad and crusty bread are good options. Do not forget to offer a good glass of soft white wine to make that experience even more pleasant.