jjdbike

Observation about different Paella recipes

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Hey folks,

I know we have some paella fans here, of which I am one. I've made it 5 or 6 times. I've pretty much taken a bunch of recipes I got on line and blended them w/ my own tweeks.

As I prepare to make a paella for the extended fam on Christmas Eve, I've revisited online recipes. At this point I need to clarify, I'm focusing on  traditional Paella Valenciana, i.e. land meat, not fish.

The interesting thing I've noticed is, recipes I see as Americanized seem to have an awful lot of ingredients and a intricate sofrito. On the other hand, traditional recipes from Valencia are pretty basic w/ only a handful of ingredients. Instead of intricate sofrito, they simply brown the meat (chicken and rabbit, I'll substitute pork ribs for rabbit) and veggies (broad beans, white beans, artichoke)  in olive oil, adding only salt, Pimenton (a.k.a. sweet Spanish smoked paprika), and Spanish Safron (Azafran filaments). The sofrito or sauce is simply the olive oil, the liquid from the meat and veggies, grated tomato and stock (I use chicken). 

Regarding the complications of paella, I've noticed there are a proliferation of paella products marketed claiming to make your paella easier and more flavorful. There are paella kits, paella sofrito, paella seasoning blend, paella broth, etc...What I noticed is they add a lot of unneeded additives, preservatives, sugar and sodium. 

I've fallen into the category of complicating it and adding a lot of ingredients and have made it not only a lot of work, but added a lot of variables w/all of those ingredients (i.e. lots of room for error and differences). This next time I'm keeping it simple and authentic. A small handful of quality ingredients, cooked carefully. 

Your thoughts? What do you do?

JD

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Simpler is always better when trying to replicate something traditional. Go nuts on making a delicious stock, keep the rest straight forward. Use the highest quality ingredients you can find. The rest should take care of itself.

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14 mins ago, Nicky Da Fish said:

Simpler is always better when trying to replicate something traditional. Go nuts on making a delicious stock, keep the rest straight forward. Use the highest quality ingredients you can find. The rest should take care of itself.

Thanks bud,

Yup, haven't made a lot of stocks, but the ones I did, were way more flavorful than anything I've found available commercially. 

I'm a fan of Gansett too. Kind of an old-school basic, affordable larger, like an RI version of Yingling.

JD

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It’s a rice dish foremost so don’t use too many ingredients or too much.  Comment about the stock is true and in fact in a traditional seafood paella they cook the seafood to improve the stock and toss it because it’s too overcooked to be appetizing. 

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Just now, JimW said:

It’s a rice dish foremost so don’t use too many ingredients or too much.  Comment about the stock is true and in fact in a traditional seafood paella they cook the seafood to improve the stock and toss it because it’s too overcooked to be appetizing. 

That's interesting. I'm guessing they would use things like shells, heads, racks, odds and ends etc..?

I have a hard time imagining tossing good seafood, so expensive.

JD

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Consider that it’s a subsistence dish, what you can get your hands on.  Rabbit, snails and beans.  Couple hands full of smallish whole briny shrimp, couple clams add a lot to a broth.  Mussel liquor. 

Edited by JimW

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I usually make it for 2-4 in a ss skillet.  Crank up the heat and move it around on the burner.  You have to make it to almost done.  It’s socorrat, doesn’t happen if it’s too wet. 

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