Postcards from Spain 5: Cooking Demonstration, Paella!

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Paella time! Photo: james McConnell.

Continuing with our series

Cooking Demonstration: Paella!

Our day started with a trip to a grocery store to learn how the Spanish buy their food.  We saw many of the foods we have been eating with our families.  This grocery store had a huge selection of seafood.  The grocery stores here are similar to the ones in the US, but have a much larger selection of unpackaged items.

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Today’s guest bloggers are Blair Pearce and Danny O’Dowd. Photo: James McConnell.

Today we also visited the “Escuela de Hostelería” to learn how to cook paella, a traditional Spanish rice dish.  Our ingredients were already prepared for us, but we realized that we could purchase all of them at the local grocery store.  The first step was to cook the shrimp in the pan in some olive oil and salt. Once those were cooked, they were put aside and the veggies were sautéed with chicken. After that, tomatoes, beans, garlic, spices, rice, water, and cuttlefish ink were added and it was left to cook. Cuttlefish ink doesn’t have much of a taste, it is just a little salty, but it is added to give color to the dish.  At one point during the cooking, someone said it looked like a witch’s stew! However, it tasted delicious and it’s definitely something we will make when we return to the US.

This is how we made paella.

1. First,  heat the pan with olive oil and a little bit of salt.  Okay, a LOT of salt!
2. Add langostinos (prawns).  Cook until nearly done and then remove.
3. Add chicken and rabbit.  Cook until nearly done.
4. Mix in green and red peppers.  Cook for 5 minutes or so.
5. Add the garlic and tomatoes. Cook for another 3 or 4 minutes.
6. Add saffron or colorante food coloring to add some flavor but mostly color to the dish.
7. Add the rice. 
8. Mix the ingredients.
9. Pour in water or fish  / seafood broth if you have it.
10. Bring the water to a boil.
11. Lower the heat.
12. Wait +/- 15 minutes for the rice to cook.
13. Let it rest 10 minutes to firm up and absorb any water.
14. Eat!

By Blair Pearce and Danny O’Dowd

Segovia Blog 2016

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