If you have tried yellow rice, called paella, and didn’t really understand what is so special about it, then you tried it in the wrong place. Paella is not just yellow rice.
Paella and other Spanish rice dishes
There are many types of Paella, but the original recipe is from Valencia. Surprisingly, that is not the paella most of us eat, with seafood, fish, chicken and meat; paella mixta.
The original recipe from Valencia does not include fish and seafood. It is made with rabbit, snails and butter beans. Now that you know, there is no reason to explain why paella mixta is more common in the restaurants than the original recipe.
A paella should never wait for you
To enjoy paella at its best, you need to wait for it to become ready. If the paella has to wait for you to sit down at the table, the texture of the rice will change, it will dry out. That is why ready-made paella never tastes as good as one that comes freshly made, from the stove to the table. That is also why you always have to wait at least 30 – 45 minutes when you order paella at a Spanish restaurant.
Paella de Marisco – Seafood rice
Seafood paella usually contains prawns, mussels, calamari, clams, fish and other seafood, as well as some vegetables. The seafood paella is sometimes made saucier and is then called ”Arroz Caldoso”.
Arroz Negro – Black Rice
The black variety of paella is made with prawns and calamari. It is cooked adding squid ink that makes the black colour. It might not be very eye-catching if you never have seen it before, but the taste of seafood is very intense, and natives love it.
Arroz de Bogavante – Lobster Rice
“Arroz de Bogavante” is the most exclusive paella, and also one of the most appreciated varieties of the Spanish dish. The rice should be creamy, almost like a thick soup. It’s delicious.
Try making it yourself!
When staying with us at Quartiers Marbella Apartments you can try making a real paella yourself. Outside Spain, it can be a little tricky to get the right ingredients, but in Spain, it is a piece of cake. You can even buy the broth ready to use in all supermarkets. That is an important part of the recipe, if you use plain water, the taste will not be the same. You need ”Caldo de paella”.
Ingredients (4 persons)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
2 Cups short-grain rice
2 Pinches of saffron
5 Cups of fish or chicken stock, or ready-made paella broth
250 grams of chicken or pork, cut in small pieces
Squid cut in small pieces, or calamari rings
Shrimp, with or without peel
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup green peas or green beans
1 Diced red tomato
You can vary all these ingredients just as you like and change them for others. But remember, whatever they say, a paella is NEVER made with onion, white wine or pepper.
To make the original Spanish paella you need a large pan. It does not need to be deep. Fry the chicken and/or the meat in 1/4 cup of the olive oil, until cooked through. Then remove it from from the pan and set aside.
In the same pan using the chicken fat and the rest of the olive oil, fry the garlic and the sliced red pepper until they turn soft, add the diced tomato, the chicken or meat that you fried before and salt. Then, add the rice and the saffron, and stir until the rice is perfectly mixed with the rest of the ingredients. Add the broth, measuring 2,5 cups per cup of rice. Finally add peas, fish and shellfish and bring to the boil.
Leave the paella simmering for 10 minutes without stirring. Take it off the fire and cover with a lid or a kitchen cloth, leave it to sit for another 10 minutes. Now, your paella is ready to serve with some fresh lemon wedges, a salad and a glass of wine. If you serve the paella on the terrace of your apartment at Quartiers Marbella Apartments, overlooking our tropical gardens, it will taste twice as good.
If you are chilling by our infinity-pool and don´t feel like cooking, you can order a plate of paella in the kiosk.
If you want to arrange a party or an event, there are “paella chefs” that cook paella by the order for up to 50 guests. Ask us, we can help!
Enjoy life: eat paella!