Paella On The Patio

My husband and I spent our Saturday at Iberia learning Jose-Luis’ style of Spanish Paella, done three ways.   We were led to the patio where three work stations were prepared for us, complete with a stove and a paella pan, all prep’ed and ready to go.

As he explained the entire process and oriented us to the ins and outs of good paella making, the sangria came, followed by cold and hot tapas dishes.  What a day!  It was sunny and cool but very pleasant for February in the Bay Area.  About 66-68 degrees, I think.  We all wore light sweaters and donned our aprons.

There were three stations that day for the three paellas.  I was assigned to the meat paella station. My husband was in the seafood paella station. The third group did the vegetarian paella.  So Californian!

After a period of chopping, slicing and dicing, we started.  First went the onions, that needed to be caramelized before the garlic went in. (I used my iPhone to take the photos!)

Saute onions to caramelize

Once the onions and the garlic were soft and fragrant, we pushed them to the edges of the paella pan, where the temperature tends to be a little cooler.  Then we added the diced green bell peppers in the center to tenderize.  We sprinkled salt on the peppers.

Add green peppers in the center of pan

Once the green peppers were tender, we mixed the onions with it. Then we pushed them again to the edges to make way for the tomatoes and again, some salt.  Now the sofrito is complete.

Add the tomatoes in the center of pan

We then distributed the browned meats on the pan.  Then added Serrano ham, peas, pimientos, artichokes.

Arrange meats, peas, pimientos, artichokes on pan

Then we distributed the raw bomba rice evenly on top.

Distribute rice evenly on top

Then we poured savory broth with saffron over the pan to cover the rice and allow to simmer until rice is cooked and the broth has evaporated.  We were cautioned that it is better to under-cook the rice than to overcook it.  The latter is an absolute mortal sin among paella aficionados.

Add savory broth

Voila!  The paella is now ready:

Paella just about done!

And so, we moved inside to the dining table where the three paellas were served for us to feast on:

Paella with Chicken, Pork and Beef

Seafood Paella with Shrimp, Squid, and Scallops

Vegetarian Paella

We learned that the paella is all about the rice.  How well it’s done just right.  How it needs to be saturated with the flavor of everything that was cooked with it.  How it takes center stage and all else are supporting cast.

All in all, it was a great learning experience.  We met fellow food and wine enthusiasts.  The task seemed challenging at first but as we developed the flavors, it was clear to see why this dish is one that should be done with an audience and many tasters along the way, weighing in on this and that.  It is a dish to help people come together, to commune, and nourish one another.  Of course, the free-flowing of sangria always helps!

Now to make this at home!  Many many thanks to our Paella Guru, Jose-Luis Relinque of Iberia in Menlo Park.

Related Links:

http://iberiarestaurant.com/

This entry was posted in Paella, Spanish Cuisine, Spanish Paella and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Paella On The Patio

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  4. jakesprinter says:

    Your post makes me hungry 🙂

    Like

  5. Malou says:

    Wow, what a nice way to prepare the paella! I love paella and there’s nothing more pleasurable than to cook it outdoors.

    Like

  6. munchow says:

    Haven’t had paella in a very long time. I guess I don’t make the effort to make it myself. Only when I am in Spain, have I so far enjoyed this rich and delicious dish. Thanks for sharing – and make me want to have paella…

    Like

  7. Oh, my mouth is watering now. I love Paella and that one definitely is a delicacy that comes on a rare day. So delicious. My mom used to made a tasty one too. Now I’m hungry and homesick.God bless you always.

    Like

  8. rogerdengle says:

    I love paella. It’s one of our main staples around our house. We make it with different ingredients all the time. I originally learned to make it with some Puerto Rican friends when I was much younger. You should try making it with onions, pork, snow peas, carrots and coconut milk. That’s my favorite paella. Great post. thanks for sharing!

    Like

  9. auntyuta says:

    For me the veggie one too, please! I always love rice.and veggies.

    Like

  10. Gilly Gee says:

    I’d be the veggie one please!

    Like

  11. lidipiri says:

    Oh my, you just made me crave that paella big time! Reminds me of the ones I had in Spain when I lived there. Haven’t been able to find a good one in LA yet. Ah, may have to travel to SF to eat!

    Like

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