PAELLA VALENCIANA- By Chef Sabrina Rongstad de Bravo
I am very happy to announce that I am getting myself out there with Sabrina’s Latin Kitchen. I taught Authentic Paella Valenciana class on March 28th at Whole Foods, Third and Fairfax location . This was the first class in a Culinary Series, Taste of Spain, there will be more classes to follow. So Watch this space !
Here are some of the highlights of that class, it was a lot of fun with a lot of student interaction and many people asking a lot of questions. I gave everyone a chance to look at saffron and to smell it. I called in for class participation and we had a few enthusiastic volunteers.
I highly recommend using Bomba rice as this is rice dish, Bomba Rice or Short Grain rice absorbs the flavor of the liquid better than most rices since it absorbs three times the amount of liquid. Paella has a long history that originated in the country side in Spain with the peasant people of Spain, just like Flamenco dance, later both of these iconic art forms became modernized and popularized by the masses, but if you look deeper they started with the common ordinary people. Flamenco with the outcast gypsies and Paella with the peasants.
For me, I was introduced to Paella from my Cuban boyfriend’s Mother. Later, at celebrations and family get togethers we would often dine at El Cid in Los Angeles, there Paella isn’t the best, but it was my Mother’s attempt to introduce us to Spanish culture, the Flamenco there is phenomenal, and I highly recommend going there with your friends. I often taking my Spanish students there. Here is an authentic Paella Valenciana dish, it’s really fun to make but you will need some patience because there are a lot of steps, but once you do it 2-3 times, you should be able to do it with your eyes closed and then make your own Paella. After all, Paella is made with whatever is in your house, and it’s common Arabic-myth that Paella was made with baqiyah, ( Arabic Script ) which means left overs.
Whatever you do, don’t skimp on the saffron or the rice. If you can’t afford Bomba rice, use Short grain rice ( also highly absorbent), and if you can’t find Short Grain Rice, use Long Grain. Remember to add salt to the saffron infusion but do it in 1/4 teaspoon increments.
An Authentic Paella Recipe made in about 1 and half hours. The process of making Paella is enjoyable : Rice, Saffron, Chicken, Pork, Shrimp, Mussels, Haricort Verts and Peas, garnished with Piquillo peppers and lemon. A delight to the senses and the spirit ! Ole !
Paella is a great dish for parties, big or small and it’s fun to make with a group of people. Sangria makes a great accompaniment. Both taste better the next day ! See for yourself !
Ole and Buen Provecho ! 🙂
To Read More about The History of Flamenco !