My friend Diane shared her paella recipe with me. It is delicious and a lot of fun to make.
Unfortunately I didn't have any good photos of the finished paella.
My Andalusian Paella Recipe
by Diane Marvin Koenig
My paella recipe comes from my love affair with flamenco, the music and dance of Andalusia, southern Spain. Paella originally comes from the region of Valencia, Spain but every good flamenco party centers around the making of a paella, then of course the music and dancing follows until morning hours. Cooking outside with an open fire and making the dish in front of your guests is fun and brings people together for a wonderful evening of sitting by the fire and sharing a meal from the same pot.
Paella is about the rice and the saffron that flavors it. I like to use ‘Matiz’ a rice grown in the Albufera National Park in Valencia, Spain. It can be found in specialty shops and our nearby ‘Shopper’s Corner’ carries it. Paella rice is a short grained, absorbant rice that along with saffron is the basis of a good paella. I have used basmati as a substitute and it comes out well. You will also need a good paella pan. Mine is about 14” in diameter, has a lid and is not an authentic paella pan but is low with slanted sides and will feed 10-12 people.
The fire! You will need a good fire maker to tend the fire and make sure it is not too hot or too cool. I have cooked paella indoors in a pinch on a gas flame but the fire gives the paella it’s flavor and it’s good to enlist some help.
Diane and George have a beautiful oasis on top of the Santa Cruz Mountains between Aptos and Watsonville . Driving up to Diane and George's place is an adventure in itself. It is a mile long narrow road to the top of the mountain. Once you are there it is a green redwood oasis with a scenic view of the Monterey Bay. This place has hosted many weddings , parties , and celebrations. The property has a vegetable garden and some fruit trees
Ingredients for a paella can be varied. It is basically a fisherman’s stew with rice. Throw in a few peas or beans and you have a meal. You first make the ‘sofrito’ with the onions, garlic, peppers, then add the rice and broth and lastly the fish.
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Thank you for visiting my blog. My two passions are cooking and traveling. Traveling exposes me to a wide variety of food and experiences. I walk around cities looking for markets, restaurants, bakeries, shops, you name it, and if it is related to food you will find me there, tasting, smelling, talking to vendors, and having a great time.