Saturday, July 21, 2012

Paella with Roger and Family

Today was Paella Day with Roger and Carol!  

Several times a year, usually when when he has family visiting, my friend Roger makes Paella.  If you're not familiar with this delicious offering, it is a hearty Spanish dish consisting primarily of rice, vegetables, and protein.  There are many variations of paella, most are regional in nature,  but the three most widely prepared are Valencian paella (Spanish: paella valenciana) made with chicken, pork, or rabbit; seafood paella (Spanish: paella de marisco); and mixed paella (Spanish: paella mixta) made with some combination of the two. 

Roger, who is of Spanish descent, traditionally prepares "mixed" paella and over the years he has adapted the recipe first taught to him by his grandfather and step-grandfather.   He has other family members that make paella  and each adjusts the "family" recipe to their own personal likes and dislikes.  In fact, Roger's cousin who was also there, explained that his son, (also there) is now the next generation to prepare their family's paella recipe.  Folks, this is a dish that is 'made with love' for 'those you love'. I was honored to be invited to Roger and Carol's and partake in this family style dish with along with other friends, family, and loved ones.  Roger was also kind enough to let me document the preparation of the dish.

Roger has a beautiful paella pan and a Garcima gas burner with stand to prepare the paella outdoors. 

 He starts by oiling the paella pan with virgin olive oil checking that the stand sits level.  He begins to heat the pan and then adds his first few pieces of chicken legs and thighs to begin seasoning the pan and preparing it for the rest of the ingredients to come.
As soon as the chicken pieces brown he adds cubed pieces of chicken and pork.
After the chicken and pork brown, add chunks of fresh tomato and coarsely chopped garlic, and continuously de-glaze the pan.
Roger then adds some of his secret brew, which consists of chicken and pork bullion, saffron, pepper and other spices, boiled with water well ahead of time.  He cautions against using salt, as the bullion has a high sodium content.
Now we start building some vegetables and rice.  Roger adds the green beans.
then the rice. (Roger uses white and says the Spanish style rice can get too starchy.
Then he adds lima beans, peas and flat green beans.
A little more secret brew.
Add some roasted artichokes
and some mini meatballs
Now it's time to build more flavor with the seafood additions: 
clams, mussels, and shrimp.

Finally, the last ingredient, some sweet red peppers.
Cover with foil and let steam for the final few minutes.
Oh...the wait... 
...and the aroma was heavenly!
Voila!  The finished dish - a beautiful paella!
Roger served Sangria along with some salad, 
and peasant bread with sweet creamy butter with our meal.
My plate runneth over!

Afterwards we all toasted Roger for a delicious meal with some 
Carlos I Solera Gran Reserva Brandy

And then we stuffed ourselves senseless with some decadent desserts!
 Say hi to Roger's mom Fran, 
enjoying some delicious fresh strawberries and pound cake.

We had such a nice afternoon spent with good friends and great company.  
Thank you Roger and Carol!

If you are interested in making paella there are lots of recipes on the internet, 
use Google searchword "Paella Recipe" 
And the secret to a good paella is a good paella pan.  
You can find pans on the 'net as well for as little as $35.00 and as much as $300.00 depending on the size, weight, and materials.  
Here's a sample of a mid-range pan by Wayfair 
but if you look at their website you can find more  in many styles and price ranges.

Do you have any family dishes that have been passed down "generation to generation"?
Don't you just love family traditions?
I know I do!
Here's a a little sunflower from Carol's garden to leave with you.
And some more pictures of the day with Roger and Carol:
click here: Link to Pictures

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  1. Well, I have to say I also very good at cooking and I will choose in this way later, hope my family will like it!

    1. I'm sure they will! It is delicious!

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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