Sunday, June 17, 2007

FILIPINO SPANISH RECIPE - Paella by Evelyn Morales Del Rosario


This recipe is for 8 persons.
Salt and pepper one whole chicken in at least 8 cups water. Add one onion, tops of 2 leeks, 4 chicken bouillon cubes and 10 whole black peppercorns. Boil and simmer at least 1 hour. Drain and reserve broth.
You can take 2 chickens, remove the leg quarters and the breast and wings for the paella recados, and just boil the rest for the broth.
Use the chicken for salad or other purposes.
A paella is only as good as the broth it is cooked in.
Chicken pieces
Optional: crabs, other seafood
Steam mussles open with water, ginger, onion salt and pepper. Drain and keep mussles for decoration. You can add the liquid to add to your broth. this is optional.
Salt and pepper squid, prawns, chicken. Toss in calamansi juice.
Get one slice of bacon preferably as thick as your thumb. Cut into cubes. If only regular bacon is available, use 4 slices cut in strips.
Cooking the Paella
2 Tbsp. crushed garlic
1/4 cup frozen green peas
1 large red bell pepper deseeded and sliced in
1 large green bell pepper deseeded and sliced
in strips
12 baguio beans (stringed but kept whole)
Heat about 1/4 cup olive oil in heavy frying pan.
Fry bacon to render the fat. Saute the chicken until light golden brown. Do not overcook. Remove chicken and bacon.
Saute squid until opaque. Remove.
Saute prawns until color changes. Remove.
Add olive oil to pan. Saute garlic. Add the vegetables and saute. Remove vegetables and set aside. Do NOT allow garlic to get brown!!

Check olive oil and add if necessary to lightly coat pan. Always use same pan with all the drippings. This will add to the flavor of the paella. Add saffron or colorante (you can buy this in a Spanish deli or La Tienda). Of course you can use achuete in your broth but do not tell your guests that.

Saute 6 cups of rice slowly over medium heat. This takes about 10 minutes. Do not hurry this step. Slowly pour in the broth. Stir rice once. Add more broth until rice starts to puff. Do not keep stirring or you will get lugao. When rice seems more than half cooked, bite into the rice to test doneness, and the broth is enough to steam it cooked, decorate top of the paella with the chicken, bacon, seafood and veggies. Do not forget the mussles. Drizzle with virgin olive oil. Cover pan with aluminium foil and seal tight. When you notice steam forming, turn off the pan. Cover foil with at least 4 layers of newspaper to keep in the heat, and let the paella steam to finish cooking the rice.
The amount of water depends on the type of rice you use. Count on at least 1 1/2 cups broth per cup of raw rice. Sometimes you need 2 cups broth to 1 cup uncooked rice. Best rice to use is Calrose.
Remove the foil and serve only when guests are ready to eat. Serve with lemon wedges and virgin olive oil.

I do not use fish because it tends to dry out and fall apart. Do not overcook the chicken because it will lose it flavor and become dry.
Add cubed pork belly if you like. Just season it well and saute it well to render the fat.

This is a very hearty dish. Serve only paella. If you like, you can serve paella with baked or fried fish fillet and a salad and dessert. Paella as part of a buffet is too much. It will overpower everything else you serve.

Remember, your broth is key to a good paella. Make sure it has good robust flavor. This does not mean salty!!

Have fun cooking! ~ Evelyn Morales Del Rosario
Evelyn Morales Del Rosario is a graduate of St. Theresa's College, Manila, and the University of Connecticut. She has worked in market reserach, the airline indurstry in the Philippines and in Germany. She is also a food author and food stylist. She has extensive managerial, marketing and corporate communications experience. She is currently working in Europe.
Copyright 1007 by and Evelyn Del Rosario, all rights reserved.

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