My brother Lawrence loves to cook. He makes a killer pasta sauce, an authentic chicken parmesan but when I hear that he will be cooking paella I know that I will be eating very well. I wanted to learn his secret so I have asked him and Judy to the cottage with one thought, paella for dinner. So instead of bathing suit, sun block and flip flops he arrived with a paella pan in hand, a bag of bomba rice, tiny threads of saffron and a bottle of Spanish wine, so here we go….
As with many authentic recipes there are many variations, but here are a few of the secrets from my brother that you must follow…
You must make a sofrito (composed of tomatoes and onions), you must use a rice called ” bomba” but any paella rice from Valencia will do, there must be a mix of proteins in the dish, and it must develop a caramelized crust of rice called socarrat at the bottom of the pan which is the prize of a well-made paella. And our fav tip, you must drink Spanish wine!
When making the sofrito, we sautéed a mixture of finely chopped onions, garlic, and a tin of very good tomatoes.
The bomba rice is able to absorb three times its volume in liquid, so it is perfect for paella recipes. You can buy this rice at Pasquale Bros in Etobicoke.
Traditional paella is cooked outdoors, over wood-fire coals, which gives a pretty even heat to a wide pan. Guess who got the grill going for us…my own personal grill master, Gordy!
Our pan of grilled seafood and chorizo paella and to our surprise we were halfway through eating when I noticed that we did have the crispy socarrat on the bottom of the pan! BRAVO!