Tag Archives: Paella

From across the pond.

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It’s a joy to share what I love with guests that visit – A little of my life, the flavour and the dishes of the mountains.

This year so far, all my visitors for La Rosilla’s ‘Cookery & Culture’ day , have come from America, all corners of the States.  In fact I would like to get a big map on the world and put a pin in each place, visitors come from . Not only do they experience a taste of our family life on the mountain, we get a taste of theirs.  Recipes, traditions and lifestyles are chatted about, whilst they sample, create, sip and and enjoy some of ours.  They have all been intrepid travelers, making the most of their short time in Andalucia, and definitely not concerned about driving and exploring and going off the beaten track to take a peek .

Cookery Class

My guests usually are traveling to celebrate, birthdays, anniversaries, time out and just generally creating memory moments to take back home.

Ages have ranged from mother and 14 year old daughter having a girly day together whilst the ‘boys’ went to the car museum, husband and wife taking the unique experience for their 25th anniversary. One couple celebrating retirement and wanting to learn some new dishes for the party they were going to give friends when back in Texas.  A family group of 3 generations all linked by their ‘foodie’ love creating giant paella, whilst sipping sherry and tasting cheese and chorizos , on their way home they stopped to buy there own pan , they were determined to get in their case.-

Cookery Class La Rosilla

I just adore the way good food and great company bring people together, my children now have been fortunate to meet some fascinating people from all over the world and learn from it , it also makes them and us aware that where we live is special, and how we live is dreamed of by many.

Cookery Class La Rosilla

 

 

My Paella Pan !

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This is my guest post as featured on the Cooking Outdoors blog .  So much fun sharing recipes & experiences around the world.  You can follow The Outdoor Cook on Twitter here @cookingoutdoors.

Paella or Arroces, have become part of my families’ new life, since emigrating from the U.K to Andalucia Spain 7 years ago.

Paella is a dish prepared with love and gusto, to be shared with family, friends & neighbours. It is a dish offered in most Ferias of Spain throughout the year, and comes in many guises depending on the area of Spain you live in. From the traditional Paella Valenciana, with meat & seafood, to modern-day arroces (rices) & paellas adjusted to use what it is in season, or to suit the diners.

Paelleras (paella pans) range in size from a 4 portions to massive pans measuring meters across, to feed a whole town.  This giant paella is a spectacular cooking outdoor event, when people gather from far around, to watch and taste the local dish.  Cooked above a wood fire, these experts tend their giant pans of rice, meat & stock, until the dish is ready, rested and waiting to be devoured.  Often taking hours to prepare & cook, eaten in moments.

I like to cook my Paella on a warm summer evenings just as the sun is setting over the mountains.  I usually cook a 15 portion Paella, as leftovers are delicious.  I use a large pan and special Paella gas burner, which make it very portable, and I can cook anywhere, beach, camping & picnics.

Paella 228x300 Have Paella Pan Will travel   Guest postIt is a very social affair, often friends gather around the ring whilst cooking, many times offering their suggestions or preferences and expertise for the perfect Paella.

A favorite with my Family is Chicken, chorizo, asparagus and wild mushroom.

Based on 15 servings:

 The secret is to have all ingredients ready prepared, so you are ready to cook.

Ingredients

Olive oil

1kg of chicken pieces / skin off – Bone-in fine

1 large chorizo sausage, skinned and cut into 1 cm slices.

1 glass of white wine.

1 onion – diced

1 head of garlic, peeled and sliced

1 green pepper – diced

1 red pepper – diced

Handful of fresh thyme

1 dried ‘Nora’ pepper

1.5 kg paella rice ‘calasparra’

1 large tin of tomatoes

Saffron

2 sachets of Paella seasoning or ½ tsp each of Paprika, turmeric, fenugreek.

2 litres chicken stock

1 hand of Asparagus, trimmed.

500 g mixed fresh wild mushroom or preserved in brine

Lemon to decorate

Preparation

Prepare the chicken by marinating in olive oil, thyme, slat and pepper.

Make up stock and add saffron to infuse.

Put a layer of Olive oil in your Paella Pan to cover the bottom.

Heat gently, add your whole Nora pepper,  then chicken and thyme.

Brown the meat nicely, then stir and fry 10 mins.

Remove the Nora pepper

Add onion, garlic and peppers – Fry for 5 mins until soft.

Add chopped mushrooms and Chorizo – fry for 2/3 mins

Add tinned toms, and break up in pan, add white wine & stir & bubble.

Season with Salt & pepper

Stir in seasoning / spices.

Add handfuls of rice around the pan, to let rice absorb some of the juices, stir.

Pour in stock and saffron, stir so rice is distributed evenly.

Simmer for 5 – 6 mins then reduce heat to medium low.

DO NOT STIR ANYMORE cook for 20/25 mins until all liquid absorb, you may need to add a little more – you want you rice to be ‘al dente’.

5 mins before end of cooking, lay the Asparagus on the top in a circle, it will cook in the steam.

Turn off heat, and cover with a clean cloth, foil or as sometimes in Spain newspaper, to rest and flavor infuse.

Decorate the edge of the pan with lemon wedges, and sprinkle on some more fresh thyme.

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Buen Provecho x

My summer “foodie’ joys of Spain.

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Chilled Albarino, from Rias Baixas

 A Sundowner.

Creamy goats cheese from Colmenar baked on-top of caramalised onions.

Kids getting stuck into fresh seafood.

Mejillones Marinera.

Tapas with a cool beer.

Gambas Torpedos – Prawns wrapped in noodles & fried till crisp.

Salad & Sardinas.The taste & smell of a Spanish Summer.

Tomatoes from the garden, olives from the tree.

Gazpacho – 5 a day in a bowl – Giving the liver a breather.

and of course not forgetting the obligatory Paella the ultimate one pot.

a feast for family & friends.

‘VIVA VERANO’


Under the Stars.

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My first Private Dining event went fabulously last night. I was booked to cook for 14 Australians, who were staying in the most wonderful villa, this was their welcome meal, and only a couple of the party knew, so was a great surprise for all the others.

They were the most lovely family, who had traveled from all over the globe for a re-union, and I was to tempt them with local delights & flavours, whilst they soaked up the atmosphere and charm

It was a pleasure to cook in such a divine location, even the sweltering heat, didn’t dampen my brow !

I welcomed them with a selection of Embutidos, cured meats, salamis, chorizos, jamon, lomo & salchichon, all made in my local town of Colmenar, together with a cheese platter, of goats cheese with a rosemary and thyme crust, the delightful Spanish manchego and a sheep’s cheese with paprika.

Home cured olives, and warm herb & hazelnut bread accompanied the beginning of their feast.

They had chosen a selection of starters, then a giant paella to share.

My daughter entertained with a beautiful flamenco dance and all regalia, and was given a standing ovation.

Supper was finished under the stars, Fruit platter and chocolate fondue & Limoncello drizzle Cake, and with children moonlight dipping in the pool to keep cool.

I love how the joy of food, brings folks together, creates memory moments, full bellies & and the taste of things to come ……

When life gets in the way …

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Must get round to doing that, must make a to do list, focus, focus, focus… but life has got in the way.

A hectic life I’m sure many of us have to deal with, a juggling act of family, work, food and friends.

Well the past few weeks at La Rosilla, have been just like this, opportunities, set-backs, entertaining, taxiing, hosting and of course cooking & eating…now that is my favourite part.

The weather also has been a bonus, but sometimes can lead you astray, with little 5 minute sit downs, lasting longer than ought , when you sit and stare at the wonders of clear turquoise skies, swallows, dipping and diving, bees busy with their business, with wonderful sunshine, and temperatures to rival summer days.

Outside cooking & entertaining becomes front of mind, and weather forecasts are studied regularly, to check for unwanted showers.

Fresh ingredients from the garden are enjoyed, and flowers in abundance are picked to adorn the home, and create a cheery feel of Spring and summer to come.

Since moving to Spain, I’ve been fortunate to learn how to cook, Paellas and Arrozs of many different flavours, and I find these dishes are a great way to feed an army of people, economically, healthily and heartily, with a real taste of Spain.

During the last few weeks, I have cooked Paella for 50 french and Spanish students, whilst they were enjoying a day in the Campo (Countryside) playing traditional family games. In this paella I used pork and green beans, delish ! A few hours to prepare, and devoured in minutes…well I suppose that’s the sign of tasty grub.

My second Arroz, was made in a more leisurely way, whilst entertaining friends from Familyinspain , its a great social way to cook, as long as your ingredients are all prepared before hand, they are just added one by one, you can enjoy the odd vino or fino, whilst chatting and cooking, with guests looking on. If you’d like to learn to cook Paella or arroz, that’s “No problema.  This time I chose, a wild mushroom and chicken arroz, garnished with steamed asparagus.

The first broad beans of the season, are ready to be podded. My children enjoy sitting in the sun with a bowl and pod away. I love to serve them as an appetizer in a broad bean and fresh pea dip, delicious spread on warm bruchetta.

BROAD BEAN AND PEA DIP.

 

A big handful of podded fresh broad beans.

A small handful of podded fresh peas or defrosted frozen peas,

Juice and zest of 1 lemon.

1 clove of garlic, chopped.

Good glug of olive oil.

A handful of freshly grated Parmesan.

A 5 mint leaves chopped finely

Sea Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.

 

  • With a blender, whizz, peas, beans, lemons juice, olive oil and garlic.
  • Stir in Parmesan, mint and seasoning.
  • Serve, with crudites, warm pittas or piled on bruchetta.

 

A real taste of Spring flavours.