Living in a small town on the Gulf Coast in Florida can be…well, tedious and sometimes boring. Population about 1,400, six churches, three gas stations and one stoplight, you know what I’m talking about.
That’s whenever I have some spare time I like to hop a plane and travel to an exotic hot spot in the world. Savvy and faithful readers of this column know that my travelogue series of articles have included stops in Jamaica, Bermuda, Morocco, Brazil and Ethiopia. Next stop, Valencia, Spain, birthplace of one of my favorites, Paella.
Valencia is a coastal town of the Iberian Peninsula on the Mediterranean Sea. A subtropical climate, saltwater lagoons and lush greenery enhance this Spanish paradise and the chow is pretty good too. Not to mention the senoritas.
Which brings us to the Paella, the region’s most famous dish.
The Paella, or Paellero as the locals call it, actually refers to the cooking pan the dish is made in. There are several different varieties, so when making it at home, don’t be shy about combining them and throwing everything in it but the kitchen sink. My favorites include chicken and rabbit with fresh prawns and clams with Spanish chorizo. As with most dishes like this one, the longer it sits the tastier it gets. Though a tad labor intensive give this one a shot, but pay attention. Serve it with real Spanish Sangria and it won’t disappoint.
Paellero de Valencia
¼ cup Spanish Olive Oil
½ Lb. Chicken, Cut-up
¼ Lb. Rabbit, Cut-up
½ Lb. Spanish Chorizo Sausage
1 Onion, Chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, Smashed and Minced
1 Lb. Roma Tomatoes, Diced
4 cups Chicken Stock
1 Cup Cannellini Beans, Rinsed
1 Cup Butter Beans
1 Cups Fresh Green Beans, Washed and Trimmed
2 Tbs. Fresh Rosemary, Chopped
½ Lb. Valencia Rice, or Risotto
1 Lb. Shrimp
12 Small Clams, Scrubbed
Brown all the meat in batches and blot dry. Drain all the fat but one tablespoon. Add the olive oil and sauté the onion, garlic, rosemary and tomatoes. Return meat to pan and add stock. Simmer 10 minutes and add beans and rice. Cook uncovered for 20 minutes. Add seafood and saffron and cook until clams open and shrimp turns pink.
Feliz comiendo todos.