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KJDedge

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Okay so I got a wood fired oven from Forno Piombo and this was my first attempt at paella...
Flavors were great but I failed to get a consistent texture of rice grains and certainly did not attain the soccarat
Aficionados talk about...with that being said it underscores I am a newbie to paella and wood ovens...

Amalgamation of paella ideas...

Final Topping....... toss several bunches of scallions with EVO and S&P and grill till we’ll seared..
Mix with toasted pine nuts and lemon zest and parsley ....put on finished paella
Liquid for rice......I simmered chicken stock and left over whey (from ricotta making) with left over crab shells..(or just use chicken stock)
Some white wine......and totally killer 1 cup dry sherry, 3 T toasted cumin seeds, 3 T smoked paprika, 1 T saffron
Threads, 2 bay leaves, 2T fresh thyme....all were added to the heated dry sherry..
Base.....................heat 1/2 cup EVO in pan and add sliced chorizo, cubed chicken thighs.... and cook till browned...
Add 1 diced onion and cook till translucent, add a lot of chopped garlic for 1-2 min....
I added 2 good spoons of Calabrian Chiles in oil for 1-2 min.....
Add 3 cups rice (I used Arborio as I couldn’t find bomba rice)...stir for a minute
Added about 4 cups of liquid......simmered paella for about 20 min...added more liquid...important not to stir
Said experts.. it took way more liquid than suggested probably due to heat and no lid...
Pushed 12 large shrimp into mix and added more liquid.....finally covered with foil for about another 30-40 min...
Took out and topped with sliced roasted piquillo peppers and the final topping...
RESULTS...........fantastic flavor!!!
However as I cooked in the oven, regulating flames and heat, and not stirring rice, it seemed like
Some grains were getting toasted and there was inconsistency to the texture... I think I failed to maintain
A thin layer of liquid at all times....I think the foil helped to fully cook rice but I am sure that was a crutch...
Probably should have put the pan on coals at the end to try and crisp the bottom rice....

It was great tasting but I did not reach paella nirvana.....
If anyone has ideas on improvement, let me know....will try and post a pic...
 

daveb

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Here's a couple I had some fun with at a Paella "throwdown" with friends. (There is rice under there - I promise)

Not sure that paella would work well in oven, theoretically sure, in practice not so much. The soccorat comes from the rice drying out on the bottom and lightly crisping and the bottom heat of the traditional paella cooker will help that. Adding water through the cooking process will keep it wet and not crispy.

For a cooker I used my modified wok burner though I imagine any direct heat source would work.




H
DB Seafood Paella.jpg
DB Chicken Paella.jpeg
 

The Edge

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I have a friend that specifically does Paella. Here's two out of the three he did for my wedding. The other not pictured was the same as the other seafood and chicken :). He also did a tiny vegetarian for a couple guests. I need practice doing it myself, as I have a hard time getting the soccarat right (though I know a couple reasons I was having problems).

I'm lucky enough I get this a couple times a year!

Wedding Paella 2.jpg


Wedding Paella 1.jpg
 

Famima

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I lived for a while in Catalunya so learnt from the locals. Here are the obvious points I can see:

- Oil. EVO is some kind of fat? I'd swap it for decent extra virgin olive oil; also the quantity looks light, part of the texture (and flavour, significantly) of the dish comes from the oil. Quantity... I never measure, but make sure the pan has a good few mm all over. This is the biggest issue I think.
- Ratio of rice to stock is 1:3. I normally withhold a small amount, so typically end up at 2.5-3, adjusted to taste towards the end. Throw it in after the rice otherwise, this isn't a risotto.
- Cooking time for the rice is maybe 15mins from coming to the boil? Fry off the meat or fish that can take it before adding the rice, then add the shellfish (if using) when the water comes to the boil.
- Never in the oven, always on a flame. Boost it for a couple of mins towards the end to get the crispy bottom - this only works if you have enough oil in the first place.
- Ratio of onion to garlic should be something like 1 big clove to 1 onion. The onion (and capsicum, which should be there) needs to be really well cooked at the start, something like 10-15mins sweating in the oil.
- Ingredients. I'm in the never-mixed camp, seafood or meat, but not together. And never chorizo, ever, even in a meat one! I'd add capsicum and tomato (if seafood) to your veg mix. Lose the cumin and I don't think you need wine/sherry.
 

Famima

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Doh, just realised that EVO is likely extra virgin olive oil?! In any case, the quantity is light, if probably be looking at at least double for that quantity of rice.
 

Cloudsmoker

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Great thread - I’m a student (no master) who made one yesterday for Mother’s Day. The main contribution from my research I‘d add is to presoak the rice - I used Arborio. Lost a load of starch in the soak, which seemed to help the texture quite a bit.
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alterwisser

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I have a spanish mother in law. I’m not even trying to make a Paella. I have her make it ;)
 

Chuckles

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I think it takes a couple times to get the soccarat nailed. I have realized that I can hear it now. Have to take into account the carryover heat from the pan. This is my DIY setup but it gets good results. This is from a few years ago. I am starting to get it dialed now.
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Eziemniak

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Dont know about other rice but bomba works beautifully with 3:1 ratio by volume
Your bottom of the range round paella rice works great with 2.5:1 ratio
18min cooking time
6m high heat
12m low or oven (pizza oven works magic)
If no access to wide fire best to move pan around as it tends to burn easy
Skilled people make valenciana by braising rabbit first then adding rice as tye meat reaches its desired consistency
IMG-20200425-WA0006.jpg
Rolled socorrat with ai oli
 

Famima

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Sunday special ;-)

Ratio of olive oil to rice was 1:2. This pan is a little too small but no bother! Ingredient list:

1 large onions
2 cloves garlic
2 red capsicum
couple of ripe tomatoes
seafood: 2 small-ish squid, 1 gurnard (fileted for the dish, bones/head use to make stock), 5 prawns, about 200g clams
2 cups rice
just over 1l fish stock
1 cup olive oil
saffron
bay leaf
 
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Cloudsmoker

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Nice. Here's my 4th Sunday try - and definitely making progress. Cooked outside on a charcoal fire with pecan wood, which worked really well. But, I panicked when the rice absorbed the broth so quickly, and added more liquid than I needed to. Got some soccarat around the edges of the pan. #Persistence.
IMG_3790.jpg
 

Rotem Shoshani

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Nice. Here's my 4th Sunday try - and definitely making progress. Cooked outside on a charcoal fire with pecan wood, which worked really well. But, I panicked when the rice absorbed the broth so quickly, and added more liquid than I needed to. Got some soccarat around the edges of the pan. #Persistence.View attachment 81679
Boy.. that really tickles me. I kinda just wanna dig in that plate
 

KJDedge

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Second attempt.... this time near the end I raked the coals to the center and positioned a Tuscan grill
over the hot bed....finished paella over that and did attain some crispy socorrat but not uniformly...
However getting closer to roof caused some of the top to burn....hmmm
Think I will foil top next time and see if that helps prevent the top burn...
Getting better!!
 

Cloudsmoker

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It's a paella journey, not a destination. Right? Call this one Paella Ya Ya - and basically used the same flavor profile of seafood gumbo - creole seasoned chicken, andouille sausage, shrimp, crawfish. Maybe I'm just a wimp, but it takes courage to keep the pan on the fire when everything looks done. Same as KJ - some socorrat around edges, but not as uniformly as I'd like. Probably another 3-4 minutes, and delay adding the shrimp another 5-6.

IMG_3804.jpg
 

Eziemniak

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Long and slow
Have some onion and pepper sauted slowly
Also some sofrito "demi" - sofrito with tomato concentrate and saffron+pimienton, fried for hours, puréed and always on hand to add to anything that remotely calls for it
 

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