Let me start by saying that Mrs. Holguin is one of the most wonderful people you can meet. For me she’s a friend, sister and mother all rolled into one.
We recently spent 10 days in Spain and one of the items on my ‘to do’ list was to eat authentic Paella. Unfortunately our Paella experience was very disappointing. We picked a very touristy place that probably served us some frozen pre-made Paella. When I narrated this experience to Mrs Holguin she mentioned that she has perfected the art of making Paella and that she would invite us over and give us a live demo It turned out to be one of the most memorable food experiences for us. It was the best paella we ever had and the company was even better.
So here it goes…
- Quarter cup white wine
- One cup green beans
- Quarter cup olive oil
- One red pepper sliced
- 2 tomatoes seeded and chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 2 medium onions chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 cup sweet peas
- 6 small chicken breasts cut into bite size chunks
- 1 pound fresh mussels scrubbed & de-bearded
- one third pound of pork tenderloin cut into bite size chunks
- 8 large shrimp de-veined (shell on)
- 900 ml chicken stock
- Pinch of saffron threads soaked in a couple of Tbs of hot water
- One & three quarter cups of rice (Arborio or Bomba)
- Half a pound of sliced chorizo
- Salt, pepper, paprika to taste
The first step is to prep/pre-cook the vegetables, meat & seafood. Start by heating the wine in a large sauce pan and adding the mussels. Steam until the mussels open. Discard any that do not.
Blanch the beans in boiling water and drain
Season the chicken and the pork with salt and paprika. Heat 3 Tbs of olive oil in a frying pan and fry the chicken until evenly browned. Add a little more oil if needed and fry the pork until browned on all sides.
In the same pan fry the shrimp and set aside.
Then, fry the sliced chorizo until browned on all sides
Heat the remaining oil in a paella pan. You can easily find one on Amazon or a Spanish store or better yet, take a trip to Spain and bring back one. Fry the chopped onions and minced garlic for 4 minutes or until golden brown. Add the red pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add the tomato, parsley and cook for a few minutes.
Then stir in all the liquids i.e. the chicken stock, the reserved liquid from the mussels and the liquid from the soaked threads of saffron. Bring the mixture to a boil.
When the liquid is boiling, add the rice and stir
Then add the chicken, pork, chorizo, beans, shrimp and peas and stir.
Then transfer the pan into an oven preheated to 375 degrees and cook for 15-17 minutes until the rice is fully cooked. If you don’t have a convection oven, please rotate the pan a couple of times while the rice is cooking for a more even cook.
Once the rice is cooked take the pan out, add the mussels & cover the pan with a piece of cloth for 8-10 minutes. This allows all the juices to be absorbed.
and…drum roll…the paella is ready!
What pairs perfectly with Paella? A pitcher of Sangria. A bottle of Spanish wine, a cup of Cointreau, sliced lime and orange and some soda…easy and delicious.