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Paella is the most recognized and traditional dish of Spain. Authentic paellas are hard to find, however, because paella's composition through time has changed. Genuine authentic paella does not mix meat with fish or shellfish, but as with almost any dish, changes have been made to take on a particular taste or complement a particular idea style. These changes have increased the appeal of the paella, creating a versatile dish appropriate for any occasion and full of flavor.

Ideally, the paella should be cooked in a paella pan over an open flame. Obviously, this is not always possible, but not to fear, paella does well if cooked in a large casserole dish or large iron frying pan with plenty of room for the rice and accompanying ingredients, as the rice should be spread out thinly. Grills can offer the open flame cooking desired, but if need be it can be cooked on the stove; cook it evenly throughout for the best flavor.

Here are a couple of great paella recipes:


PAELLA A LA ANA

Ingredients

6 Mussels
6 or more Clams
12 (at least) Shrimp
1 1/2 to 2 lbs chicken, legs or cut into chunks
1 lb pork, in chunks
1 lb Chorizo, Spanish or Portuguese sausage, in chunks
2 Tomatoes, Peeled and finely chopped
2 Cloves of garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Green pepper, chopped
1/2 cups peas, frozen or fresh
1 to 2 tsp of Paprika
2 cups rice
4 1/2 cups Chicken broth
2 pinches of saffron
Salt
Pepper
2/3 cups Olive Oil

Directions

Salt chicken and pork. Heat oil in paella pan or flameproof casserole dish and fry the chicken and pork, until golden. Add chorizo and green pepper; fry gently. Keep heat low, add tomatoes, garlic, onion, and paprika. Sauté for about 5 minutes. Add shrimp and rice, salt and pepper. Add broth (or water), increase heat, and bring to a boil. Stir gently and check the seasoning. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Add remaining seafood and peas; simmer for an additional 20-30 minutes. Taste rice to see of it is done. Remove from heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.


PAELLA VALENCIANA

Ingredients

4 1/2 cups water
2/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 lb chicken, in chunks
1 lb rabbit or lean pork
8 oz green beans
1 tomato, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp paprika
salt
12 small snails or 1-2 sprigs of rosemary
2 pinches saffron
2 1/2 cups rice

Directions

Heat oil and fry chicken and rabbit or pork, turning to ensure even cooking. Add tomato, garlic, beans, paprika, rice, saffron, and water. Add salt and bring to a boil. Add snails or rosemary. Check seasonings, reduce heat, and simmer for about 40 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

This is the genuine and original paella, but adding one's personal touch to the recipe is what makes it celebrated. Give it a try and experiment with your own taste. Create an unforgettable gathering with friend and family beyond the ordinary barbecue.