Raúl Musibay: In Spain, paella is cooked, uncovered, in a shallow, two-handled pan over a hot wood fire.
Jorge Castillo: Spanish paella usually features things like eel, snails, frogs, rabbit, and wild duck.
Glenn Lindgren: Our version of paella features seafood. We cook ours in a covered pot on top of the stove and finish it in the oven.
Jorge Castillo: Our paella uses smoked mussels or oysters to give the rice a smoky seafood flavor.
Glenn Lindgren: Yes, we know that paella is traditionally made with Valencia rice. Ours however, uses standard, parboiled rice.
Jorge Castillo: We have found that parboiled rice makes for the most consistent and fool-proof rice dishes.
Glenn Lindgren: And once your guests dive in, they'll forget all about what kind of rice they're eating.
Raúl Musibay: It's hard to complain about the food when your mouth is full of it!
Jorge Castillo: Another secret of our paella is our slogan: "Seafood in every bite." We really go overboard with the seafood!
Glenn Lindgren: Many Latin paellas use beer. We like the mellower and less bitter flavor that a good, full-bodied red wine imparts to this dish.
Raúl Musibay: Paella is a one of those rice dishes that actually taste better the next day.
Glenn Lindgren: Many times we make it a day ahead, refrigerate overnight, and just pop it in the oven -- covered in foil -- until it is completely heated through, but NOT re-cooked! Please, be very careful when reheating or you will ruin the seafood!
Jorge Castillo: This is the paella that we made for Tyler Florence when we appeared on his show, "Tyler's Ultimate" on the Food Network in 2003.
The Three Guy's Cuban version of this classic rice dish guarantees seafood in every bite.
INGREDIENTS:1/2 cup olive oil (more or less)
Heat the olive oil in a LARGE pan. Sauté the ham and chorizo sausage (Use only Spanish chorizo!) This will draw the oil from the chorizo and flavor the pan. Remove chorizo and ham and set aside.
Drop the onion, green pepper, and red pepper in the remaining oil and cook until the onions are translucent. Add garlic and sauté briefly. In a large covered pot, add the broth, wine, smoked clams/oysters, onion/pepper mixture and Bijol powder.
Fry chicken pieces in the remaining oil, until browned on both sides. Remove chicken and set aside.
Add the chicken, ham, chorizo, and rice to your pot. You should now have everything in the pot EXCEPT the shrimp, lobster, scallops, and crab meat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer on the stove for 30 to 40 minutes, until the rice is fully cooked. (The rice should be a little wet, but not soupy at this point.)
While the rice is cooking, you need to sauté all of the seafood. It's important that the olive oil be "seasoned" with the chorizo, so sauté a few additional chorizo links as needed to give your oil a distinct pink appearance. Sauté the seafood in small batches. Don't overcrowd the pan!
Carefully remove the lobster meat from the tails, keeping the shells whole so that we can use them for a garnish. We also like to cut up the lobster meat to give everyone a chance at tasting this delicious treat!
When sautéing the seafood, you want to undercook it just a bit. Shrimp and lobster will be pink; scallops will become white and less translucent. Crab meat is usually pre-cooked, so a quick turn in the chorizo flavored oil is all that's necessary to give it that extra flavor. Remove each batch as you go and keep the seafood covered and warm so that it does not dry out.
If you have fresh clams and/or mussels, now is a good time to steam them in a little water and wine until they open. We like to use a New Zealand greenshell mussel, which comes precooked and frozen on the half shell. We simply steam them in a covered saucepan just until heated through.
OK, the rice mixture is now completely cooked and all of the seafood has been sautéed.
Now gently fold the seafood into the rice mixture. Then spoon everything into a round flat pan suitable for serving. (We like to use a brown cazuela, a round terra cotta dish that makes a nice presentation.) Garnish the top of the dish with crab leg sections, frozen green peas, lobster tail shells, slices of green or red bell pepper, clams, and mussels (in the shell.)
Once you've assembled the paella in the cazuela, place the dish in a preheated 350ºF oven for five minutes only, just long enough to meld the flavors and heat through. Do not overcook!
You can make this a day ahead!
We frequently make this dish a day ahead, it actually tastes better the second day! Simply cover tightly with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight. The next day, heat in the oven at 350º F covered with foil (to prevent the rice on top from drying out) for about 30 minutes to one hour. Check the dish frequently when re-heating! You just want the dish heated through, not overcooked, which will ruin the seafood. Remove the foil during the last fifteen minutes of re-heating.
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