TODAY is World Paella Day, where food fans around the globe celebrate the most universal dish of Spain’s Valencia.
It’s a day when passionate Valencianos celebrate and share their iconic dish with the rest of the world – the humble meal still has eight million annual searches on the internet, according to worldpaelladay.org
But the controversy over to add or not to add chorizo is still raging.
“Remember, we’ve been through this: no chorizo or green peas or any other random ingredients allowed!” tweeted the Valencia CF honouring their region’s cuisine.
Despite it not featuring in the traditional recipe, chefs have long included the spicy pork sausage much to the anger of proud Spaniards who believe it has no place in paella.
The alternative name for rice dishes that DO include chorizo is a more uninspiring arroz con cosas (‘rice with things’).
Jamie Oliver famously came under scrutiny for adding chorizo in 2014, and told Graham Norton in a TV interview that he received death threats over his version of the dish.
“They went medieval on me, I had death threats and all sorts because of a bit of sausage,” Oliver said.
But the chef, now 44, stuck to his guns, saying: “By the way, just for your information, it tastes better with chorizo.”
Gordon Ramsay was also criticised in 2016 when El Pais published an article titled, “Chefs that destroy Spanish Food”.
Spanish travel-writer and biographer, Josep Pla once claimed that, ‘abuses committed in the name of Paella Valenciana are excessive – an absolute scandal’.
So, whether you prefer sausage in your meal or not, here is the traditional way of cooking Paella according to Galbis Paellas Gigantes, the famous paella restaurant in Valencia:
-8 spoonfuls of virgin olive oil
-salt (approx. 20 gr.)
-500 gr. chicken
-500 gr. rabbit chopped in 60 gr. chunks
-1/2 small green pepper, chopped
-125 gr. flat green beans (Ferraura)
-100 gr. white beans (Tabella)
-125 gr. special beans (Garrofó)
-1 garlic clove, finely chopped
-1/2 spoonful of ground sweet paprika
-1 ripe tomato, grated
-2 l. water, approx.
-8 flower saffron threads (toasted and ground)
-24 boiled snails
-a hint of saffron colourant
-400 gr. Rice
Place the 40cm paella tin over a medium heat, with the oil and almost all the salt. When it’s hot, add the meat and slowly brown it all over.
Add the pepper and fry for 1 min, then toss in the green and white beans and fry for 5 mins before adding garlic.
When it starts to brown, add the ground paprika, followed shortly by the tomato, so it doesn’t burn.
Once the tomato is fried, pour in the water and leave cooking for 10 minutes over a high flame adding the snails, saffron, colourant and a hint of salt.
Now, spread the rice out evenly in the paella tin and cook over a high flame for the first 8 mins and then progressively lower the flame before eventually extinguishing it after about another 10 mins.
In total, from when the rice was added cooking will take approximately 18 minutes. Once removed from the heat, leave standing 4-5 min.
If you have your own recipe for paella, please send it in to [email protected]