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IAN & SPAIN

WELCOME TO MY BLOG. HAVING LIVED IN SPAIN FOR OVER TWENTY YEARS I HAVE TRULY MANAGED TO IMMERSE MYSELF IN THE LOCAL CULTURE AND FEEL TOTALLY INTEGRATED. I WILL BE WRITING ABOUT MY PASSION FOR SPANISH FOOD AND DRINK AS WELL AS ITS CULTURE, PEOPLE AND PLACES OF SPECIAL INTEREST. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO LEAVE A COMMENT.

Cooking Paella For 40 People!
13 March 2020 @ 20:24


Fallas has now been cancelled or at least delayed because of the coronavirus outbreak. To be honest, they should have cancelled the events even earlier, they took 11 days to come to their senses. Let's hope they did it in time. That said my Fallas adventure has now come to an end! After over 20 years of living in Spain and Valencia, this year was the one my family and I decided to join a Falla...sod's law! Paying all year, dresses made and fitted and only two weekends to show for it, oh well, there is always next year!

However, I did manage to have a little fun this year as I was roped into making an "Arroz a Banda" last weekend for 40 people. "Arroz a banda" is basically a fish and seafood paella. A Scotsman making paella for so many people had its attraction with the local folk and I was the centre of attention throughout the process. Now, I have made quite a few paellas in my time but never one for 40 people so I had to keep my wits about me. The difficulty rises exponentially the bigger the paella gets. They all knew this and were really worried they would end up going hungry or having to eat a practically inedible paella...so every 5 minutes I had someone trying to help me....or distract me, I wasn't quite sure!

I wasn't the only one cooking, there were three others cooking a paella of the same size, lunch was for 160 people and without realising it, it had turned into a competition. When spectator started to realise that I kind of knew what I was doing they started getting a little nervous and tried even harder to distract me or misguide me:

"I think it needs more salt",

"You had better add the rice now or you won't have enough stock", 

"Is it yours that is burning?"...

I just closed my ears and did my thing, hoping everything would come together. Measuring the stock, controlling the heat distribution, spreading the rice evenly around the paella, carefully preparing the "sofrito" [a combination of fried grated tomato, onion, stock reduction and garlic] and a little patience...

Thankfully, it all came together and the result couldn't have been better given the ingredients that were available: Fish and Seafood stock, tomato, onion, garlic, squid and prawns, sweet paprika, salt and saffron.

My fellow "falleros" were quite taken back at the result and full of admiration and respect. My next challenge will be a paella for 80...fingers crossed!

 

 

Ingredients used: Quantity will depend on numbers but you can adjust as you wish. 

Fish stock - either homemade or from Mercadona: always 3 parts stock to 1 part rice (by volume, not weight) When you add the stock - always 8 minutes on high heat then drop to low until all stock has evaporated.

Round paella rice - about 100g per person

Onion - 1 medium or every 2 servings

Garlic - pressed - 1 clove for every two servings

Peeled plum tomatoes - grated - 1 per serving

Large Raw Peeled Prawns - 50 grams per serving

Giant Squid (Pota in Spain) - 50 grams per serving

Salt - to taste

Saffron -  a pinch

Sweet paprika - 1 teaspoon per serving

The process is very similar to the Fideua recipe, only once you have finished frying the tomato, onion, garlic, seafood etc you will need to add the rice and fry the rice for 3-4 minutes moving it constantly then add all the stock and distribute the rice evenly throughout the paella pan. Raise the heat and boil for 8 minutes then reduce to medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Watch carefully as you may need to adjust the heat as you go.

https://www.eyeonspain.com/blogs/ianandspain/19444/fide.aspx

Good Luck, if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask!

 

 



Like 3




1 Comments


Dee said:
15 March 2020 @ 09:29

Well done!
I can smell it from here in Almería Province :-)

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