How to Cook Paella Correctly
The paella dish has a lot of ingredients to use. It can feed a lot of people and your favorite ingredients are in it. The good thing is that it is not really difficult to cook great paella. If you want to cook a great paella dish, here are some important things that you need to know.
Not every rice is good for paella, so you should just use the right one. The best rice is bomba rice. Other kinds of rice you can use for your paella are Valencia or Calasparra rice. Common rice varieties do not absorb liquid well so if you use this, you paella will be mushy.
If you don’t have a real paella pan, you should buy one. These are not very expense and it is well worth buying it. The flavor of the paella is at the bottom of the pan so the paella pan is designed to maximize the amount of rice touching the bottom of the pan. During the cooking process, it allow you to move the food from the hotter parts to the cooler parts as needed.
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You should have a heat source that could accommodate the size of your paella pan. The dish can be cooked in an ordinary stove, an open fire, or in an outdoor paella burner. You whole pan should fit on the burner.
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The best paella uses the best ingredients. Best does not really mean expensive. Look for the freshest and the nicest looking ingredients. Don’t use an ingredient just because the recipe says so, but when you choose ingredients make sure that they look terrific and not run down.
Make sure to prepare everything first before you cook. Complete all your peeling and chopping before you even put on your stove. This makes the cooking process to go smoothly.
The base for your flavor is from the sofrito. Garlic, onion, tomato, and bell peppers are saut?ed until their flavors mix and the liquid is completely evaporated. The sofrito should be firm enough to hold its shape in a spoon.
Having flavorful cooking liquid will give you a flavorful paella. Cooking your rice in stock give you additional flavor. Add bouillon to the water if you don’t have stock. Add saffron to the cooking liquid to add another layer of flavor.
A great paella has meat that is browned aggressively. If you don’t brown your meat enough, then you don’t get that deep, cooked all day flavor in the dish. This takes time since you want to caramelize the meat, or developing its sugars.
Make sure the rice in the paella is not mushy. The socarrat, of the crispy crust that forms at the bottom of the paella is the most prized part of the dish. You can get a good socarrat by increasing the heat during the last few minutes of cooking. The crackly bottom with the bumpy resistance is your socarrat.