Paella, paella – where have you been all my life?

Paella (Valencian and Spanish: [paˈeʎa]) is a Valencian rice dish that originated in its modern form in the mid-19th century near lake Albufera, a lagoon in Valencia, on the east coast of Spain. Many non-Spaniards view paella as Spain’s national dish, but most Spaniards consider it to be a regional Valencian dish. Valencians, in turn, regard paella as one of their identifying symbols.

Back in March of 2012, when looking for ways to cook Moreton bay Bugs, I came across a recipe for Paella posted by Tina and Jamie on the The Salty Goat and I declared my intention to give it a go.  Tonight, some five months later, it was time.  I dont have a Paella pan so I used my awesome electric frypan that was a gift from my in-laws a few years ago – its big and round, has great temperature control and would have made 3 or 4 times this much.  Of course I needed to adapt the recipe slightly in accordance with the content of the pantry and the preferences of the family…so here is what I did.


What you’ll need – Serves 4 

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 50 Grams Hot Salami or 1 Chorizo Sausage, sliced
  • 1 thick slice of Pancetta or the equivalent of bacon,  diced
  • 1 Onion, finely diced
  • 4 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 Red Chilli, finely diced (optional)
  • 1 Litre chicken stock, warmed in saucepan on stove
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tumeric  (3 Pinches of Saffron), infused in about 1/2 a cup of the warmed stock
  • 1 teaspoon heaped smoked paprika
  • 200g  aborio rice (Calasparra Rice is a specific pealla rice that’s a bit hard to find)
  • Bunch of Flat leaf parsley
  • 20 large prawns, shelled and veins removed
  • 20 pieces of fish fillet (3cm squares)
  • Salt
  • 1 Lemon, cut into wedges

What to Do

  1. Heat pan to medium-hight heat
  2. Fry Salami and Bacon (you won’t need oil, because the meats are very oily)
  3. Once slightly browned add diced onion and garlic. Cook until the onion and garlic has softened. Add chilli and stir.
  4. Pour the infused with stock into the pan with the smoked paprika, and rice, stirring continuously, add about 1/2 of the warmed chicken stock and stir.
  5. Chop the parsley stalks and stir in.
  6. This is the time where you will have to keep an eye on the dish. The rice will soak up the liquid but won’t be cooked yet, so when the liquid had been absorbed, just add about 1 cup more of stock. The rice will take about 20 minutes to cook. You’ll have to taste the rice to see how cooked it is. If possible, try not to stir the dish too much from this point.
  7. When the rice is about 3-5 minutes away, add the seafood. Just place it on top of the rice, then cover with lid and cook until the prawns are pretty pink.
  8. Ok, now its ready. By this time, the pan will get this delicious crust formed on the bottom of the pan. You’ll definitly be teasing the neighbours with this dish, it smells amaze!
  9. Lastly, garnish with lemon wedges and chopped parsley, drizzle with a bit of EVOO. Serve with crusty bread.


Optional Additions

  • 8 scallops, 10 Vongole (you could use Mussels), Moreton Bay Bug meat (about a handful), Chicken Pieces, etc etc……
  • Serve with a glass of sangria – this will have to wait for next time as I am going all month without alcohol.,

Thanks Tina and Jamie for the inspiration on the The Salty Goat – I always thought Paella was a tricky dish but now I have made it…..its on the menu!!!

Looking forward to doing this as a “Party Piece”


2 thoughts on “Paella, paella – where have you been all my life?

  1. That looks terrific Janey, my mouth is watering already – when did you say the party will be held? Two bookings for it from the Sunshine Coast!


  2. That is great! So glad you liked the recipe. We are always so happy when people try our recipes and make it their own. Now we’re hungry for Paella 🙂


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